US gynaecologists may now treat male patients

accreditation
iStock

A US professional group that certifies obstetricians and gynaecologists has loosened a decades-old restriction on its board-certified members treating male patients, after mounting pressure from doctors and researchers.

The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ABOG) had previously said members could not treat male patients except in specific circumstances, such as circumcising babies, treating transgendered patients, and helping couples overcome infertility.

However, opposition had mounted from gynaecologists and others who said the policy interfered with medical research and prevented them treating male patients with chronic pelvic pain.

Some obstetricians and gynaecologists had also been treating men for cancer, problems such as low testosterone, and cosmetic procedures including liposuction.

"This change recognizes that in a few rare instances board certified diplomates were being called upon to treat men for certain conditions and to participate in research," Dr Larry Gilstrap, ABOG's executive director, said in a statement.

"This issue became a distraction from our mission to ensure that women receive high quality and safe health care."

A majority would suffice

The Dallas-based board eliminated requirements that said certified members treat only women and must devote at least 75% of their practice to obstetrics and gynaecology, saying instead a majority would suffice.

The policy change matters because board certification, while not legally mandated, is viewed as a paragon of safety by many hospitals, patients, and insurers.

It was intended to protect patients when some gynaecologists who were board-certified by the group were practicing in areas outside the board's expertise, such as plastic surgery, ABOG spokesman David Margulies said.

First adopted in the 1930s, the policy had been ignored or opposed by doctors in some corners over the years, and the board had built a list of complicated exceptions over the past months, Margulies said.

"The whole thing became a distraction from the idea that we are here to certify people, to make sure that they have the training they need," Margulies said.

ABOG says on its website it is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies obstetricians and gynaecologists in the United States.

It examines and certifies more than 1 700 obstetricians and gynaecologists and sub-specialists in maternal-foetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, gynaecologic oncology and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery each year.

 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2300 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
48% - 9926 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
37% - 7644 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 759 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.65
-1.6%
Rand - Pound
20.06
-1.1%
Rand - Euro
16.93
-1.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.54
-0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.7%
Gold
1,762.44
-0.7%
Silver
19.81
-1.7%
Palladium
2,138.50
-1.0%
Platinum
926.50
-1.2%
Brent Crude
92.34
-3.0%
Top 40
64,168
-0.9%
All Share
70,967
-0.8%
Resource 10
63,227
-3.3%
Industrial 25
87,430
+0.4%
Financial 15
16,160
-0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE