Case vignette

Reframing health goals with a patient

Inclusive Language Illustration

Reframing health goals with a patient

Tim, a young, gay man comes in for an annual checkup at a new primary care doctor. He reports that while generally he’d been feeling fine, he wanted to make some lifestyle changes to feel healthier and wasn’t sure where to start. 

The doctor inquired about Tim’s health goals and Tim shared that he felt some pressure to lose weight from his friend group. The doctor discussed positive body image, the external pressure to maintain a certain weight, and that a healthy weight isn’t a one-size-fits-all model. 

After reframing the conversation towards feeling healthy, Tim identified wanting to be more physically active to have more energy. He and the doctor co-created a plan to find small ways to add more physical movement throughout the day. 

The doctor did not weigh Tim in the session and listened intently to Tim’s concerns about his feelings about the pressure to have a certain body type.

Things to consider.


Some gay, bisexual, and queer men experience pressure to achieve a specific body type as desired in their community.


Patients will make more health-positive choices if they have access to adequate support, empowerment, and education.

Question to think about:

If a patient wanted to address weight concerns, how would you approach the pressure they may feel to conform to a particular body type?