Gynaecologist Explains Why There Are So Many Men In The Profession

When it comes to having the health of our vaginas checked, sometimes patients prefer to be seen by a woman. But that can be a tall order, when so many gynaecologists are men. So why is that the case?

The question was brought to the foreground recently by well-known natural light photographer Alex Cameron after posing the question to her Instagram following – and finally we have an answer.

Dr Anita Mitra, a gynaecologist who goes by @gynaegeek on Instagram, has created a reel explaining all the reasons why there are so many male doctors who specialise in conditions that affect the female reproductive system.

First things first – what is gynaecology? Dr Mitra defines it as “everything related to the uterus, tubes, ovaries, vulva, vagina and hormones including things like cancers, endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, PCOS, menopause, fertility, bladder and prolapse problems and beyond.”

And one reason as to why there are so many male gynaecologists is absolutely “mind-blowing” – it could be down to the tools of the trade, Dr Mitra explains in her video.

“Surgical instruments are generally designed for men with big handles that can be cumbersome for small hands (small handed person here) and so far I’m not aware of a company that has made instruments for smaller female hands which always seems to blow people’s minds when I tell them this,” shares Dr Mitra.

Another reason can be found in data from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. As Dr Mitra explains, while doctors train in both disciplines, towards the end of their training, they must choose a specialism.

At this point, the data shows that men tend to preference gynaecology while female trainees lean towards obstetrics (which focuses on pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period).

This could also be down to “gender-based hurdles”, adds Dr Mitra.

“Gynaecology is a slightly more surgical specialty compared to obstetrics and surgery has always been a slightly more male-dominated area which comes with its own challenges,” she says. “Surgical training can be pretty intense with really long days which can be tricky if you’re trying to juggle training with having a family and working part-time isn’t always easy.”

Dr Mitra adds that women can also still face sexism in the workplace, though that is changing, and acknowledges that the issues she has raises also face women outside the medical profession.

“Thankfully there are loads of inspiring female gynaecologists & surgeons out there, so don’t be put off if it’s a career path that you want to go down,” she adds in the caption. “Nothing is impossible!”

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