Whose Subject Is Gynecology?

“This is your subject” says a male co-med and I stayed silent until he finished his sentence. According to my co-med, Gynecology is a subject only for females med’s.  According to him, the requirement for Male med’s to pass this subject involves learning a few causes, diagnostic criteria’s and management. They claim that GYN is not a subject that they have to deal in the future.

Gynecology is a Greek derived world meaning female disclosure.  Back in the 1822 Jacques-Pierre Maygnier depicts a male physician examining the female genital, it actually shows a “compromise” procedure, in which the physician is kneeling before the woman but cannot see her genitalia. Before the turn of the century and before females got interested into medicine, the regular Gynecologists were males.

Male Meds get discouraged to study this subject because of the patient factor, most women are not conformable with sharing details with them and also they will not give consent for even an abdominal examination. One of the most important factors in learning is dealing and talking with patients, if patients don’t give the same feedback it’s likely that one looses interest in the subject.

Peer pressure also seems to play a vital role, those that dare to show interest in this subject is often teased and humiliated afterwards.  Most meds do not prefer to study gynaecology so meticulously because they state that female patients won’t come to them for check up in the future. It’s likely due to the religious beliefs of the women especially in our part of the world, which discourages them to make visits to male doctors for GYN related reasons.

What will male med’s do in an emergency call? If they are left to deliver a baby on their own, you cannot back out and say that I didn’t work hard in my GYN at that time. Most meds don’t understand the implications of Gynaecology in the MBBS course.  If one is placed in a remote village; it’s likely he/she will have to be the pathologist, gynecologist, and general practitioner all at the same time.

I often see my male co-mates carry their big Davidson book to the GYN ward. Medicine is a prime subject of MBBS but ignoring GYN is not a wise decision to make.

What male medical students should do is always hang around with the female meds in the ward. 90 % of what you see during the ward can actually help you learn the subject.  Also visualizing the work of a female co-med can help you comprehend the work at hand, in the future. Giving up is not an option, you need to create a rapport with the patients, if she sees your constant presence in the ward; she might give you a proper history after all. Your motive in the first few days is to gain confidence of the patients.

Famous male gynecologist like Dr. Bhola Rijal from Nepal and Dr. T.A. Chowdhury from Bangladesh, are clear-cut examples of how males have succeeded to become gynecologists. GYN is a subject that is equally important for both sexes and it is as vital as medicine.

Eventually one has to deal with child-birth or assisting in a cesarean section or even assisting in MR procedures on an every day basis. Ignoring and humiliating this subject by calling it a study for female medical students just shows ignorance and if you want to succeed as a good doctor you need to treat GYN well.


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