The patients I’ve seen have been, in general, young, healthy women, ages 12 to 26. They come in primarily for three things:
- annual exams (pap smears, breast exams, etc.),
- sexually-transmitted infection (STIs) diagnosis and treatment,
- and birth control.
I see patients of all socio-economic statuses, but most are immigrants or lower-middle class women. Their health knowledge runs the gamut, from the highly educated 12 year-old I saw today, who curiously asked “how exactly do the birth control pills work?” to the 23 year-old who shrugs and answers questions with a dull, empty look on her face. Almost every single one uses some form of birth control.
Yes, Graham is a man. I fully admit to wanting and seeing only women doctors - if I can help it. When you're in the hospital the only doctor doing rounds is a guy, you take the guy. I'm just more comfortable having by girly parts looked at my a girl. Well Graham blogs about this too:
I realize the exam puts a person in an incredibly vulnerable situation, and it probably doesn’t help that I’m a young man and that many of my patients are my age or younger. I also realize this may be the first time a male physician has seen their genitalia since before puberty (or any male unless they’ve been in a relationship with one), but I feel like the look still exists in many of my older patients as well.
I realize all of this, but still. It’s discouraging and frustrating. I’m not present to make my patients feel uncomfortable. If I could somehow learn everything I need to learn without making anyone uneasy I would, but I can’t.
It really makes me think. If we really want to have awesome feminist (an assumption on my part) men in the movement with us, why are we unwilling to have them treat us too? I dunno. All I do know is that I've added his blog to my RSS reader.
Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood Aurora, Planned Parenthood, women's health