Religion Magazine

Women and Female Doctors

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
new pashkevilim are up on the walls of Haredi towns calling upon the women of the community to not use the services of male doctors but only to use the services of female doctors.
women and female doctorsThe truth is that intially i understood the pashkevil to be referring to "female doctors", or OBGYNs. Upon rereading the sign, I see it seems to refer to all doctors, and not just OBGYNs. They are calling on women to only get themselves examined by female doctors and not male doctors.
They are also upset at what they seem to think is the refusal of the various kupot cholim to employ and provide female doctors for the community and call upon the people to leave whichever kupat cholim does not make female doctors available.
The good thing about the sign is that, while it quotes things several rabbis have [supposedly] said, it does not bear the signatures of any rabbonim as if this is a call from them. Anybody can print a sign saying whatever they want and nobody can stop them, so this is just a sign from some anonymous person saying what he/she wants - if you ascribe any authority to such signs in general, this one does not even claim any rabbinic authority.
I am wondering why this calls for females to visit female doctors and not male doctors but does not call upon men to only visit male doctors and not female doctors - unless it is specifically referring to gynecologists without explicitly saying so.
I also do not know why the kupot are not providing the necessary amount of female doctors, if the local community is requesting it. Are there not enough available? It is interesting to me that people who do not want their wives and daughters to get higher education, academic degrees and the like, will go ahead and demand female doctors. Maybe they should consider sending their daughters to medical school to ensure there will be enough female doctors available to the women of the community.
People should visit whatever doctor they feel will give them the best care available, whether female or male. Tzniyus can and should be a concern, among other issues, as one takes into consideration many issues when deciding which doctor to use.
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