Gynecology Exams Best Done By Males Or Females? Take the Poll.

I haven't done a pelvic exam or pap smear in seven years. That's the last time I had an outpatient clinic.  As a hospitalist, if a patient of mine needs a pelvic exam, they will have already received one in the emergency department.  If they need one as an inpatient in the hospital, I can assure you I'm calling a gynecologist to do the gynecology exam.

Do I call a male gynecologist or a female gynecologist?  If the patient has a gynecologist as an outpatient, I call whomever that may be.  If they don't have an outpatient physician, I call whomever is on call for consults that day. If the patient has a request for a female or male gynecologist, I try and accommodate their wishes.

When I was a resident in training, I hated doing pap smears .  Besides taking up a lot of time in my clinic,  I always felt like I was causing the woman pain.  In addition, many  women didn't bother to clean themselves up before coming to the doctor's office.  As residents, we learned how to do gynecological exams by diving right in.  To this day, I'm not sure I've ever felt an ovary on bi-manual exam.

Now I learn the new USPSTF  cervical cancer screening guidelines are  less aggressive.  I bet there are thousands of internal medicine residents jumping up and down with joy this Christmas season at the thought of doing fewer screening gynecological exams.  

I suppose you're wondering who does a doctor go to for their pelvic exam?  I once spoke with an emergency room doctor who had to come to her emergency room for an emergency   speculum exam.  For any women doctors reading this, what's it like having one of your partners do a pelvic exam on you?  I can't imagine how weird that would be.  I've  even heard of doctors doing pelvic exams on their family members.  That's even stranger and perhaps a wee bit disturbing.  So back to the original questions:
Would you rather have a male gynecologist or a female gynecologist do your gynecological exams? Do male gynecologists or female gynecologists offer something  the other sex does not?
Take the poll (below) now and let's figure this out together.




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