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Stop with all the (wo)mandatory training

Planet Primary Care

Admittedly, I’m viewing this through the beer-goggles of yer average male doctor, so you could say I’m biased. Then again, that could be lazy stereotyping, so hear me out.

The headlines of ‘Women’s health: mandatory training for all new doctors’ did tickle my Y chromosome. This is just one of a raft of recommendations from the Government’s recently-published ‘Women’s health strategy’, the idea being to tackle the factoid that women get a raw deal from health services.

It’s based on the responses of 100,000, uh, ‘people’, and the level of argument can perhaps be gauged by the BBC report’s suggestion that rises in gynaecology waiting times and issues around HRT prescribing reflect deep seated sexism.

So, yeah, medical students and new doctors will be frogmarched to lectures on women’s health and have all the sexism MCQ’d out of them, which is good. That’ll be in addition to the current curricula which mandate obstetrics, gynaecology, screening, contraception et al, and at last redresses the balance with men’s health teaching, which currently comprises, er, sod-all.

And while the Minister for Women’s Health insisted that, ‘Tackling the gender health gap will not be easy’, the Minister for Men’s Health was strangely silent on the matter. What he, or she,  might have said, had he, or she, existed, was this: ‘Hang on a minute, we’ve been banging on for years that it’s men who neglect their health, are medically illiterate, die younger than women, should make more use of health services and should examine their testicles every five minutes, can I go on holiday during ‘Men’s Heath Week’ now then?’

All of which is equally nonsensical. Which is why I’ve railed against the standard non-scientific Men’s Health tub-thumping over the years, too.

So all I’m asking is, please, could someone tell me as a health professional, which lazy, populist, politicised, non-evidence based, doctor-bashing, health-gender stereotype should I be following at the moment? Alternatively can we just stop all this crap?

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. Read more of Copperfield’s blogs here

READERS' COMMENTS [7]

Christopher Ho 22 July, 2022 10:48 am

Haha, this is what you get when you follow identitarian, collectivist policies. Whatever happened to individual, patient-centredness eh

Patrufini Duffy 22 July, 2022 11:46 am

Page 149 of Level 3 Safeguarding is amazing.
It shows a lollipop cartoon and how you must look if the individual has their shoe laces tied or knot. There is apparently new bullet point (no.27 on signs) to check that the individual is not (don’t tell anyone if they were) neglected by the NHS managers and NHS system and ministers and politicians. And facing physical and mental suffering.
Once you find that – forget it ever existed. The pathway has no box for it.
Imagine the next module for CQC inspectors:

Honesty and dishonesty
Adhering and how to not say anything
Cover-up and privatisation and how to bend over effectively and quietly
Fobbing the public off with false promises, and concealing the cracks and taking the flack.

Keith M Laycock 22 July, 2022 5:32 pm

There are 35,000 female GP’s and 27,000 male GPs on the GMC register = 56% women.

It would seem then that the women docs need advice, instruction and guidance on how to relate and communicate with other women so that their female patients’ voices can be heard and ‘listened to’.

Patrufini Duffy 22 July, 2022 11:07 pm

Yes Keith. As an agender, cisgender, genderfluid, genderqueer, intersex, gender nonconforming, and transgender individual (only on Thur-Sat nights and online), I want to be listened to. I have unmet needs. My ideas, concerns, expectations aren’t patient-centered, holistic, empathetic, open and honest and I feel GPs need more training, about me, ME, m-e.

Katharine Morrison 23 July, 2022 3:11 pm

I have been a GP since 1986 and a hospital doctor before that. There has never been a lack of attention paid to women patients. There have been plenty of family planning, well woman and menopause clinics but nothing for men’s health. A concerted effort to retain doctors and give longer consultation times for all patients is what is needed.

Truth Finder 25 July, 2022 11:13 am

The double standards gender politics are getting out of hand giving men a raw deal and not equality.
Well said Katharine, well said. Been a doctor since the 1980s. I don’t know much about men’s health but I do know a lot about pregnancy, contraception, menopause, gynaecology cancers and breast screening, breast, gynae examination etc. Come to think of it, I don’t think I was ever taught a scrotal examination. It is not even in the Final examination!

Nicola Williams 25 July, 2022 1:41 pm

As a peri-menopausal woman on HRT I am mystified by the current hysteria over the menopause and HRT . Employers now having to have policies for dealing with menopausal employees , a menopause minister being appointed , shouts of sex discrimination because oestrogel is unavailable ( and i thought it was a manufacturing issue) and GPs now having to have intensive training in womens health . And all steming from a documentary by Davina Mcall . Maybe Davina could do a documentary on general practice – just imagine how much better off we could be by next year ??? I have to say I do feel a little bit sorry for you blokes right now , taking flak from the entire menopausal population instead of just your own partner/ spouse !