A female doctor comforting a young female patient

What is ‘We Ask Because We Care?’

We Ask Because We Care is a way for our patients to tell us about themselves.

In addition to asking about race, ethnicity, preferred language and religion, UChicago Medicine is now able to collect information about sexual orientation and gender identity.

This is one way we are working to improve the level of care we give.

Frequently Asked Questions

This information allows us to treat each patient with respect, use their chosen name and preferred pronouns correctly and provide care with dignity to meet their individual needs.

This information also allows us to:

  • Help our care team have more trusting relationships with patients and provide more effective, culturally competent care.
  • Identify gaps in healthcare and make plans to improve the health of our community.
  • Improve patient visit and hospital stay by using your chosen name and preferred pronouns, and being sensitive to your identities.

The many different UChicago Medicine staff and healthcare workers who may come into contact with you have been trained to ask about you. This includes staff in the call center, patient service representatives (PSR), patient coordinators (PC), front desk staff and clinical staff.

They will ask about your:

  • Sexual orientation: This represents how a person describes their emotional and sexual attraction to others.
  • Gender identity: This is a person’s inner sense of their gender. For example, a person may identify as male, female, transgender male, transgender female, or another identity.
  • Pronouns: These are the words used when talking to a person or about a person. Examples of pronouns are: he, she, they, xe, or ze.
  • Preferred name: This is a name a person wants others to use when speaking to them or about them. This may be different from a person’s legal name.
  • Sex assigned at birth: This is the label given to a person based on how you physically present at birth.
  • Legal sex: The sex used for legal purposes such as a state ID or driver’s license and legal documents. This may not match a person’s gender identity or the sex assigned at birth (if legally changed).

You can choose not to answer any of the questions. This will not affect the care you are given here. Your doctor may also ask these questions privately during your visit.

You can choose if you want to share this information at that time. You can also ask your doctor questions.

The MyChart patient portal is now set up to allow patients to enter sexual orientation and gender identity information themselves. Patients can enter as much or as little information as they want.

For more information about MyChart, go to: uchicagomedicine.org/mychart

A patient’s UChicago Medicine care team will see this information, and it will become part of your medical record. Staff members involved in managing your care will also see this information.

This information will be put into our electronic medical record system. It is private and protected by law. It will be protected by the same commitment to privacy we hold all patient information.