Youth Voice

“She Had an Actual Conversation with Me”: Perspectives from Former Foster Youth

Felicia Reyes, LA RHEP Program Associate, shared in a team meeting about a great doctor’s visit that she had:

I recently had an incredible doctor visit that was very different from some of the other clinics I’d visited in the past. This place, from the moment I walked in to my check-out, was amazing- everything was quick, accessible and inviting. What I really want to highlight, though, was the interaction I had with my doctor. She was really personable and came into the room with the intention of getting to know me; I didn’t feel rushed and I didn’t feel like I was just another patient, but an actual individual.

Given my previous experiences, I usually come to my doctor’s visits with an aggressive mindset because I’ve had to be a pretty strong advocate for myself in the past, otherwise I don’t get what I need. One experience, in particular, had me waiting almost a year and a half before I received adequate healthcare. It was when I started college, I was 18 years old and had recently begun developing some health issues. I went to see multiple doctors in the network, but I was advised to use over-the-counter solutions every time, even when I explained those solutions weren’t working for me. I wasn’t being listened to and it felt like all the healthcare providers I met with were downplaying my issue. After encouragement from a mentor, I scheduled yet another doctor’s visit and demanded that they send me to a specialist; I wasn’t taking no for an answer. Finally, I was referred out and prescribed the medication I needed to alleviate these issues I’d been dealing with for so long.

That’s why I was so amazed at how I was treated at my recent visit. There was no need to cite the research I had done or re-emphasize the health issues I had- I said them once and she believed me. She sat there and had an actual conversation with me and I really appreciated that.