A female Reddit user posed the serious question: “Male Gynecologists of Reddit- What made you want to be a ladyparts doctor? And how has it affected your view of women?”
Seriously, this has always mystified me. As a lady who has gone to various gynecologists over the years, both male and female, I have encountered some jaw-dropping ignorance and misogyny from various male gynos.
I’m sure there are plenty of incredible men who are committed to helping the owners of ovaries and uteruses, but what drives you to devote your life to fixing and examining something you will never have true firsthand experience with?
Good question. As a 100% certified member of the female gender, I’ve wondered this before myself. I wouldn’t think that there would be a ton of medical professionals hanging around on Reddit, but surprisingly a good amount of male gynos, med students, and relatives of male gynos came forward to give their perspective. Now can we ask female prostate doctors what drives them to perform their jobs?
Patients that don’t die are a big plus:
I never thought I’d end up doing ob/gyn, but I enjoyed my rotation in medical school. The variety of the work is entertaining. We get to do surgery and office visits, and the visits tend to be procedure heavy. L&D is a lot of fun. Also, it’s nice to have “healthier” patients, as lots of pregnancy visits are young women who aren’t dying. Ultimately, I just felt like fit in with that type of doctor (ob/gyns tend to be work hard/play hard type of individuals). It felt kinda weird to make the decision at first, but once I got used to it I couldn’t really see myself doing much else.
I wasn’t expecting an oddly touching answer:
My uncle was a combat surgeon during WWII. When he came back he became an OB/GYN although I’m not sure if that was the term back then. When I was in high school I jokingly asked him why he chose that area to perform in. I always thought it was some weird or pervy reason, but his answer surprised me.
He said it was the furthest thing from combat medicine he could do. In the war he had seen so many horrific things that to turn around and bring little lives into the world made up for all those he couldn’t save. When he passed away his obituary listed the number of lives he brought into the world safely. To him that was all that needed mentioning.
Because otherwise this would be boring exercise, I had to include a few counter-points. This makes me wonder why ANYONE would want to do this:
My uncle just finished up his residency and is planning to be a urologist, but initially planned to be an OB/GYN. He said all the learning about pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, etc. was interesting and definitely a field worth going into. Then he had to work on a patient who was a “very large” woman with a reeking vagina and a severe case of herpes and genital warts. He kept it professional and finished the exam, but he’s a hypochondriac and already spent dozens of hours volunteering at gyms doing STD testing. He said he just couldn’t handle dealing with STD’s up close like that…and that particular exam was one of the worst experiences of his life.
Obviously you want a doctor that can unconditionally care for you as a patient, but examining pus-filled contagious sores on an obese women’s hairy genitals was not something he could deal with on a regular basis.
Pretty much do the same thing when people ask me what I do. People just can’t wrap their heads around the glamorous lifestyle of a blogger:
Went to a Gynecologist when we were trying to ‘make’ baby number one, had the funniest conversation I have ever had.
We got to talking about parties and how we explained what we did for a living, he said he often just told people he was a Plumber, it stopped the 1001 questions that would follow if he told the truth.
Performing a C-section is basically the medical equivalent of the “claw” machine:
I’m on my 3rd year rotation with OB/GYN now and I love it, much more than I could have predicted. Here’s why.
- There is nothing like labor and delivery. Being a part of that moment for a family is a profound and humbling experience.
- The patients usually have good lives that get even better with your care. As already mentioned, it’s nice to be working with patients who are generally healthy, but have an issue that is causing them real concern and you can actually do something about it.
- The surgery is very impressive. C-section as “surgery with a prize” is a great description, that only begins to convey the special nature of that operation. It’s a fast moving procedure that requires definitive and deliberate action and results in a new life. It’s the best operation I’ve seen thus far. The other surgery can be very technical and nerdy, with robots and such, which is awesome as well
- The technical aspect is engaging. Treatments for infertility combine top shelf aspects of surgery, laboratory work, endocrinology, technology, and patient interaction. It’s impressive.
- The hours / lifestyle seems pretty solid.
- The ability to subspecialize is diverse.
I could go on, but I’ll leave it at that.
Why I am personally still not sold on the whole “creating human life” thing:
I remember when I was a student… it was my first day in OBGYN, they asked me to help the attending… basically i held the labia apart. I was a virgin of course, I’ve never touched a vagina up until that point. Any ways, it was scary to say the least. Then seeing that baby pushed out, and the attending cutting open the vagina a bit… It was chaos, screaming, blood, poop, and stink was everywhere. Then to top it off… POP! I had goop all over me. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to run out and take a shower… but alas I was patient until the very end. After it was over I remember asking a senior med student… “what was it like when you first saw that?” he replied “It was a freak show”. Indeed, that’s what it truly was. I spent the rest of my rotation walking around the wing pretending to be busy. Just couldn’t do it. Until my first c-section of course… that’s another story.
I can’t tell if this is the smartest or most evil thing to do to an 18-year-old kid:
Back when I was a senior in high school and just after graduation I still thought I was going to go to school for medical degree. My mom was the head nurse at an OB/GYN office and one of the doctors loved her and do did his entire family. He knew I was thinking of becoming a doctor so he invited me to shadow/intern there and decided to….that’s the back story.
Now, being 18 and seeing all these women’s ladies parts is awesome right? What 18 year old wouldn’t want to do that!! ….Wrong After about the 3rd patient and getting comfortable it became very clinical. Too many I saw I would never want to sexually, EVER.
How’d it effect me? I have a greater appreciation for what pregnant women go through. I still to this day give women in my life advice about issues. Men have it easy with their reproductive system and women, not so much…super complicated where many things can go wrong. If you joke about C section scars then you’ve never seen what happens during one! Or what a woman really goes through during childbirth. If a woman says she did a natural birth I usually want to hug her!
Very personally for me? It ruined casual sex for me. I have to truly be emotionally and physically attracted to a girl before I can sleep with her. There has to be some sort of connection between us or it just won’t happen. I’m sure there’s more but that’s what comes to mind. I didn’t really read other comments do hopefully mine are close to what others are saying.
“Old Ladies with Waterworks” would be a good band name:
Family physician here (not full on Ob/Gyn) – have done lots of both in training and post-training (rural pactice). It’s rewarding stuff as you get to deal with all of life – delivering babies to old ladies with waterworks troubles and prolapses, and you feel like you can help/contribute. Can’t say it has changed my view of women, as the way they respond/behave when you are dealing with issues re their “ladyparts” is not a lot different to how they respond to other health issues (if you treat them with courtesy and respect). Don’t know if I could just do ObGyn alone though …
Finally, PLEASE tell me this is a troll, because if not this is terrifying. I have a feeling we’re going to see a Law & Order: SVU episode based on this guy someday:
Finally, a post I can contribute too! Obvious throwaway for ethical reasons. I knew I wanted to be an OB/GYN in high school. I worked hard, completed my BA in biology, did well on my MCAT, and was accepted into med school. I’ve since attained my PHD, and have actually just completed my 3 year fellowship after I finished my OB/GYN residency.
Now for the reason of the throwaway account! The reason I decided to pursue a career as an OB/GYN is complicated, but started out as an obvious answer to my needs. I simply loved the female sex organs, and was initially obsessed with sex. I wanted to know more, so I chose to study it more. My reasons for nowadays have changed slightly, but in heart they remain the same. Having spent years studying medicine, I’ve also realized I prefer to be apart of something that offers life and happiness, than be apart of something that can involve constant death. My obsession with the female genitalia is still very strong, and to be honest, I get fantastic pleasure from my patients. I know my career would be ruined if this got out, so I’ve taken the means to protect myself by posting this. I’ve had this held up inside me for so long, and I’m a bit drunk at the moment to be honest, but I just had to tell someone.. I know I’ll be judged for this, but please understand my main goal is to provide comfort to women in need of my services. The fact that I get off for doing my work is never present or apparent in my day to day activities.
So there you go. I hope this has been a enlightening experience, and that we’ve all learned something today: Male gynecologists for the most part, seem like pretty good dudes.