From trashing the BMI to having handicap-friendly spaces, Twitter users were full of great ideas to make gynecologists' offices more comfortable.
Earlier this month, a urogynecologist took to Twitter to ask users on the platform what they would want to change about doctors' offices if ever given the opportunity to do so. Dr. Ryan Stewart, a urogynecologist based in Indiana at the Midwest Center for Pelvic Health, was curious about how women would want to redesign their OB-GYNs' offices for greater comfort and to optimize their visits. Responses to the Twitter post, which has gone viral since it was first posted on December 5, are absolutely on point. The tweet has even inspired other specialty doctors to ask what their patients would change about their offices, BuzzFeed reports.
Thank you for this. You’re not the only one to offer this reminder. I appreciate it. (Please take a look at my reply as well.) https://t.co/yM7qAil6bN— Ryan Stewart (@stuboo) December 5, 2021
"I have the opportunity to design my office from scratch," Dr. Stewart explained in his post. "I’m asking [folks who may need gynecologic care]. How would you design/optimize a visit to the gynecologist’s office?" He told users to consider problems, frustrations and solutions. He continued, before asking folks to share his tweet, "No detail is too small. If I’ve ever had a tweet worthy of virality, it’s this one." The urogynecologist has received hundreds of responses to his tweet, with many people highlighting some of the common discomforts they face while visiting their own gynecologists.
I once went to an OB/GYN office that had a light switch (reachable from exam table)that lit up outside the door to let provider know I was changed. Significantly decreased wait time sitting in gown since no one was guessing if I was ready.— Mary Brock (@mgbrock) December 5, 2021
One Twitter user shared, "Please have images of Black women in the office. I haven't visited a gynecologist's office yet with this type of representation. Also, privacy is key. I shouldn't fear that the door will swing open exposing me in the middle of my examination." Another added, "Do not make the end of the exam table face the door and have a curtain! I worked at a clinic where every room was the opposite of what I’m suggesting and it was horrible and embarrassing!" The latter was a problem many shared; another user chimed in: "My number one pet peeve. I once had an emergency exam requiring consultation. There wasn't enough room at the end of the table for three doctors so they kept the door open. I was exposed to everyone walking in the hall. Male gynecologists should spend a few minutes in the stirrups to get how it feels."
I'm really over the "can you scoot down further, nope little more, littttle more".... like, can u have an adjustable table that MOVES ME to the right position instead of making me feel like I'm about to faceplant my Dr with my lady bits.🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/XbfDlePIbb— ❤🤍💙Trisha Mott-Boone❤🤍💙 (@Trishamott) December 6, 2021
Inspired by the tweet, a man asked his wife what she would want to change. "From my non-Twitter-using wife: offer painkillers," he posted after consulting his wife. "Don’t make people ask [or] have to know to ask. Anyone getting a cervical biopsy should be offered the same suite of painkillers and anxiety drugs I was for my vasectomy." One user pointed out the need for greater accessibility. They stated, "Find women who are wheelchair/cane/walker/prosthetic users, and ask them what they need most. Wider hallways, exam tables that actually DO lower, more than one bathroom that is fully handicap friendly BY HANDICAP USERS CHECKLIST, not some random contractor." Meanwhile, another user addressed the need to do away with fatphobic processes. "Remove the BMI from your practice because it's racist sexist eugenicist garbage," they shared. "Allow patients to opt out of being weighed. Ask, 'Have you gained/lost an amount of weight that doesn't make sense given your lifestyle, or otherwise concerns you?' instead."
Remember at least 1 in 10 people will be a sexual assault survivor.— #MaskUp😷 (@Anneredmond13) December 7, 2021
Rather than asking a direct question such as “Have you ever been assaulted?’, a physician should try, “Have you ever had any unwanted sexual experiences ?
Ask: What can I do to make your visit and exam easier?
Evidently, patients want to change rather significant things about their gynecologists' offices. However, other doctors from different specialties were curious about their own offices. So, they asked the same question. For instance, oncologist Dr. Mark Lewis joined in and asked people for ways to make his own office experience better for patients. "[I] love urogynecologist Dr. Stewart asking for input on ideal office design and want to ask the oncology community something similar," he posted. "Given that no one wants to come to a cancer doctor or an infusion suite for chemo, what makes the experience MOST comfortable?" Hopefully, more doctors join in and make their spaces as comfortable as possible for their patients.
My OBGYN has hilarious warmers over the stirrups, which always make me laugh. There's another room that says "I Hate" & "This Part". They also make me feel like the office understands how awkward and uncomfortable these appointments can be, despite their best efforts. pic.twitter.com/UidkvHjrR3— Dr. Jay Phab, PharmD, BCPS (@PhabPharmaDoc) December 5, 2021