Why the West’s gynecologist shortage may be the biggest health problem
By Michael P. Breen and David L. PhillipsWest Chester, Ohio—The University of Cincinnati’s gynecomastia clinic is being closed after its chief medical officer announced he would not be returning to the institution this summer because of a lack of funds.
In a statement, Dr. Gary W. Schulz, the associate medical director for gynecological services, said that he has decided to leave the hospital to pursue other opportunities.
The hospital has not released a specific reason for the abrupt decision, but the hospital has been grappling with a significant gynecologic shortage in the last several years.
The number of gynecologists on staff at West Chester is about 80.
That compares to about 1,000 doctors who work in the Cincinnati area, according to the hospital.
Washtenaw County Health Department spokeswoman Susanne DePinho said it has been unable to fill gynecogenomic positions in West Chester for years.
She said the department’s medical director has been meeting with West Chester gynecodists to try to improve the situation.
The department also has been in talks with other medical centers in the state about increasing the number of staff members in their gynecographic departments, DePiroghi said.
The Cincinnati-based American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said last month that the number and quality of gynecolomastia procedures in the United States is among the worst in the world, and the number is expected to continue to deteriorate.
The association’s survey found that gynecologia is the third most common surgical service performed in the U.S., behind dental and surgery.
The shortage is largely the result of the growing number of women choosing not to have children and the fact that they are choosing to avoid some procedures, such as elective hysterectomies.
The report said women who choose to have fewer children are more likely to have higher rates of certain diseases.
“If you think about it, that’s not just the women who are delaying pregnancy, it’s also the women with other health issues that are more often at risk for complications from childbirth,” said Dr. William H. Davis, the association’s president.
Davis said the health and safety risks of having children have been documented, and that doctors should do everything possible to ensure that patients have safe procedures.
“It’s important that we don’t make this choice,” he said.