As patients, sometimes our biggest downfall is almost always not asking enough questions or not being critical enough of what is being said and done with regards to our health and wellbeing. This is particularly the case when as women we are pregnant and going through the nine months leading up to birth for the very first time.
One of the best thing we can do as patients is to arm ourselves with the right information about our rights to ensure that we get the best medical care and stay safe during our medical care. A recent article published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology highlighted psychiatry, general practice and obstetrics-gynaecology as the three fields where sexual misconduct is most likely to occur adding that, “Over the past year at least six gynaecologists have landed in the media spotlight after sexual misconduct allegations.”
But doctor sexual misconduct is not the only matter in the spotlight, so is doctor expertise. “Obstetrician-gynaecologists face a crisis of public confidence,” says Dr David I. Shalowitz, the chairman of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ Committee on Ethics.
Look for these red flags to know if your gynae’s behaviour and expertise is above board:
A doctor who does not maintain professional boundaries
Doctors are providing a medical service and should be professional. If you feel that they are crossing the line by their sexual or romantic gestures toward you.
Doctors rooms where you are not free or don’t feel free to bring a chaperone
As a patient you’re within your right to reqeuest a chaperone and the doctor should have a policy in place to include a chaperon every exam room
You can’t find their medical credentials
Medical professionals, including gynaecologists are required to register with their practices, qualifications etc with doctors professional bodies such as the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCA)
The hospital they operate with an untrustworthy hospital
You will have your doctors appointments and your delivery at the hospital your doctor is affiliated with so ensure that you are satisfied with the quality standards of the hospital.
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