A gynecologist asked Twitter what features his new office should include, and all women (and people who require gynecological care) will be able to relate to the replies
Why is it that in the year of our Lord 2021, going to the gynecologist still sucks so bad? Like, we have the technology to land human beings on the moon. We all carry tiny computers in our pockets all the time. How hard is it to, I don’t know, warm up any device that’s going to be inserted inside someone before it goes in? You have to wonder how things would be different if it were men who required a yearly trip to the gyno — can’t you just envision the mugs of beer and platters of chicken wings that would be freely available in the waiting room?
Luckily, some doctors are clueing into the fact that women (and nonbinary people and all others who require gynecological care) want more from their experiences with their gynecologists. Dr. Ryan Stewart, a urogynecologist based in Indianapolis, is about to launch his own practice. But before he draws up the blueprints for his new office, he decided to go to the real experts: He asked the people of Twitter who have received gynecological care to weigh in on what would have improved the experience for them.
“How would you design/optimize a visit to the gynecologist’s office?” he wrote. “No detail is too small.”
The replies were, unsurprisingly, everything.
Several focused on one of the most potentially triggering parts of visiting any doctor: Being weighed. A few different people asked that scales be put somewhere private, and that patients be given the ability to opt out of being weighed — or at least to be able to use the scale in a way that they themselves can’t see the number on it.
The process of changing out of your clothes and into an exam gown was another area where people suggested a lot of much-needed improvements.
And while we’re on the subject of better privacy for patients, how about angling the beds so their exposed vaginas aren’t pointed directly at the exam room door?
Naturally, temperatures came up more than a few times. Many people on the thread wanted thermostats in each exam room, which is a genius idea. But more than that, warm up the stirrups and instruments before they touch our bare skin, please.
In addition to things that would make the gynecologist’s office more comfortable, there were also many suggestions that would make it more welcoming and inclusive. Gowns and equipment in a wide range of sizes are a must, as are lifts to help people get onto the exam tables if they’re unable to climb up there themselves.
All in all, the thread is one that will have a lot of women (and other people who need gynecological care) nodding along. These are pretty obvious fixes that would help improve the entire experience, and it’s about time someone asked for these kinds of recommendations.