A comment that male gynaecologists and obstetricians choose their profession “to see women in pain”, has caused fury.

Ms Gemmell claimed a female doctor “friend” told her men become gynaecologists or obstetricians because “they hate women, and like to see them in pain”.

Nikki Gemmell, a journalist for The Australian, explored the topic in an online article questiong “Is it really a job for a man?”.

She explained that two friends who’d recently had their second babies remarked on what they thought were inappropriate comments or actions from male doctors.

“He gave me stitches without even asking me — he was so … invasive. And patronising,” the woman was quoted as saying.

Her opinion piece has attracted huge backlash

Doctors and patients have since responded, referring to Gemmell’s article as “idiotic”, “sexist” and “ill-informed”.

Many women have also taken to social media to weigh in on the debate, backing male gynaecologists.

“Apologies to all the fabulous male gynaecologists and obstetricians. This article decries the wonderful job you do,” one woman posted on Facebook.

“I underwent major surgery for an ovarian cyst that would have been more disastrous, if not for the efforts of my gynaecologist. ‘Is it really a job for a man?’ How about: ‘Does he/she have the professional experience, competency and care for this job?’,” a female patient commented, adding “Don’t base the qualifications on gender. That’s so blindly idiotic.”

“What a load of rubbish! I had a male obstetrician for both my births and I trusted him absolutely … come to think of it, my children’s gentle paediatrician, all my surgeons and specialists have been male too, and I have always been treated carefully and respectfully,” another woman said.

A male obstetrician also commented on the story, saying:

“Thank you for all the supportive comments. I have never regretted my career choice, and remain constantly in awe of women and their families as they negotiate the joy and challenge of creating a family. The power is with them, not us!”

Ms Gemmell appeared on the Today show and said there was a big misunderstanding and her intention was not to downplay or undermine the trust and good work of male doctors in the medical field.

She explained her column was written in response to two very high profile cases in Australia involving male gynaecologists that have performed unnecessary, invasive, butchering techniques on women.

Mums have jumped to the defence of their own male OB’s:

“My obstetrician was a man and a beautiful man at that. I had four very complex pregnancies and was there with me when I had my miscarriage. He was always so kind and caring and never once made me feel as though I was just a number.”

“My obstetrician is a man and I absolutely love him! An amazing gentle and caring man and I feel extremely comfortable. If I didn’t I wouldn’t put mine and my children’s lives in his hands.”

“My oncology gynaecologist is a man and he is the most wonderful, friendly and caring people I have ever met!”

“I have had both female and male gynaecologists and the male one I continued seeing as the female was insensitive, rude and made me feel uncomfortable. I also had a male obstetrician and he was also amazing.”

“I had a male OBGYN and can I just say he was so much better than the woman I’d seen at the hospital, he had so much more empathy and was so very gentle and caring, I am absolutely devastated that he has now retired and a woman has taken over his position.”

“Wow is all I can say I had the same OBGYN for the birth of all 3 of my kids and he was amazing always made me feel comfortable so I disagreed.”

Did you have a male OB? What was your experience like?

Share your comments below

  • Yes my doctor is a gynecologist! A wonderful man who gives himself to other’s and makes great difference.


  • I don’t think you can make sweeping generalizations like that. I haven’t had any bad experiences to date.


  • I saw a male gyn once and he was awful. Didn’t listen to me, got annoyed when I got upset trying to explain my problem, forced me to look at myself with a mirror, and performed unnecessary surgery. I still have the original problem which was finally diagnosed months ago by a female gyn. She was disgusted and said typical, male. I don’t think all men are like that. I have experienced lack of caring from both genders. Some people are more empathetic and some just do it for the money. Perhaps some females like to see other women suffer too? Silly.


  • I don’t agree with this article at all. Not all medical professionals have the same manner.


  • My male OB GYN was amazing. This is a huge generalisation and probably a reflection on poor bedside manner from 1 Dr

    • Generalisations concern me and people should be seen individually not as a collective.


  • What a huge generalisation and a damaging report on professional doctors


  • I once had a male OB who I thought was not having the right attitude.


  • I did have a male obstetrician and he was caring and importantly listened to me and was respectful.


  • So stupid, everyone is allowed a career as theY choose


  • That’s a VERY expensive way to see a woman in pain! Not to mention the years of university, showing up to lectures and tutes, paying attention and studying! This doctor friend either has had a bad experience with a male gynaecologist or she just hates men!


  • Objecting to being given stitches without her consent?? Does she not realise that the staff have a duty of care to their patients??. They have more to do with their time than putting in stitches unless they are needed.


  • This is so stupid. Its like saying that all tradies should be men because they are stronger.

    • Great point! I think it’s a ridiculous statement!


  • Definitely some male doctors are problematic – but so are some female doctors.


  • What nonsense. That’s like saying all people become teachers to watch children suffer.


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