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Your gynecologist’s gender, does it matter?

Somebody asked me recently why there are so many male gynecologists. It’s mainly by default rather than design. Over the years, there has been an imbalance between males and females in medical schools. But not any longer, the balance is ticking the other way in many countries. The number of female gynecology trainees has been increasing steadily. We are already seeing falling numbers of new male gynecologists.

But does it matter whether your gynecologist is male or female? It may in a lot of respects depending on your point of view. Gynecology involves intimate discussions and medical examinations. You may feel more comfortable with one gender or the other. The choice may be unbalanced, but you should still have a good chance of selecting whomever you want to see.

There are cultural norms for some to want to avoid seeing a male gynecologist. That must always be respected, and provisions for availing a female gynecologist should always be in place.Your reasons may seem trivial, but must be respected regardless.Be upfront and always voice your preference well beforehand, especially if getting your care in institutional facilities. It might be different in private solo practices, but these too should increasingly find ways of accommodating your wishes.

The bottom line must always be the quality of care you end up with. You want to be seen by the most qualified specialists available. It may be your specific gynecology needs require a certain skill not commonly available. Sometimes you will only find a handful of specialists in whatever your problem may be. If that’s the case, you may sometimes have to make compromises and accept to see whoever is most qualified to help you out, disregarding their gender.

Medical law and ethics mandate a minimum level of conduct which gynecologists must uphold. This puts in place many safeguards for your own good. You are always entitled to confidentiality, nothing can be disclosed to third parties without your consent. You should always be offered a chaperone for intimate medical examinations. This will sometimes ease your anxieties, especially if being examined by a male gynecologist. Chaperones tend to be female nurses, but you retain the liberty to select or decline one.

For the majority, it doesn’t really matter whether their gynecologist is male or female. What matters are the processes already in place for provision of the desired service. Your selection of who to see should tick many more boxes, not just gender. But you alone decides what is more important when selecting gynecologists. Go on and look out for the preferred gender, they are all out there, with all the relevant skills that you may be seeking out.

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Somebody asked me recently why there are so many male gynecologists. It’s mainly by default rather than design. Over the years, there has been an imbalance between males and females in medical schools. But not any longer, the balance is ticking the other way in many countries. The number of female gynecology trainees has been increasing steadily. We are already seeing falling numbers of new male gynecologists.

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