I want a female doctor! Well no body is stopping you.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | Posted by Debajyoti Datta | Labels: ,


This post on cloud nine blog irked me considerably.  The premise of the post is an important one but the blog author takes it to an illogical extreme.
India boasts of thousands of qualified doctors- with Indian degrees and the lesser mortals with Russian degrees. So, how does it feel when you end up in a hospital for delivery and the gynecologist about to examine you is a male? Yes, you read it right- a male gynecologist? Or how it would be to consult a male radiologist for a mammogram? A male radiologist who examines female genitalia? Though female gynecologists are aplenty, women often find themselves in tough corners when it comes to taking medical help in extreme cases. India is not a country that has limited medical aid and so why should the women compromise?

First things first, you just don’t wake up one fine morning and end up in the delivery room of a hospital. There are 40 weeks before that. There is ample time to choose your gynaecologist who will deliver your baby. Same way you can always choose your radiologist. But that’s not the point, the point is what is the problem if a male gynaecologist examines a female patient or for that matter when a male doctor examines a female patient? Surely any one is bound to feel uncomfortable when one’s private’s are examined but note the word “examine” – it’s for the patient’s benefit, not for the doctor’s enjoyment. If at any moment the patient is feeling uncomfortable, they can walkout, complain against the doctor and do what not. But when you refuse to be examined by someone purely on the basis the presence or absence of one chromosome, it amounts to discrimination.
“We are a very conservative society and so it irks me when it comes to women consulting such male doctors in hospitals providing health care, especially in Government run hospitals and departmental health units. You can all it medical ethics, professionalism or anything under the sun, but a MALE IS A MALE! And there are few perverted men who put Hippocrates to shame...You must look at the way they handle their stethoscopes when they check women!

Again such blatant prejudice against a person based on their chromosome! Ethics, professionalism doesn’t matter right? Well how would it feel if you heard it from a male chauvinist that a FEMALE IS A FEMALE, not point in letting them get a job or education, a FEMALE IS A FEMALE? And it is amusing to hear non-medics referencing Hippocrates! If you read the Hippocratic Oath, you will find that he was not quite the saint you consider him to be (by our present sensibilities of course).
“There are Government hospitals and primary health centers that have a single male/ female doctor taking care of everything starting from a delivery to mammogram. Probably that might be the reason why most rural women shun these hospitals.

Not familiar with reality, are we? Happens when we make up arguments from thin air to support our preconceived prejudices.
“Let there be no bullshitting saying- this is an insult to doctors of the world and all that blah, blah...How many of you know the unfair advantage doctors take on such unlucky women? Whether there is a chaperone or no chaperone, their sexual apparatus goes on an overdrive, sensing helpless victims. Sexual Boundary Violations ( SBVs) have burgeoned at an alarming rate in India-  which include unnecessary physical examinations, inappropriate touching, sexual jokes with patient, sexual touch and finally there are cases of sexual intercourse too...Read this study published in Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. Unless the doctors try to get their medical ethics right, this problem will be persistent in Indian society. And will the Government bring a bill to say- " Women doctors for women and male doctors for men"??? That is a million dollar question.

Let’s talk about the study shall we? It is apparent that the blog author has no experience in reading or evaluating medical literature. Happens. If I commented on an Astrophysics article same thing would have happened to me. One point in the study makes the whole study wobbly and unreliable. The authors of the study designed a questionnaire but it was not validated. Why this is important? Let us suppose you want to measure blood pressure and you made your own blood pressure measuring instrument. Unless you validate your instrument by calibrating it with a standard blood pressure measuring device, your instrument is useless.

The most illogical part of the whole post is that of the government bill!! To put the non-sense in perspective consider this example. Some terrorist who were Muslim hijacked a plane and crashed it into the twin towers. Thus the government must bring a bill to prevent all Muslims from flying! Ridiculous you say? Replace some terrorists who were Muslims with some doctors who were male and hijacking a plane with any misdeed you may think and ban them from examining females. That’s how ridiculous and non-sensical the whole premise is.

19 comments:

  1. sriramnivas said...
  2. One man's fooly can't be taken into account to establish a law or rule of any kind....I totally agree with ur point Mr.Deb. There are certain male docs who take advantage of their professions but their acts can't reflect the chracter and professionalism of the entire male doc community. If it ever happens, then there has got to be a serious misconception troubling the society.

    From: sriramnivas.wordpress.com

  3. Debajyoti Datta said...
  4. Welcome sriramnivas! You have hit the nail in the head! The whole community can't be responsible for the error of a few.

  5. Pranab Chatterjee said...
  6. Well, left a comment on the blog. RIDICULOUS premises man. I must admit it may have been a tad bit caustic. I hope the blog author allows it through.

    Gonna write about it on my blog too though! Thanks for bringing this to our views!

    Maybe we should think of starting a "whistleblowing" section to call out the woo mongerers and in this case, discriminatory bigots?

  7. Debajyoti Datta said...
  8. Thanks Pranab da. Last time I looked, your comment was still not up.

    I do think we should have a whistleblowing section, something akin to Quackwatch to deal with the quacks and cranks!!

  9. Pranab Chatterjee said...
  10. Oh well, comments posted after me have been allowed through but not mine! :P Guess that means I WAS caustic enough. Aaah! The pleasure.

    I think this was more of a "crank" kind of a post. :-)

  11. Debajyoti Datta said...
  12. Aha, when you write about it, do mention this! I would obviously put a link to your post in the blog, see if she allows it through :)

  13. Debajyoti Datta said...
  14. I see that your comment is up Pranab da! I wonder how she would reply, if she does at all.

  15. Cloud Nine said...
  16. I have definitely allowed both your comments to be published...and thanks for the remark- ' discriminatory bigot'. That you call me this by itself the success of my post!

  17. Debajyoti Datta said...
  18. @Cloud Nine - thanks for stopping by and of course for allowing our comments.

    As you can see the one piece of evidence that you linked to in your blog is not a very good one. What do you have to say on that? Anecdata !=evidence. You say you have seen this, I say I have seen that and all other assorted thingummy but that does not mean anything.

    You consider being called a "discriminatory bigot" as mark of success. That's quite a twisted idea of success. Also writing something to wind someone up or to get a rise out of someone is the classical definition of Trolling. Although you would consider that as success.

  19. Pranab Chatterjee said...
  20. The comment has finally gone through and she does not seem too happy about it! Posted my response in a rather long winded blog post; check it out when you have some time:

    http://scepticemia.com/2011/10/21/gender-bias-ignorance-dangerous-patients/

    Not my best work, admittedly, but I was too furious to not write just exactly what I felt!

    Cheers!

  21. Pranab Chatterjee said...
  22. Well, i may be a wee bit responsible for trolling things up a bit, but the whole post is littered with so many insinuations that gets under the skin is very irritating.

    Of course, narrative medicine has a special place in clinical medicine and user driven healthcare. Heck, as a strong advocate of user driven healthcare, I WANT to know what patients want from us. But does that mean we have to tolerate out and out discrimination? What if someone wants to not see a doctor from a particular race? Would we legalize that?

    And as I have discussed at length in my post, there are more issues to sex and sexuality than male/female interactions! The fact that @Cloud Nine fails to address them shows me that she has not thought out the issue to its deepest levels.

  23. anarchic teapot said...
  24. @Pranab Not a doctor, but it does come across as a collection of rantings in which the cerebral cortex played no significant role.

    "Well, i may be a wee bit responsible for trolling things up a bit, but the whole post is littered with so many insinuations that gets under the skin is very irritating."

    Serve her right. If she really has a (personal) problem about being examined by men - all the while bitching about how female medical personnel treat her - then she should get a damn chaperone when it's unavoidable. If she thinks that would be construed as being ridiculous, well...

  25. Pranab Chatterjee said...
  26. She claims that chaperones or no chaperones when the libidos of the male docs get going, there is no stopping us! :P

  27. Pranab Chatterjee said...
  28. Your allegation of her being a troll-like activist may well be right. I don't see any of my comments being allowed through! I wrote in some 3-4 comments (none of them complimentary, as you might imagine without any difficulty) since last night including one inviting her to comment on my post, but she has not allowed them through.

    Now THAT might be the final, incontrovertible proof of her hatred of counterpoints and her troll-ey demeanor!

  29. Anonymous said...
  30. loosen up, will you please cloud? (hey not the other meaning..just the non-medical one)

  31. Debajyoti Datta said...
  32. @Anonymous fnarr fnarr!!

    @Pranab da I wrote a comment on her blog letting her know about your post and a link to it. It was not allowed to go through although there wasn't a single critical word on the whole comment!

  33. Pranab Chatterjee said...
  34. Unfortunately she is blocking a good chance to have a logical discussion on her post, which is the hallmark of trollery. As much I wanted to respect her right to keep her blog to herself, this does not paint her in too bright colors in my views.

    Anyways, with so many cranks around, I believe it is time for us to abandon trying to make her see reason. Next one, please?

  35. Anil Kumar said...
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  37. Anil Kumar said...
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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