Friday, February 24, 2006

A Poll for the Ladies

A few days ago, I came across Twisty's post on male OB/GYNs - she doesn't like them. An acquaintance had referred her to the online archives of the OB-GYN-L discussion list, where OB/GYNs were discussing the topic of women who prefer that their gynecological care providers not be men (see the "Sad but true" threads). Many of the male docs seemed to think it was prejudiced and ignorant for women to prefer female providers. Twisty discovered such gems of comments there such as, "My mother fixed this problem when I was born and named me Lynn. Many a woman has been quite shocked when a 6′4″ male walks into the exam room. When they say they thought I was a woman, I simply respond by saying, 'too late now.'" One female doc was told she should get out more when she repeatedly argued the point that some women are simply more comfortable with other women for this type of intimate care, and their choices should be respected rather than belittled.

Personally, I tend to choose women as healthcare providers, because I often choose nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, who are mostly women. I appreciate the more personal approach they bring to care, and find that they tend to keep me more informed during the actual exam and about any necessary follow-up, and tend to take my concerns more seriously than the male doctors I've encountered. Maybe this is only true based on the clinicians I happen to have visited, but ultimately it's my choice, based on my comfort level. Is that prejudiced? Do you have a preference for male or female providers, particularly with regards to gynecology? I'd like to think that all practicing OB/GYNs respect women's feelings and decisions about who they're comfortable being naked and vulnerable with, regardless of the origin or evidence for those feelings. Perusal of that discussion board makes me think this isn't always the case.

Technorati Tags: ;
MeSH: "Gynecology"[MAJR] AND ("Gender Identity"[MeSH] OR "gender preference"[All Fields] OR "sex preference"[All Fields])


Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Both of my OB/GYNs were men. I ditched the first one because he didn't wear socks. The next one wears socks, which is much better. He is a guy, but the person you see the most often is the nurse practitioner, who is a woman.

I feel equally comfy with both, as long as they wear socks.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I've had both female and male docs, GYN and otherwise. I tend to go with female just because, in general, they are more sympathetic to my needs. That being said I had both male and female docs (seen personally and working with professionally) say some of the most boneheaded things I've ever heard. No sir, I really don't think taking a few days off will reverse this case of major depression that I've been dealing with for 6 months, but thanks for the offer.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Pam - you'll appreciate this - my first thyroid doc didn't believe I was as tired as I claimed. (Hey, could the 115 bpm resting heart rate clue you in, buddy?) Anyway, he said, "Everybody's tired. Go ask my nurses - they're all tired!" Ugh. 2nd thryoid doc was also a man, and wonderful, but he had also been a thyroid patient himself.

Ivy - what's with the socks? :)

2:43 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I'm kinda with Pam. I'm not so much into the gender of the doc as I am the bedside manner.

I've had both men and women be jerks, and I've had both men and women be great.

11:44 AM  

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