As a healthcare worker, there are sometimes days, weeks and even months that go by when you don’t know if you have truly assisted someone in their healing. In fact, health care can feel like a mostly thankless vocation. And then there are the days when, out of the blue, someone says a genuine thank you, or a colleague appreciates your practice. After reading Dr. J’s responses to my first 9 questions in my last post, I have heard several female readers of mine not only objectify him and his tattoos but also comment that while they had always gone to a female provider, Dr. J’s thoughtful responses have allowed them to reconsider who they would see. A murse (male bodied nurse) who is also in school to become a nurse practitioner, stated that he wanted to learn from Dr. J. Finally, across the board, everyone who contacted me after reading the post wanted to learn more. So here’s more about the man.
10. Is it easier to meet people as a musician or a physician?
It’s usually easier to meet people as a physician at my age. No one is really interested in my punk rock exploits these days. Everyone I meet in the context of bands and shows is usually much younger, so it’s a little hard to relate sometimes. When my worlds collide, it can sometimes be very odd. Sometimes I run into people I knew when I was in college and they don’t know what I do for a living. It tends to be an interesting conversation.
11. Do you have sex with female-bodied people?
Yes, as frequently as possible.
12. Have you changed as a lover as a result of working with female-bodied people?
Not really. I guess its further reinforced what not to do. When I’ve done things during an examination that have been extra-painful, there is a part of my brain that goes: “Note to self, don’t do that in bed.” Otherwise, not too many changes made. There’s nothing sensual about a pelvic exam and if there is, you’re doing it wrong
13. If your partner wanted to have a home birth, would you be down for it?
Good question. I would be fine with it but I would also make sure that I have everything I need as a physician to handle an emergency. Laypeople don’t have that luxury. In my residency there was a saying, “Everything is fine until it isn’t.” When I have a patient who is interested in a home birth, I make sure they understand that childbirth is a joyous, beautiful process that had between a 2-5% mortality rate prior to the practice of modern obstetrics (sources vary, they didn’t keep great records regarding such information prior to the 19th century). A corollary to the above saying is “Nobody needs us until they do.” Some of the worst outcomes I’ve encountered have been after precipitous deliveries in the field, either at home or in an ambulance, intended or otherwise.
Now for the political stuff...
14. Have you ever cared for a Transman with a vagina?
I have not. I think that’s just a function of our patient population though.
15. Woman’s right to choose, thoughts?
It’s indispensable. Honestly, there are few things that get me crazier than dealing with people who are intractably anti-choice. I recognize that it’s a difficult issue politically and there should be a point when it’s too late for a termination. But I agree completely with the reasoning behind the current NY state abortion laws because they are fairly consistent with what the most knowledgeable physicians in the field of fetal physiology have determined to be the earliest limit of viability, meaning the ability for a fetus to survive outside the uterus. That being said, a woman’s right to safe, legal and highly accessible 1st and 2nd trimester terminations is an absolute necessity. The evidence speaks for itself; countries where women do not have access to safe and legal abortions have significantly higher rates of pregnancy-associated morbidity and mortality. But ultimately, effective contraception is the key. Termination of pregnancy always has risks, so the best way to manage an unwanted pregnancy is to not have one by practicing effective contraception.
16. Have you cared for sex workers?
Probably, but none have come out and told me. I tend not to ask too many questions regarding these things. I probably should.
17. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
I do, but I’m not too academic with the issue. I consider myself a feminist because I personally and professionally advocate for women to be independent and empower themselves.
18. What do you want women to know about men?
A lot. If I had to pick one thing it would be that we are, in general, not to be trusted. I guess that sounds super cynical but every day I have so many encounters with so many women whose lives are all sorts of fucked up because they trusted someone they shouldn’t have. I think it’s become worse since so much of our interactions are online now. And it’s very striking in the *patient population I serve because of pretty intense cultural issues regarding gender roles. As I said earlier, I would like to see more women empowered and independent. I think part of that is advocating for yourself and what you want from your life and your relationship. Maybe trust a little less, be a little more careful with your heart, certainly more careful with your body and stop taking so much male bullshit.
*Close to 100% of the population is on Medicaid or Medicare, primary immigrant population from the Caribbean.
19. What exhausts you about your work?
Call. I used to be able to work 80-100 hours a week, no problem. Now, it take me 2 days to recover from a 24-hour call. It’s an unavoidable part of doing obstetrics but it can be really rough sometimes.
20. RICHARD GERE MOVIE….WHEN HE SAYS THAT IF YOU WORK AS A BARISTA AND YOU COME HOME AT THE END OF THE DAY YOU THINK, “IF I SEE ONE MORE CUP OF COFFEE...”?
I had to look that one up. I think Richard Gere’s problem is that he drinks too much coffee.
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FYI: There’s never too much coffee!