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Is it wrong that patients can refuse to be treated by a certain gender? Watch

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    (Original post by Jacob :))
    I know that! :rolleyes: I'm a HCA now but will be starting at med school this year. I'm glad my washing days are almost over.

    Trust me, it can go wrong.
    I'm still intrigued as to how! Plus, surely you can just be taught what to avoid etc, which is fairly straightforward, similar to learning intimate examinations. The point is that simply being in possession of one type of genitals doesn't make you naturally better at dealing with them. Most male medical students have no more clue than the female ones about doing a testicular exam. Female medical students physically cannot do a bimanual or speculum examination on themselves, so it's not like either sex has an "advantage" when it comes to learning them.

    To further the obs & gynae comparison, some people might argue that as a woman, I might have more empathy with someone complaining of period problems, or dealing with childbirth. But if I have completely problem-free periods (or none at all thanks to hormonal contraception), and have never given birth, why am I automatically either more empathic or knowledgeable than a man?

    I understand if people feel more comfortable with someone of the same sex, but really disagree with the idea that simply [I]being[I] one sex or the other automatically makes you better or more experienced when it comes to medical matters.
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    (Original post by Jacob :))
    I know that! :rolleyes: I'm a HCA now but will be starting at med school this year. I'm glad my washing days are almost over.

    Trust me, it can go wrong.
    Me too! Congrats on getting into medical school btw.

    I was considering getting a HCA post during this gap year - wasn't to be.

    Lol! One of the things that put me off too.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    I'm still intrigued as to how! Plus, surely you can just be taught what to avoid etc, which is fairly straightforward, similar to learning intimate examinations. The point is that simply being in possession of one type of genitals doesn't make you naturally better at dealing with them. Most male medical students have no more clue than the female ones about doing a testicular exam. Female medical students physically cannot do a bimanual or speculum examination on themselves, so it's not like either sex has an "advantage" when it comes to learning them.

    To further the obs & gynae comparison, some people might argue that as a woman, I might have more empathy with someone complaining of period problems, or dealing with childbirth. But if I have completely problem-free periods (or none at all thanks to hormonal contraception), and have never given birth, why am I automatically either more empathic or knowledgeable than a man?

    I understand if people feel more comfortable with someone of the same sex, but really disagree with the idea that simply [I]being[I] one sex or the other automatically makes you better or more experienced when it comes to medical matters.
    I'll agree your sex doesn't affect your ability to learn but as a HCA you are put straight in the deep end. The actual training is very poor. Unless you say to the person orientations you, who is only another HCA, please teach me to clean female genitalia you won't get any training regarding that specific task. At least I didn't.

    Obviously as a doctor you should learn about both sexes. As for empathy you shouldn't need to directly experience whatever a patient is dealing with.
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    (Original post by MENDACIUM)
    Me too! Congrats on getting into medical school btw.

    I was considering getting a HCA post during this gap year - wasn't to be.

    Lol! One of the things that put me off too.
    Congrats to you as well. It's something I wouldn't choose to do but it is very rewarding.
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    Speaking as a young male working in nursing, I am perfectly happy for patients who are uncomfortable with my providing personal care to them due to my gender to voice their concerns. I have voluntarily compromised my own practice on occasion in the interests of maintaining the privacy and dignity of certain patients, despite no objections having been raised. The notion of a patient being quietly mortified about me providing personal care to them is infinitely more disheartening to me than having that care refused for being male. All of this aside, I have very rarely experienced opposition and would like to hope that it is derivative of me working very hard to maintain that privacy and dignity which some fear a male nurse will not uphold.

    I should make the point, however, that male nurses are too much of a minority to often give male patients a 'choice' of gender in their care. It is impossible to deny that female patients are far more privileged in this one respect of nursing care.

    (Original post by Jacob :))
    I know that! :rolleyes: I'm a HCA now but will be starting at med school this year. I'm glad my washing days are almost over.

    Trust me, it can go wrong.
    Without wishing to be derogatory, I find this sentiment truly terrifying. Basic intimate care is the same irregardless of the patient's gender, and isn't difficult to ascertain even by asking the patient politely for guidance as to their wishes. If it is such a large prospect to you of washing 'going wrong' with patients of the opposite gender, what exactly is going to be simpler with the intimate procedures you will be required to learn as part of medical training?
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    Is it somewhat immoral that patients can refuse to be treated by a specific gender? The obvious example is gynaecology or obstetrics where male doctors would be less welcomed, is this wrong? And what about if this then became more common in other areas of health care?

    Should we support patient choice? Or is there a line where discrimination kicks in?
    It isn't discrimination if it is to do with the patient feeling uncomfortable, discrimination is defined as "The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. on the grounds of race, age, or sex."
    I think wanting to feel comfortable around your doctor especially during medical examinations is a justifiable reason to want a specific gender doctor. Disallowing a patient to ask for a specific gender doctor could also lead to patients not going to the doctors at all, there are many justifiable reasons for someone to feel uncomfortable being exposed or examined by a male or female doctor, for example rape or abuse. To not give men and women an option in who examines them could make the medical process more painful than unnecessary.
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    (Original post by Wildebeest)
    Speaking as a young male working in nursing, I am perfectly happy for patients who are uncomfortable with my providing personal care to them due to my gender to voice their concerns. I have voluntarily compromised my own practice on occasion in the interests of maintaining the privacy and dignity of certain patients, despite no objections having been raised. The notion of a patient being quietly mortified about me providing personal care to them is infinitely more disheartening to me than having that care refused for being male. All of this aside, I have very rarely experienced opposition and would like to hope that it is derivative of me working very hard to maintain that privacy and dignity which some fear a male nurse will not uphold.

    I should make the point, however, that male nurses are too much of a minority to often give male patients a 'choice' of gender in their care. It is impossible to deny that female patients are far more privileged in this one respect of nursing care.



    Without wishing to be derogatory, I find this sentiment truly terrifying. Basic intimate care is the same irregardless of the patient's gender, and isn't difficult to ascertain even by asking the patient politely for guidance as to their wishes. If it is such a large prospect to you of washing 'going wrong' with patients of the opposite gender, what exactly is going to be simpler with the intimate procedures you will be required to learn as part of medical training?
    I do my best, of course. To be honest I rarely have to do it. It's not a matter of intimacy but of anatomy.

    I should probably learn more about vaginas.
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    (Original post by Jacob :))
    I do my best, of course. To be honest I rarely have to do it. It's not a matter of intimacy but of anatomy.

    I should probably learn more about vaginas.
    Protip #1: If you're trying to wash the actual vagina, you're doing it wrong.
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    (Original post by Wildebeest)
    Without wishing to be derogatory, I find this sentiment truly terrifying. Basic intimate care is the same irregardless of the patient's gender, and isn't difficult to ascertain even by asking the patient politely for guidance as to their wishes. If it is such a large prospect to you of washing 'going wrong' with patients of the opposite gender, what exactly is going to be simpler with the intimate procedures you will be required to learn as part of medical training?
    You must have a fairly low terror threshold then. Relax. A young male HCA with limited experience in this area and uncertainty over whether there's some female hygiene etiquette he's unaware of is not terrifying. Should he have asked the patient/some member of staff? Possibly so, but you're being dramatic. As for your last sentence, well, intimate procedures will be taught and subsequently supervised.
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    It isn't discrimination if it is to do with the patient feeling uncomfortable, discrimination is defined as "The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. on the grounds of race, age, or sex."
    I think wanting to feel comfortable around your doctor especially during medical examinations is a justifiable reason to want a specific gender doctor. Disallowing a patient to ask for a specific gender doctor could also lead to patients not going to the doctors at all, there are many justifiable reasons for someone to feel uncomfortable being exposed or examined by a male or female doctor, for example rape or abuse. To not give men and women an option in who examines them could make the medical process more painful than unnecessary.
    Would it be acceptable if a woman refused to be treated by a black doctor? Maybe they were racist and therefore uncomfortable around people of different ethnicities?
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    Is it somewhat immoral that patients can refuse to be treated by a specific gender? The obvious example is gynaecology or obstetrics where male doctors would be less welcomed, is this wrong? And what about if this then became more common in other areas of health care?

    Should we support patient choice? Or is there a line where discrimination kicks in?
    It's not wrong.It's not discrimination. It's all about the service users choice in how they want to be treated.
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    Would it be acceptable if a woman refused to be treated by a black doctor? Maybe they were racist and therefore uncomfortable around people of different ethnicities?
    There is a different between singling out people for unjust prejudicial reasons like racism than not wanting to have a man stick forceps in your vagina if you have been raped or abused by a man in the past. If A man or a woman had a a fear of black people (for whatever reason, like if they were abused by someone who was black when they were younger and then associate black people with that trauma) that is different to being racist. Although it may be hurtful to the doctor, they may not understand the patients reasoning. Though I don't think it is acceptable to refuse treatment from a black doctor without good reasoning.
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    (Original post by Kinkerz)
    You must have a fairly low terror threshold then. Relax. A young male HCA with limited experience in this area and uncertainty over whether there's some female hygiene etiquette he's unaware of is not terrifying. Should he have asked the patient/some member of staff? Possibly so, but you're being dramatic. As for your last sentence, well, intimate procedures will be taught and subsequently supervised.
    I think you misunderstand me. I am not saying that it is unacceptable for a young male HCA to privately find giving personal care to women awkward; rather, that the implication of medicine being some kind of departure from that awkwardness is somewhat misguided and concerning. The average male on-call F1 is likely to have next to no experience of providing intimate care to women, and is going to be contacted from the beginning for advice on and subsequent performance of catheterisations, rectal examinations, pelvic examinations and the list continues. That they are accountable to a consultant and can contact the night SHO or whoever for further advice is only supervision to a degree, overshadowed by rather a large amount of autonomy for a qualifying health professional.

    You may believe I am being dramatic, but I would hold that the above is merely a sentiment of reality.
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    (Original post by Wildebeest)
    I think you misunderstand me. I am not saying that it is unacceptable for a young male HCA to privately find giving personal care to women awkward; rather, that the implication of medicine being some kind of departure from that awkwardness is somewhat misguided and concerning. The average male on-call F1 is likely to have next to no experience of providing intimate care to women, and is going to be contacted from the beginning for advice on and subsequent performance of catheterisations, rectal examinations, pelvic examinations and the list continues. That they are accountable to a consultant and can contact the night SHO or whoever for further advice is only supervision to a degree, overshadowed by rather a large amount of autonomy for a qualifying health professional.

    You may believe I am being dramatic, but I would hold that the above is merely a sentiment of reality.
    But this young male HCA has already stated that he received next to no training on providing hygiene care and you seem to be forgetting one very important factor: time. He has still to get through five years of medical school, during which time he will receive training and supervision for all those procedures. Five years is a long time to mature, grow up and become accustomed to being outside your comfort zone. And medical school forces most people to do that.

    Interestingly, this is probably one of the reasons I'd advocate being a HCA before coming to medical school (something I never did).
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    Personally I don't care whether I have a male or female doctor. Unless I'm seriously wrong about how much training doctors are given, a male doctor will have seen everything I own before just on someone else. It's a bit embarassing for me, but it's all standard routine for them. I do request a female doctor at my current practice though, but that's because I'm living back home and I've known my doctors since I was a little kid and it's almost as if I'm asking an uncle to look for me, and it's still pretty bad with the female ones. But back at uni I got examined by male doctors as many times as the female ones.
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    (Original post by syrettd)
    Personally I don't care whether I have a male or female doctor. Unless I'm seriously wrong about how much training doctors are given, a male doctor will have seen everything I own before just on someone else. It's a bit embarassing for me, but it's all standard routine for them. I do request a female doctor at my current practice though, but that's because I'm living back home and I've known my doctors since I was a little kid and it's almost as if I'm asking an uncle to look for me, and it's still pretty bad with the female ones. But back at uni I got examined by male doctors as many times as the female ones.
    I think this ties into it for me as well. At home our family doctor retired before the age where I started having any intimate problems, and the replacement couple the man didn't perform intimate examinations, so I'd have to see his wife. She has since died, but that was while I was at uni.
    At uni I went to see a female doctor only because there were only two male doctors at the surgery and I knew I didn't like either of them, they were both rude to me on previous visits so I didn't want to see them because they were rude, not because they were men. I saw one female doctor and then continued to see her for intimate examinations because I (wrongly) thought it was the same issue across a few different visits, so thought it would be better to see the same doctor repeatedly.
    There was a part of me that wanted a female because it was my first unaccompanied visit for an intimate examination and I'd feel more comfortable with another woman, but also I didn't want that appointment with someone who had been rude to me previously.

    Now I see that female GP as often as I possibly can, she's a fantastic GP all round. And one other male GP about a long term condition, because he's fantastic as well!
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    There is a different between singling out people for unjust prejudicial reasons like racism than not wanting to have a man stick forceps in your vagina if you have been raped or abused by a man in the past. If A man or a woman had a a fear of black people (for whatever reason, like if they were abused by someone who was black when they were younger and then associate black people with that trauma) that is different to being racist. Although it may be hurtful to the doctor, they may not understand the patients reasoning. Though I don't think it is acceptable to refuse treatment from a black doctor without good reasoning.
    And how exactly do we define good reasoning? What if you were robbed by a black person and since then don't trust any black people? Would that be acceptable? Or is it only specifically some form of sexual issue?
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    And how exactly do we define good reasoning? What if you were robbed by a black person and since then don't trust any black people? Would that be acceptable? Or is it only specifically some form of sexual issue?
    I don't think we can decide what is and isn't acceptable reasons because no one will ever agree on what is and isn't good reasoning.I think the option of choice in patient care should still be available. Every individual is different and will react to situations in different ways, if a person who has been so mentally scarred by being robbed by a black person and therefore would be so terrified in a medical situation with a black doctor they refuse to accept treatment then may as well just let them have the option of a non-black doctor because I don't think it's worth the arguing, it would be a waste of time for the black doctor, for the patient and just everyone involved really. Though if the patient were to use derogatory terms or be rude to the doctor for his skin colour that would be wrong and racist.
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    (Original post by Kiss)
    No, unless they specifically say something along the lines of 'male doctors are better than female doctors'. It's more about being comfortable. For example, whilst I wouldn't want to get one I know I'll have to get a prostate exam at some point, and I'd rather a guy gave me one than girl.
    i dont know, theres always a long shot chance the lass likes the look of things [not the ass persay] and etc. ...
    or on the other hand you could consider it forplay?:holmes:
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    Of course it isn't immoral it's just what the patient is more comfortable with.
 
 
 
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