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“You know a good gynecologist?” If not, there is a site on the Internet for it

Gyn & co wants to avoid “unhappy experiences in gynecological consultations” by listing “feminist” caregivers recommended by their patients.

On a feminist blog, a woman tells a gynecological consultation that turned to verbal abuse. The article circulates since Thursday October 29 on social networks. And is hard to read until the end. The blogger, who names the doctor, says she wants to file a complaint with the council of order.

On Twitter, he is advised a new site: midatlanticobgyn.com; co . In this database, which can be consulted geographically, according to the rate of reimbursement (CMU, sector 1, …) or needs (abortion, pregnancy monitoring, contraception, menopause …), midwives and gynecologists Feminists “are recommended by their patients via an online questionnaire.

“Pose of IUD to the nullipares”, “pluripartenariat friendly”, “examination à l’anglaise” or “quality of listening” are some of the qualifiers, speaking, which one finds there.

If there was already a site – friendly doctors , Gyn’amp, born in the spring – is the first to evaluate only caregivers who do gynecological consultations.

Gynecological maltreatment

The list is positive. But she speaks, hollow, of multiple negative experiences. We read on the homepage:

“Whether it is discrediting or discrediting, a lack of respect for the integrity of our bodies, a refusal to take account of our choices, even discrimination or violence. “

For the feminist collective behind the project, which he had presented for the first time in the fall of 2014 , “medicine remains a privileged space for the control of identities, bodies and sexualities”. The fact is not new, and Michel Foucault already said it with his concept of biopolitics .

But some recent scandals have brought it up to date, and in the media, there is increasing talk of “gynecological maltreatment” . After the Third Generation pills, the episiotomy or “the point of the husband,” or the superfluous vaginal touch, of which we learned, frightened, that some were  practiced without consent by the students.

Abortion, “dramatic act”

Gyn’amp concedes that “many caregivers work with talent, passion, listening and seek to evolve in dialogue with their patients”. But in particular, it points to the finger, in some cases:

  • The lack of dialogue and the violence of certain consultations;
  • Difficulties in accessing care for women with disabilities or foreign women;
  • Lack of information on the side effects of the pill and difficulty accessing the IUD, or voluntary sterilization;
  • The abortion, “still and always treated as a dramatic act”, neither conditional nor free;
  • Which would remain “a time when women are frequently denied autonomy and freedom of choice”.

Reliability questionable

Many women can only hope that this collaborative list is reliable. But, without falling into paranoia, we can already doubt it.

The only positive experience of a patient allows a physician to figure in it. While this can be followed by multiple negative experiences. On Twitter, a user speaks, for example, of a gynecologist who “almost traumatized” her, and who appears on Gyn’amp, co.

One can also wonder how the site will avoid the malicious gynecologists to defraud.

Then, the results of the questionnaires are not checked with the doctor. And can only be completed by other users in comments. There are almost all the gaps in the contributions: IUDs can very well be done with nulliparous women and pregnancy follow-ups, but this is not mentioned (the site warns of this).

Lastly, evaluation sites of this type must guarantee, according to the CNIL, a number of rights to the individuals that appear there: the right of access, but above all the right of rectification or opposition. The collective was asked if they were guaranteed. For the time being, he did not reply.

“I want to write down the patients! “

But, beyond the information, right or wrong, knowing that this type of evaluation exists can push the caregivers to evolve their practices, can we suppose.

For the blogger and gynecologist Martin Winckler , who is practicing in Canada, the Internet is generally changing the patient-doctor relationship :

“Before, the elites were considered to be morally infallible, but nowadays women do not just tell their bad or good experiences, they publish them. “

That said, caregivers, those we interviewed do not make much of their e-reputation. For example, Cécile Gardas, a gynecologist in Montauban, was told that she was on the list:

“It’s not something I pay attention to. I especially listen to the feedback of my patients. “

Others are downright critical, like Thierry Harvey, head of the maternity department of the Diaconesses (XIIth arrondissement of Paris), for whom:

“This kind of evaluation is very subjective. Some women will have a feeling with such a gynecologist, and not with another. A woman is going to want a very manly guy, another will feel comfortable with a guy who has a big part of femininity, or a female woman, or even a very masculine woman. “

The latter, even if he insists “not worry more than that” to be evaluated online, would like to have “a right of reply or modification”. The doctor, rather brings, ironizes: “I also want to note the patients! Even if we’re talking about a whitelist?

“Yes, because not to appear is to be on the black list, in a way. “

The same goes for Aly Abbara. Although he is webmaster of the website of the National College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of France ( CNGOF ), he says “against this kind of evaluation online”

“You can say anything on the Internet. It has no value. “

Choosing your gyneco, sensitive business

The same as word-of-mouth, could we say. Because ultimately, this kind of list is only the digital version of the gynecologists recommended by girlfriends or women of the family for generations.

“Internet or not, women have exchanged for a long time, in my opinion,” good “addresses or names to advise. The only difference is that the Internet allows this exchange on a larger scale and not personalized, “explains Lucile Ruault, doctoral student in sociology who worked on gynecology.

The choice of the gynecologist is generally more sensitive than that of another doctor, she adds. There are several reasons for this:

  • “Because gynecologists gain access to parts that are considered very intimate parts of the body. “
  • “Because women who consult gynecologists are generally healthy, so they are all the more demanding. Concretely, they will not be relieved of a pain and therefore consider their doctor as a savior.
  • “Because they are going to be followed all or almost their life by this doctor, because of being a woman. “
  • Martin Winckler adds: “Because women exercise their free will fully, not in disease. In gynecology we talk about life choices, contraception, whether or not we have a child, and so on. And we accept as much as the physician makes us remarks about our weight, our sexuality. For what is he mingling with? “

Feminist movements, with the claims of the right to abortion and contraception, took them for gynecologists target since the late 60s and have accelerated this trend.

Just like the Internet, helping patients to be aware of their rights. For Martin Winckler:

“Through the Internet, women know that they are no longer alone in being abused, that it is not” in their heads “. “

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