men in Ob/Gyn

Discussion in 'Ob/Gyn' started by stimpworth, Sep 10, 2002.

  1. stimpworth

    stimpworth Junior Member
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    Hello,
    I have always been intrigued by this field. There is the primary care, the obstetrics, the surgery, cancer, reconstructive surgery so much to choose from and so many opportunities within the field.
    I have two questions...

    1) why isnt Ob/Gyn as competetive as urology, dermatology, ENT, other field that are "not just surgical fields" ?

    2)Are men really being weeded out of this field? can anyone explain the trend of men not going into the field? Have the residencies decided that this is an all female career? Or have the female patients been demanding female doctors?

    Mike:rolleyes:
     
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  3. dankatzzz

    dankatzzz Member
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    To answer your questions:
    1) It is not as competitive because a) the hours are much worse and less predictable b) there are about 1000-1100 positions nationwide which is about 4x what urology and ENT have c) a lot of people are turned off by obstetrics and office gyn - prefer surgery.

    2) as for men in the field, there will always be room for men. The trend in practice is that given the choice women prefer women gyn's. I personally think it is easier for men to get into residency because they are such a minority. But, it is harder to start out after residency. A lot of head hunters are looking for women becuase there are a lot of practices out there that have older men in them and need women. After the initial few years post residency, I think your reputation will determine if you have clientel more than whether you are a male or female.

    Dani
    MS-IV
     
  4. stimpworth

    stimpworth Junior Member
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    THank you Dani
     
  5. JustAyoungDoc

    JustAyoungDoc Junior Member
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    That is very true.


    As a male doctor I think there will always be uncomfortable patients who won't pick me as their obgyn but the truth is that prefrences that patients might have are beyond my control.

    You cannot let that be a factor. Patients will always "pick" their doctors; being male or female, black or white or latino or middle eastern are all going to make a patient want you as his/her doctor or of course NOT want you!

    Being an Obgyn is an extremely rewarding job. I did a year of residency in the UK in the field and what I used to tell my "uncomfortable" patients was "don't be shy... I am an honorary woman!" You wouldn't belive how many would giggle and ease up a bit. So personality, charm (yah why not!), smiling, being polite or even funny can make a patient comfortable and allow them to see you beyond your gender.

    Hope this helps!
     
  6. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    good tips..

    im a male pre-med and i've really considered ob/gyn, but the two biggest turn-offs have been:

    1. Trend of female preference

    2. Malpractice insurance
     
  7. denise

    denise Member
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    The number one reason OB/GYN aapplicant numbers are down is malpractice, malpractice, malpractice!!!

    The hours do stink; the 80 work hour week is giong to be a problem for OB/GYN residents to follow.

    It is not that OB/GYN is not competitive, it is the fact less people are going in.
     
  8. Ob/Gyn is a great field with the rewards of IM, Psych, ID, and Sx.
    Do not let the current issues of malpractice discourage you from pursuing an interest in the field. The states most in trouble now are FL,OH,MS. Good luck
    Diane
     
  9. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    agreed.. times will change.
     
  10. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member
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    I was marginally interested in ob/gyn when I started my clinical rotation. It seemd like a good combo of surgery and medicine. However I found some big problems with the field....

    1. Malpractice... over 100K/yr in this area, and it's getting WORSE.

    2. It really is a woman's field. For example a male doctor has to have a female nurse in the room with him just to do a routine pelvic exam. Whereas a female doctor does not. I guess the assumption is that a male physician cannot be trusted. Or there is a fear that hysterical female patients will falsely accuse a male doctor of something nefarious.

    3. Too many females going in to the field. They keep saying that females prefer female ob/gyns... I really don't think that this is the case, but the perception is very real. When I did my rotation I was seriously discouraged by the fact even some of the residents held this belief. It may be true, who knows.

    4. Too many women.

    5. Finally, I just did not enjoy the bread and butter clinic cases of vag itch, and STDs, and routine pregnancy check-ups. I just don't like diseased vaginas. And if you think that delivering a baby is cool, well, it is. That is the first 10 or so times... The novelty wears off quickly after that.

    Just my 2 cents....
     
  11. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    ROFL! totally.. :laugh:
     
  12. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member
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    I just wanted to add that although my experience in my ob/gyn rotation allowed me to rule it out as a career choice, it doesn't mean that I don't respect the men and women that choose this field. I did have the privilege of working under some attendings that were absolutely fantastic teachers. And, even though the field is clearly not for me, I know that when it comes time for my wife to have a baby, I will thank God that there is a well-trained ob/gyn to deliver the baby and care for my wife.

    Peace and good luck to all.
     
  13. brownman24

    brownman24 Member
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    I am currently applying to med school, and was thinking about OB/GYN, but seeing my mother's OB/GYN practice has pushed me away from that. Her practice is busy, and to see her, new patients have a 3 month wait. Because of this, many new patients choose to see somebody else in the practice. Choices include a female DO or Nurse Practitioner on staff, or a male MD who is a partner in the practice. Most patients tend to choose the DO after they are explained what a DO is. The nurse practitioner is the next most popular choice, with most new patients not wanting to visit the male doctor. Once patients begin to see him, they become more comfortable because of his personality and experience and usually choose not to switch to another provider. The male physician has a large group of patients that have been with him for many years, and he is busy. Still, it seems like male OB/GYNs have to overcome a certian disadvantage in their profession that is inherent in their gender.
    This is just what I have seen firsthand, and may not be true across the board, but I think its just a fact that many female patients are more comfortable with females "down there".
     
  14. nymd2be

    nymd2be nymd2be

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    I am a white male med student and I just love ob/gyn I am fascinated by it and I am so hoping to do it but I feel like I have everything going against me (white, male) so I guess I have the same concerns...will I be able to actually get a decent residency and even then who will hire me?
     
  15. vegetables

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    Of course you will, if you have a good application and interviews. Programs love getting guys, if anything it helps you. And plenty of women use male OB/GYNs, so jobs shouldn't be very concerning for you...
     
  16. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member
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    As far as a chaperone goes - I've always been told that both males and females need a chaperone. You want the chaperone to be the same sex as the patient. It's to avoid the my word vs your word - now you have a majority.

    As far as I've seen, being a male doesn't hurt you for getting into residency. I'm not sure as far as practice goes, but as a female, I've always seen a male ob/gyn, just because he he seemed better with patients and in the OR than the few females in town.
     
  17. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member
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    Although I've seen many female ob/gyns practicing without a chaperone, I agree that anyone doing a pelvic regardless of gender ought to have a chaperone. When I did my FP rotation, a female FP was telling me she almost got sued by an unstable female patient (as in schizophrenic with a hx of sexual abuse) accusing her of inappropriate behavior. It's just not worth the risk.
     
  18. ny skindoc

    ny skindoc Senior Member
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    I agree.. If you are a good doctor you will not have a problem getting patients especially if you practice in a location that has a shortage of OBGYN docs.As stated many practices are specifically looking for females so you will encounter some potential employment issues there. OBGYN is less competitive due to the often long hours worked,and stress/economics of malpractice issues.
     
  19. craig_rt

    craig_rt Member
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    Here is Australia most Ob/Gyns are male and most women in my experience are happy to go and see them. My wife and most of her friends went happily to male doctors and it wasn't an issue.

    I don't know if this is slowly changing, I hope not.
     
  20. greenbean

    greenbean Junior Member
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    i honestly dont know why gender is such a big deal, my mom sees a chinese male gyn, no problems whatsoever.

    and she had no problems seeing a male urologist when she had hematuria periodically.

    she also had no problems taking me to a male pediatrician while i was growing up(im a girl, fyi).
    my dad was a bit uncomfortable with a female urology fellow who was in the room with the male urology attending. and he prefers to see male pcp's. my mom's pcp is a male

    when i choose a physician i want someone who is good, i wouldnt factor the gender at all. i also would look at the proximity of their office to my home.

    why people are not going in ob is a good ? however the notion that ob residencies will take "any1 w/ a pulse" is farce. there were 2 people in my graduating class this year who did not match in ob. they passed everything,including step one. so why didn't they match?

    the major deterrents of ob for me were:
    1)malpractice(this is also why crossed off neurosurg and ortho)
    2) the hours are miserable(this is also why eliminated gsurg)
    3) anything to do with the GU tract repulsed me, do you feel comfortable talking about sexual issues? (this is why i also got rid of urology)
    4) there are too many women: the pts are women, the nurses are women, the residents are women, the attendings are women, i like to see some representatitives of the opposite sex from time to time
    5) at the my med school, which supposedly has an "excellent" ob residency, the residents made many mistakes in surgery and had to call gsurg to have them bail them out. i didnt like being dependant on someone else to constantly help me if i made an error. i like to fix my mistakes
    6) also from ob part of my rotation, i really felt that some people should not be allowed to procreate. like the woman who can't speak a lick of english, is on welfare and has no husband and this is her 8th child on the way .or the 13 yo girl who just got knocked up and has her mom and "big" 17yo sister(who already has 2 kids) in the delivery room with her for "support. these situations happened repeatedly and i found them so disturbing in a moral and ethical way that i thought it was better for me not to do ob/g.

    however, i think it is a great field and if you like it, then do it!
    peace,
    green
     
  21. velo

    velo bottom of the food chain
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    I'm a male 4th year trying to decide between medicine and OB/GYN, specifically gyn onc. A lot of what I see as the downsides of the field wouldn't apply to me because 1. I think the rise in malpractice is more of an obstetrics issue. 2. More men seem to go into gyn onc, and 3. I don't think gender plays much of a role in a pts decision to pick a gyn oncologist as opposed to a generalist. Still, I've been doing some thinking about the pros and cons because I'd have to get through a 4 year residency regardless, and if I decide at the end I don't like onc I'll have to pick something else in the field (although I'd probably do REI)...anyway, here's the list.

    cons
    1) The chaperone thing does bug me. Even if everyone should technically use one, women are much more likely to just do the exam alone and I feel as though its not as big of a deal if they do. Its silly. I'm a doctor. Just because I'm a man doesn't mean I have any sexual interest in your nasty, diseased, vagina.

    2) Lots of women around, no men, could get old after a while. Although I suppose I'd always have a nice stream of male med students to keep me sane, and the handful of other men in the field.

    3) I'd say the hours, but I don't really mind working hard. Although, an IM residency with a night float system is comparatively benign.

    4) A female friend of mine interested in the field was telling me the other day about how much fun she had with her teenage patients doing their very first pelvic exams, teaching them about tampons....I have pretty much zero interest in having anything to do with that.

    5) There is a lot of medicine in OB/GYN, but its not as cerebral as IM. With the exception of the MFM folks most residents seemed to have a 'dumbed-down' understanding of a lot of medicine.

    pros
    1) Probably the best mix of medicine and surgery around. I didn't go to 4 years of med school to pick just one! Even a nice component of EM in there...stat C-section is a good time and a brisk postpartum hemorrhage really gets the blood pumping (no pun). Plus the field is very diverse, general, obstetrics, MFM, REI, onc, urogyn. If I really hate doing something I can always know in the back of my mind I get to move on to something different soon.

    2) The gyn oncologists, in particular, are very complete doctors. The idea of doing surgical and medical oncology is very appealing. Whatsmore they seemed to really take ownership of their pts (only surgical service I've been on that doesn't fight transfers to their floor) and are able to handle all but the most complex medical comorbidities and complications (read: not some ortho idiot who apparently can't spell i-n-s-u-l-i-n)

    3) Everyone I've spoken to (residency adviser, department chair) tells me males are a commodity on the interview trail. As a middle-class white boy, it would be nice to feel wanted for a change :)

    lastly
    4) Even though I don't want to do this, with regards to general practice and males, here's the way I see it. Right now there are LOADS more women going into the field then men. As the old guard retires, generalist men in the field will become very rare. Even if a majority of women prefer a female GYN, there are still women who prefer a male, and even more who honestly don't decide based on gender. With male GYNs being so rare, they should have no trouble drumming up business from the two later groups.

    my $0.02
     
  22. Options

    Options Junior Member
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    Couldn't have written this better myself.. my sentiments exactly. I'm male and am unfortunately also very interested in OB/GYN. I think I was in denial about it for awhile, but now I just have to admit it to myself. See you in the match..
     
  23. exgatr

    exgatr Senior Member
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    I loved my OB/Gyn rotation during third year, but the hours weren't for me (I prefer drinking coffee and making money, i.e. Neurology).

    About the whole "women prefer female doctors." I think this is a myth that has been going around and is ruining the field for males. When you ask most women, you'll find that it really doesn't matter in the end as long as the doc is good.
     
  24. greenfeild

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  25. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    That is really sad. My premium this year is a whopping $2400 after I bitched about it being 3K. I have no overhead whatsoever. Definitely carefully look at different specialities as they are incredible variations....seriously mind boggling.
     
  26. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away
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    I don't think that OB is anywhere near $100k in So. Cal either. It's over $200k here (highest in the country) and we have 0 (that is zero) OBs carrying malpractice outside of the University Systems in the entire Miami Metro.
     
  27. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    200K in insurance premiums? LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That is beyond insane. You would have to charge 2-3 grand for an office visit...hahahahahahaah
     
  28. obgynthoughts

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    The patients, who are women, have decided that they want women as doctors. If you go to a urologist for a close inspection of your private parts, a rectal exam and for some advice, would it be easier for you to connect to a man or a woman?
    There is your answer.
    My Chairman worded it very succinctly when I applied for a job at the hospital after graudating: "male practices don't do well".
    When I was looking for a job, women were routinely offered higher starting salaries than me, and I graduated from a fancy ivy league residency.
    Yes, a certain number of women do not mind or actually look beyond the gender and go by recommendation, but the majority of women just feel more comfortable talking to a woman. Easier to bond.
    This is most important for generalist ObGyns, it is much less important for subspecialists. When a woman goes to and infertility specialist she just wants to become pregnant, and that's it. gender is irrelevant. But gender is relevant for your annual exam, your routine pregnancies etc.
    yes, you can overcome it by being friendly and caring and good, but it is an uphill battle. I would recommend to a man to choose another field, not general ObGyn.
     
  29. obgynthoughts

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    Actually, don't laugh, it is true. that's why most Obgyns there are "bare", meaning they have NO insurance, because they simply cannot afford it.
     
  30. Phishfood

    Phishfood Junior Member
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    how in the world can you run a practice without overhead? you don't even have a building? or is it paid for?
     
  31. Chuckwalla

    Chuckwalla Junior Member
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    Any man who even considers going into OB/GYN is out of his mind or ignorant. If you are man you should avoid OB/GYN like a plague. These articles give a good picture of what is going on.

    http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51277

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E00E4DD1631F934A35751C0A9679C8B63&sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=all

    http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Business/202527/

    Short version. Male OB/GYNs are being fired and new ones have a lot of trouble finding a job. You won't see this headlining CNN because it is men who are being discriminated against, which is just fine when it comes to political correctness.

    If you are a man on your way to being a OB/GYN, get out while you can.
     
  32. THP

    THP Senior Member
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    I don't know. 2 of those articles are from 2001 and they are about the same situation. Through extensive internet searching I was unable to find any other cases. The other article didn't expressly say they were fired for being men, especially considering they were replaced by a man.

    I asked all of the male faculty at my school this very question before applying and they agreed that in a place like San Francisco it may be difficult to find a job. Probably true for some other big cities. I don't have any intention of living in or anywhere near a big city (hopefully). I can tell you that in the community surrounding my medical school, there are very few female OB/GYNs.

    Also, those articles are old and I think the situation is a bit different now. I could be wrong. When female OBs start having babies, that brutal call schedule becomes less enticing. Besides there is a decent size proportion of the population that prefers male physicians and if only 10-20% of physicians are men then they will be in demand, no?
     
  33. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    I hope that they don't avoid OB/gyn. On my rotation, 3 of the best attendings were men. One of the patients who was sent up from the ER was ecstatic that her favorite OB (who is male) was on call that night. One of the most talented teachers among the residents is male. They totally have a place in OB/gyn.
     
  34. deucerp

    deucerp Junior Member
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    I honestly couldn't be more excited about ob/gyn. I'm on my AI right now and I like it even more than the 3rd year rotation. I know there are going to be women who would rather go to a female ob/gyn...that's perfectly fine. our attendings tell us 1/3 want women, 1/3 want men, 1/3 want a good doctor.
     
  35. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    How can you practice medicine without malpractice? The majority gets sued at some point. I just can't fathom getting named in, of all things, an OBGYN suit and not have malpractice.
     
  36. chrisisinnocent

    chrisisinnocent Elbow deep
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    A significant number of OBs in Florida practice "naked" w/o insurance. Believe it or not this has led to them getting sued less because he lawyers and patients know there is no deep pocket insurance company to go after. This is from one of the speakers at the last ACOG meeting in San Diego who is a Florida OB that practices this way.
     
  37. dmuryan

    dmuryan New Member
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    I recognize that this point was intimated earlier. There is a potential shortage of Ob/Gyn physicians down the road with 3/4 current residents being female. Females are more likely to work part-time schedules, and they have an earlier retirement age. It's certainly not a laziness issue, but more of a motherhood issue.
     
  38. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member
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    Yeah, but all it takes is to get sued once and for the pt to win. Then your wages are garnished until you pay off the debt. While it's fairly difficult for them to get their hands on any assets (if you've got things set up right), you could very well be working for the pt for the rest of your life.
     
  39. 3dtp

    3dtp Senior Member
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    At $100/$200k/yr that has been suggested as med-mal premiums, putting this aside every year as a defense fund might not be a bad idea. And there is a way out of a judgement, unless you are found to be willfully negligent. As a judgement creditor (business deal went south) I found out that it is really quite easy for a debtor to file a bankruptcy and get his/her debts discharged at a small fraction of the total, even though the debtor was making 30 times the amount of the judgement and could have easily paid off the contract. Getting a judgement is one thing, collecting it is quite another and the debtor has a myriad of ways to delay, hinder and even defraud the collections process for years and even decades.
     
  40. Chuckwalla

    Chuckwalla Junior Member
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    I have thought of this myself and I have concluded it is not a probability, it is a certainty. It seems a significant minority of picky and easily offended women are pushing men out of OB/GYN. Sadly, it seems the majority of women will suffer from this down the road when the overwhelming majority of OB/GYN's are female.

    It is a proven fact that female doctors work less than male doctors, something to the tune of 70% of the work male doctors do. As you said, it has nothing to do with laziness but to with women wanting to be mothers. With the already significant shortage of OB/GYN's this will be catastrophic.

    Despite this it is still a bad idea for males to go into OB/GYN as this minority of women will have a significant negative impact on your life as a doctor. You didn't go through all the sacrifice to become a doctor just so you could become a martyr in gender relations.
     
  41. ozzidoc

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    It's a proven fact? Source please :)

    I'm a woman, and I can't wait to be working 60 hrs plus in Ob/Gyn..... which is less than the up-to-90 I was doing in my previous life. Not all women are clock-watchers, the same as not all men want to work every hour available.
     
  42. Options

    Options Junior Member
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    You still have a long way to go so I will give you a break, but maybe you should wait until you actually do your ob/gyn rotation to wager your opinion on how women react to male ob/gyn doctors.
    In my real life experience, it was an extreme minority of women who did not want a male doctor or male student. When you meet with patients for their prenatal visits or during labor, most judge you on how professional and competetent you seem, not by your gender.
     
  43. deucerp

    deucerp Junior Member
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    I totally agree and many of our male attendings say the same thing.
     
  44. MacGyver

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    You guys are clueless. Its true that if a male ob/gyn walks into the room on a new patient, very few women are going to speak up and say "hey I want a female." I will grant you that.

    However, its absolutely true that male ob/gyns WILL GET SCREENED OUT before they even meet the patient.

    You guys should hang out with the secretaries at an ob/gyn group practice someday. Its a very enlightening experience. Part of my ob/gyn rotation was at a mixed (5 men, 5 women) ob/gyn practice. One of my computer work areas was right next to them so I heard all their group chatter and gossip. Of course I also caught their phone conversations with existing patients and those people looking for a new ob/gyn practice.

    Out of the calls requesting an appt, at least 50% of them SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED A FEMALE OVER THE PHONE. Now sometimes the secretaries couldnt comply with that, and they'd say "we dont have a female available on that date, you'll have to schedule for a later time if you want female." I'd say 60% of the time, the woman would take a later appt date just to get a female.

    I was there for over 2 months and every day was exaclty the same. We're not talking about every once in a while, we're talking consistently every single day the people calling were requesting female ob/gyns.

    Does that mean a male ob/gyn cant make it? No. But I think you need to open your eyes. Just because a patient doesnt tell you to your face that they want a female does NOT mean that you wont be screened out by the secretaries who ansewr the calls and actually schedule appointments.

    Seriously go find a secreatary who schedules appointments at an ob/gyn practice and ask her how many patinets specifically request a female over the phone. The males are being screened out before they even meet the patient.


    P.S. The male ob/gyns at that practice were all phenomenal with terrific bedside manner and communication/compassion, so the fact that all the phone calls were requesting female obs had nothing to do with the male obs being assholes or anything like that.
     
  45. Chuckwalla

    Chuckwalla Junior Member
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    You can't wait to work 60+ hours? I will try not to laugh when you are saying how much you hate your job and how much your idealism has been crushed.

    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=76f707f9-1f5f-4c54-b527-d4638b805bba&k=84008

    This is over a career, not a few years or residency as you seem to be suggesting. Like I said, it has nothing to do with laziness or being a "clock-watcher".

    It has to do with women taking time off work to be mommy. You don't even need an article to see this, it is common sense. You cannot argue that woman who takes time off work for kids will ever be as productive as woman or man who does not do that.

    MacGyver summed it up well. Most women are too afraid to flat out say it to your face. I am sure at the hospital it doesn't matter as much, but when it comes to long term it seems women prefer other women. Even if you are not convinced of this fact you are sure it is a distinct possibility. I don't understand how this could be worth the risk at all.
     
  46. Options

    Options Junior Member
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    I generally believe what you say is true, but I still don't think this is any reason for a male not to go into ob/gyn. During my rotations, none of the male ob's were out of work, that is for sure, and out of tons of deliveries I can only count a couple where the they only wanted a female ob/gyn and both times it was the husband who was freaking out about it, not the woman.
     
  47. THP

    THP Senior Member
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    On one hand you are saying that women won't work enough hours thus someone else will have to take up some of the slack. On the other hand
    ~50% of women would prefer a woman doctor (probably a high estimate). Only about 30% of new OB/GYNs are men so it seems like this does not equal men being unable to find patients.

    In locations that are physician saturated I think you have a good point, but in medium sized towns not as much.
     
  48. exPCM

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    The story from 2001 is out of date. I would bet that more than 90 percent of current OB/GYN residents are women. This appears to have become the norm:
    http://medicine.mercer.edu/Academics/Residency%20Programs/res_obgyn_contact
    http://obgyn.medicine.iu.edu/
    http://www.uihealthcare.com/depts/med/obgyn/residents/bios/biosample.html
     
  49. yoosername

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    Are we still doing this? I thought this thread would have died by now.
     
  50. umlungu

    umlungu Junior Member
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  51. exPCM

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