Dr. Andrew Petroll provides exceptional care at volunteer clinic
Andrew Petroll, MD, MS, Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, has been a volunteer medical provider at the Brady East STD clinic (BESTD) since 2003 and has served as its medical director for the past 5 years. BESTD is a unique clinic designed to serve the sexual health needs of gay and bisexual men in Milwaukee and Wisconsin. The clinic was founded in 1974 by a group of individuals and clinicians deeply concerned about increasing rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and confounded by the lack of medical facilities capable of providing culturally-appropriate care to gay and bisexual men.
The clinic performs more than 1500 anonymous and confidential HIV tests each year and provides free diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Since its inception, the clinic has served more than 19,000 clients for evaluation and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. While most of the BESTD’s clients live in the Milwaukee area, some clients drive for several hours in order to seek care there, either because they fear negative repercussions from disclosing their sexual orientation in their own community, or because they feel that appropriate care for sexually transmitted infections is not available where they live.
This clinic is exceptional in that it remains fully staffed only by volunteers, including the medical providers, office staff, laboratory staff, and HIV counselors. Medical providers can administer free, same-day treatment for most STDs and clients can get HIV test results in about 20 minutes. The clinic also offers HIV testing at off-site locations in the community. Dr. Petroll reports that he deeply enjoys providing care to the clients at BESTD. He noted, “Clients at this clinic are extremely appreciative of the care they receive. New clients often come to the clinic anxious about their condition, but are greatly relieved when they receive confidential, competent care in an environment that welcomes people of all sexual orientations.” In addition, he enjoys the camaraderie of his coworkers there, saying, “The staff who volunteer at BESTD are really wonderful and caring people. They make the environment positive and respectful.”
Providers at BESTD (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) have diverse medical backgrounds. Their specialties include emergency medicine, general practice, family medicine, dermatology, obstetrics and gynecology, and infectious diseases. Dr. Petroll is one of several MCW providers who volunteer at BESTD. Margaret Meyer, NP and Julie Raaum, NP also volunteer their time as providers at BESTD for the last several years. Under Dr. Petroll’s supervision, BESTD serves as a clinical training site for the Department of Medicine infectious disease fellowship program trainees. Many MCW medical students also spend time with preceptors at the clinic.
BESTD is accepting applications for providers and other volunteer positions at the clinic. Anyone who may be interested is encouraged to contact Dr. Petroll by email at email@example.com.
Article written by Mandy Kastner, Program Coordinator III-Division of Infectious Diseases