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Board allows gynecologists to treat more men


(Reuters) - A U.S. professional group that certifies obstetricians and gynecologists 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 Gynecology (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 gynecologists and others who said the policy interfered with medical research and prevented them treating male patients with chronic pelvic pain.

Some obstetricians and gynecologists 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 diplomats 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 Thursday.

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


The Dallas-based board eliminated requirements that said certified members treat only women and must devote at least 75 percent of their practice to obstetrics and gynecology, 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 gynecologists 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 gynecologists in the United States.

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

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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oscargarcia11b February 03 2014 at 8:50 PM

two reasons why a man should see a gynecologist. 1. if said man grows a vagina. 2. to see her vagina. :)

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Pietro February 02 2014 at 10:15 AM

Interestingly, FYI 90% of OB GYN in residency trainging now are female. IF an OB GYN wants to treat males for hormone testosterone replacement, liposuction, sexual dysfunction, or more importantly infections such as chlamydlia GC, or Warts. They will be helping the overall medical care to the couple.

This will probably only change the practice in 5% or less of the OB GYNs.

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jeff_jones53 February 02 2014 at 10:10 AM

Take a look at this. Google the term ''FAST MARKET CASH'' and go to the top site. Click on their PENNY STOCK page to see how you can score a ton of cash on Monday.

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JC February 02 2014 at 10:09 AM

I know why many men should see a gynecologist, but if I got specific about it this post would be deleted.

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Swordfish February 02 2014 at 10:44 AM

Haha, see comment below!

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endmillll February 02 2014 at 9:57 AM

OMG i bet the gays will love this.

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thosholzel February 02 2014 at 9:49 AM

"Distraction"? It's just the guild system of blocking free enterprise. Open up the number of medical students and you would increase greatly the number of doctors (just like the huge number of lawyers) and cause a significant drop in medical costs. and doctors fees, of course, which is why it has no chance of happening.

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Pietro February 02 2014 at 10:18 AM

TRy 4 years college, 4 years med school, 4 years training, and see what you should be paid, to cover 4 employees per physician to run a practice

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Frank February 02 2014 at 11:01 AM

Sure, just what we need more doctors who are less qualified. Plus you have the republicans fighting helping student, how do you expect the kids to pay for all the years it takes?

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callie7918 February 02 2014 at 9:49 AM

Ok, a Doctor is a Doctor, if he has the specific training to treat patients with specific conditions. I've seen a Gynecologist for low testostrone. His training on this condition and other hormorne issues, was learned at a nationally know genetics institute.

He ran the blood panel to see where I needed to be and prescribed the level of testostrone to self administer. I have every confidence in him to treat me for this condition and I might add, I don't feel all unconfortable walking into his office to be treated.

For the record, my wife is also being treated by him for low hormore issues. She had a hystorectomey more than two decades ago. He treatment has made a positive change in her moods and our physical relationship is as good or better than when we were in our 20's and 30's.

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innerfortitude February 02 2014 at 9:48 AM

Could it be that they are losing money from home births, and midwives? Yes they are trained surgeons, but this country already has plastic surgeons, urologists, etc....why the big push?

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imatoolman February 02 2014 at 9:47 AM

Bunch of Pansies American Men are................................

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Al February 02 2014 at 9:34 AM

More dysfunctional stuff to read. Why dont we just go to the veterinarian and make one trip with the family and Pets?

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Pietro February 02 2014 at 10:08 AM

men are pigs anyway

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oscargarcia11b February 03 2014 at 8:51 PM

if men are pigs, what does that make women who love men?

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