Women and Doctors

by John M. Smith. Atlantic Monthly, $20.95. Dr. Smith, a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, after much experience in observing the mistakes of his colleagues (usually because he has been called upon to correct them), has come to believe that men simply should not be gynecologists and obstetricians. In support of this heresy, he offers, from his own practice, horror stories of incompetence, irresponsibility, greed, and vulgar disrespect. He describes the kind of technical and mental training that male doctors receive before being turned loose on female patients. He also provides practical guides for detecting an untrustworthy doctor and information on the conditions that lead women to a gynecologist in the first place, noting that some of these conditions can be, and sometimes are, used to promote needless surgery. His denunciation may not correct the OB-GYN trade, but should encourage more women to enter it.