Finding a good gynecologist may be a lifetime quest for some women. The lucky ones met a professional they like and are comfortable with even since their adolescence. Others switch doctors for plenty of reasons, many being related to hard-to-make-appointments, offices running behind schedule, or specialists not spending enough time to tend to their needs.
While many American women struggle to get an appointment – we will see why in a few moments – others ignore the general recommendations of seeing their gynecologist at least once a year. However, you have zero reasons to do so and we will explain why.
Young doctors spend more than a decade in order to become gynecologists, and this is just the beginning of their career. Gynecology involves surgery as well, so gynecologists are some of the most trained medical specialists. They have to get their certifications and they have to learn and train for the rest of their careers. Most gynecologists also deal with general healthcare, so they also offer support for dermatological problems, weight problems, mood swings, cancer screenings, and so on and so forth.
In other words, your gynecologist knows everything there is to know and then some, so all you need to do is find one you trust with your body and your emotions and allow this professional to tend to your life. It does not matter if you feel more comfortable with a woman or a man – these professionals spend more time than the average learning, training, and evolving as experts and humans.
Back in the day, a visit to the gynecologist came with its fair share of embarrassment and mixed feelings. Sometimes a routine control made people feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it hurt. Today, medical advancements allow gynecologists to perform procedures in full safety and comfort for the patient. Today, gynecologists work with minimally invasive imaging technology, superior ultrasound technology, 3D models, hi-tech mammography devices, and many more.
The advanced technology for prevention and intervention saves the specialists time, eliminates diagnosis errors, make the patients’ lives easier and more comfortable, allows for specific and safe interventions (including surgery), and saves more lives more efficiently. Now you have another reason not to skip a gynecologist’s appointment ever again.
One of the biggest problems of today is finding a good gynecologist. Given the high demands of training and working as a gynecologist, the constant chaos in the healthcare industry, and the high rates of retirement, this field of medicine became vulnerable to shortage. In the United States, some metropolitan areas did not have a gynecologist at all.
A shortage in such a profession is a national public health crisis, therefore authorities and medical associations began taking measures.
While we still have to deal with a shortage, the good news is that today, gynecologist employment is decent. While such a professional still has to deal with thousands of patients each year, specialists in the labor department expect the employment rate to grow as much as 24% by 2024.
The best news, however, is that states such as North Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, and Massachusetts, among others, are working to attract gynecologists to urban, rural, and poor areas, by offering jobs, good salaries, career opportunities, and benefits to the doctors willing to relocate and work there.
If you did not find a gynecologist to trust so far, you will soon find one and you should better keep that appointment because the office will probably swarm with more patients each year in the nearest future.
As we said above, gynecology is a complex medical field, connected with almost all medical fields. Your annual well-woman visit to your gynecologist may help you prevent other health issues you never thought you had to deal with. The annual talks, screenings, tests, and analyses you follow with the support of your gynecologist may help you with the following issues:
· routine examinations and health screening;
· diet and exercise;
· overall medical care, whether or not it relates to the reproductive system;
· height, weight, and body mass index (BMI);
· diabetes testing;
· thyroid testing;
· STIs testing;
· colorectal cancer screening;
· breast cancer and cervical cancer screening;
· bone mineral density screening.
Moreover, a visit to a gynecologist may open the path to solving sexual problems and even issues related to neglect or abuse.
Your gynecologist can refer you to other medical specialists after such screenings, tests, and talks, being thus able to help you prevent and treat serious diseases, such as cardiovascular ones, diabetes, glandular illnesses, and more.
If you think your annual visit is just about a Pap smear, you should reconsider. In fact, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women ages 30 to 65 who have had negative Pap test results in the past should have a new Pap test once every five years. This test should also come together with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test. If you are 30, however, it does not mean you should wait to see your gynecologist only when you reach the age of 35.
The ACOG stands behind the annual well-woman visit – a visit to a friend, if you want, a friend who can either save your life or help you prevent other health issues.
Gynecologists represent the first line of defense when it comes to women’s health. They are excellent at what they do – even if they are busy and behind schedule – and they are highly qualified to tend to your needs. They can educate, prevent, and treat a great number of problems, and they can be the best allies in your fight for a good quality of life.
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