The field of gynecology has changed the past several years, as well as the diversity of trained doctors providing care. In the past, only a small percentage of gynecologists and obstetricians were women. What had started out as a male-dominated career field has radically changed, as evidenced by the current percentage of women in the fields of gynecology and obstetrics. Currently, nearly fifty percent of practicing OB/GYN specialists are women, and eighty percent of OB/GYN residents are female. With the numbers rising for female doctors, it is not hard to imagine that the future may show a complete reversal from what was expected regarding men and women in the OB/GYN field. There are many potential reasons for this, one of which might involve the many benefits of a woman choosing a female gynecologist for her care and well-being. Let’s discuss some reasons why choosing a female gynecologist is beneficial:
Many women feel more comfortable talking about their reproductive health with another woman than they would with a man. Often times, proper care is reliant on the patient feeling comfortable giving information about their personal issues to the doctor, and this is often far easier when a woman is talking to another woman about their concerns. Some women feel uncomfortable talking to a male doctor, particularly when it comes to issues such as painful intercourse, sexually transmitted infections, and unusual vaginal discharge. This is one reason why female physicians have a huge advantage over males when it comes to treating female patients.
Female gynecologists have a tremendous advantage over male gynecologists simply because a woman is more likely to empathize with a problem they may have had or can understand over a male who doesn’t have the same body and may not be able to understand, regardless of their training or knowledge from a textbook. Women obviously share the same reproductive organs, so the understanding and potential for having gone through the same issues is very possible. Being able to understand and empathize with patients is crucial in gynecology and obstetrics because if you feel the person you are speaking with is likely to understand your condition, you are more likely to share personal information with them comfortably so that they might be able to help you with your problem more effectively. This understanding and comfort with disclosure creates a dialogue between the patient and the doctor that might otherwise be impossible. As a physician, being able to explain to the patient the emotional and physical nature of a procedure can make the biggest difference in the comfort of the visit.
There are other general differences between male and female gynecologists that may offer female doctors a greater advantage in treating certain problems, depending on each woman’s unique situation. Researchers have reviewed surveys to determine noticeable differences between male and female doctors regarding interactions with their patients. For example, among gynecologists, women were found to have a more supportive attitude about abortion than men. Depending on the situation, this could be a more positive interaction for the patient depending on their unique situation and needs. Male gynecologists also tend to rate the quality of their own work higher than their patients do. Men tend to prescribe more pharmaceuticals, which can definitely have its drawbacks. Women tend to make more referrals to specialists for medical conditions, which can be beneficial in ensuring the female patient experiences the best care possible from the most knowledgeable doctor.
An interesting side note to all this is that while there are many benefits in choosing a female gynecologist over a male gynecologist for women, there is still a surprising difference in the pay scale for men versus women. With no difference in certifications, female gynecologists are found to earn twenty-three percent less than their male counterparts. This is an interesting and shocking fact to discover. While there have been many great advancements for women and equality, there is still a noticeable difference in the pay scale for a male versus a female gynecologist.
As you can see, there are many benefits in choosing a female gynecologist over a male gynecologist. Women deserve a comfortable experience with an understanding doctor where they can talk about their problems, feeling free of judgment and knowing they will have both sympathy and empathy regarding their situations and issues. As a woman, knowing how a procedure will feel, both physically and emotionally, is a valuable resource in getting through the procedure, and any necessary recovery, properly prepared and confident to face the obstacles on the road ahead. Women deserve the best care from a licensed gynecologist possible, and a female doctor is often the best choice.