Women Dopers: Do you prefer having women doctors?

I just switched GPs within a practice, and for the first time, my primary care practitioner is a man. This hasn’t really been by design on my part; it just worked out that way. It doesn’t particularly bother me, but it will be a little different. Or will it? Maybe not.

So I was just curious: If you’re a woman, do you prefer to have a female doctor? Why or why not? Does it matter if we’re talking GP vs. specialist vs. OB-GYN?

It doesn’t matter. I have a female GP, but my cancer doctors were all men.

Usually, yes. But not always. My current GP practice has numerous doctors and you see whoever’s available, but after seeing several doctors there I only book appointments with one particular male doctor. He’s just really good.

This is the the UK; from what I’ve read, we see GPs more than US citizens do, in that we see them for pretty much everything until it gets serious and then you just get whatever doctor is on at that time. For example, when I was pregnant my main contact was my GP. I had a named consultant, but never saw him because there was no need. The midwife took care of the rest when it came to labour. (Until the end when it went bad and I have no clue what gender any of the dozen or so staff in the room were). Funnily enough, I’d be happy with a male midwife.

When it comes to gynaecology, I would tend to prefering a female doctor. Next time I go for a smear I’ll ask for a female doctor if possible - I think this may be an area where you can make such a request - just because the male doctors I’ve had have been really bloody (literally) awful, and smears scare me anyway.

I have a slight preference for a woman for my gynecologist - though my current one is a man, and I like him quite a lot, so it’s not the most important item on my list.

I don’t care about gender with the rest of my doctors; my PCP is a woman, but that wasn’t any sort of consideration.

I prefer men. I guess it kinda goes back to my pediatrician being a man, who knows.

But when I was pregnant with my first child, I did have a female doc pinch my labia while giving me an exam. When I winced a bit she barked at me to hush up and that it “didn’t hurt that bad, she knows, she gets these exams done all the time.” A nurse in the room pointed out what I was in the middle of explaining myself. She just ‘unpinched’ me and didn’t even apologize. That sealed the deal for me and I’ve had men as my GP and OB/GYN ever since.

For the most part I don’t care. When I was half my current age having a female for gynecological stuff was important to me, but now that I’m older, more confident, and more experienced I don’t really care. I expect a doctor of any gender to act professionally.

My first gyno, in my early twenties, I deliberately went to a woman, I guess because I was nervous. My gyno now is a guy and I actually greatly prefer him, because:

  • With a male gyno, there’s a nurse in the room as well and I found it relaxing having that less distracted person to talk to. Pap smears are uncomfortable, some of the exam just isn’t enjoyable. Having someone to joke with and distract me made it go by so much better.
  • I’ve heard this from other women and found it personally true, that male gyno’s are nicer precisely because they DON’T know what you’re going through. Yes, I know that’s a sexist generalization, I just found it to be true! My doctor is the nicest, most gentle person I can imagine. My insurance is changing and I’m really hoping I can stick with him.

Even if I can’t stick with my doctor, in the future I might lean toward a man just because I’ve had such a good experience with this one (that said, to pick this doctor I had my mom, who worked at the clinic, ask around and find the doctor with the best recommendations. I’ll do something similar in the future, not just pick one blindly based on their gender).

I haven’t had much to do with male OB/GYNs. Two guys managed to make very negative impressions in very short periods of time (one by commencing examining me without introduction or eye contact, not an emergency situation, just a first office visit). All my “female” care is done by midwives now, who have all been female.

But my GP is male and I’ve seen several male specialists and it’s all been good. It doesn’t really reflect well on me to say this, but I kind of like just having a man pay that level of attention to me (and there was this one doctor, well I actually had to start a thread about him about five years ago. He could’ve been a soap opera doctor he was so gorgeous:o)

That can be true. In my stupidly long labour, my first, hellishly incompetent midwife that I would have reported and got struck off if I’d been in any way able to shortly after the childbirth that she fucked up, did actually mention that her labours had been easy. Good for you!

But still, when it comes to smear tests, I’d rather try a female doctor next, because my previous experiences create the fear in me. It’s hard to be completely logical in those situations, and fear can actually make the whole experience much worse, so I understand anyone prefering one gender over another.

I really don’t care, but I find I’m in a minority among my friends with this. My mother’s friend’s daughter in particular has a male GP she likes and trusts very much but goes to a female doctor for pap smears and “female troubles”.

I’m from the “they’ve seen it all before a million times and mine’s nothing special” school of thought.

And to add another rough female doctor anecdote to the pile, when I had my first pap smear at 19ish, at one point I said “Ow! That’s really hurting!” and she said “Oh be quiet. You let your boyfriend in there, don’t you?” :eek:

I’m more concerned about “bedside manner,” whether I feel like I can really connect to them, whether I feel like they’re really listening to me, etc., than about what sort of bits and pieces they have.

I have a female nurse practitioner as my OB-GYN, and I really like her a lot. She makes it seem like we’re old friends, even though I see her only once a year. And she cheerfully renews my BC scrip without blinking an eye.

My PCP is also a woman, and she always asks me if I have any kids. When I say no I don’t, by choice, she sighs and says, “Oh, well you still have time.” :rolleyes" Thanks for taking my choice seriously. (She’s OK otherwise.)

But I also really like my male podiatrist and physical therapist. (Not seeing either right now, but have been to both multiple times in the past.)

Had a male PCP once briefly whom I called “Doctor Mumbles” because he rarely made eye contact with me and did, in fact, mumble. I often had to ask him to repeat himself.

I’m a physician, and I agree that is how the vast majority of docs see it, so I have never minded going to male docs.

Hands down the gentlest pelvic exams I’ve ever had were done by a man, though it was a bit weird having a decidedly handsome guy down there what with my having a boyfriend at the time.

In general I feel more comfortable with women doctors for routine stuff, but it’s not a hard-and-fast rule. Comptence is far more important.

Can a male chime in? All of my main doctors are male right now but my dentist is female and she runs a tight ship. I have had plenty of female doctors before. I have little preference. It is all about competency and bed-side manner.

I have known a lot of females that prefer a male gynecologist just because they don’t like being touched that way by another female.

I don’t care about the gender, with the exception that I typically prefer a female gynecologist, mostly for the “smaller hands, knows the parts well” thing. Also, I had my first pelvic in my early teens when I was having abdominal pains, and the male gynecologist I had just had NO ability to deal well with a scared, humiliated teenage girl; it was pretty awful and still hits a few old memories.

Not that all women gynecologists are good; my mother’s former gynecologist was female and Mom says she must have flunked the Bedside Manner classes in med school.

I did see one drawback to a male doctor at one point. I had a Really Freaking Hot ™ male neurology resident physician, who was doing an exam on me. He turned off the lights and held up a little lit-up instrument to look into my eyes, and pressed his shoulder firmly into mine as he leaned into me and got really close to my face to look in. Then he turned the lights on, and right away started to measure my blood pressure and heart rate. :smack: I always have really low blood pressure, except it was up to “normal” at that point, and my heart rate was somewhat elevated. He commented on that, and I lamely said something about being very out of shape, rather than suggesting he change the order of his examinations. (How do you do that without completely embarrassing yourself?) I did note at the next appointment that he’d switched the exam order around; I wonder if he figured out what might be a problem.

I tend to pick women doctors, but that’s mainly because this is a doctor-heavy area, and I have to eliminate some of the options. I go for female, youngish, and capable of speaking a second language. It’s totally arbitrary but it’s served me well so far in cutting the choices on my insurer’s website down to a reasonable number. I’ve liked the doctors I’ve ended up with.

But I can’t imagine being embarrassed by having a male doc. For the purposes of medical treatment, it’s not personal, and it’s not sexual, so it doesn’t bother me.

I do have a small amount of blind prejudice because the older male doctors that I grew up around had a reputation for being fairly paternalistic. One of the three local gynos available was commonly known as “the Butcher”, and never met a hysterectomy he didn’t like. But I recognize that this is my prejudice and does not reflect on the average male doctor, and would not prevent me from seeking treatment from a man.

I have my first woman GP and love love love her. I don’t think its a gender thing as much as it was a personality thing.

I had a female OB/GYN for my oldest child’s birth, and a male OB/GYN for my second child (we had moved cities in the meantime). Both doctors were personable and professional. The male obstetrician had the stereotypical physique of a basketball star - he was very tall, and he had enormous hands. I was terrified when it came time for him to check for cervical dilation!

To my pleasant surprise, I hardly felt any discomfort with him at the helm, so to speak. But those dainty, petite little manicured female fingers? Ouch!

I think less of myself for it, but I do prefer female OB-GYNs.

For anything else, I don’t care at all.

I guess I don’t really have a preference. I had a female OBGYN at one point, and I really liked her, but I also really like my current GP and OBGYN, who are both male. I haven’t had any trouble discussing anything with the male doctors, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.