Female doctors are being accused of sexism after they were accused of using male patients as “playthings”.
Male patients, including pregnant women and those with conditions such as Crohn’s disease, were said to be the perfect target for male doctors.
But female doctors have dismissed these claims.
“It is not about men being ‘playthings’ – it is about what they are capable of doing,” said Dr Sarah Whitehead, a female general surgeon at King’s College London.
Dr Whitehead said male patients needed to stop “playing” with female doctors and started to ask more about their medical history and symptoms.
“We have to stop thinking that this is something they can just put on a list and we can’t do anything about it,” she said.
Female doctors have faced criticism for using male partners as “bait” in order to boost their image.
Dr Sarah Green, a consultant female generalist at the University of Bristol, said male partners were a “lot more dangerous” than their female counterparts.
“For us, if we were to go into a male partner, it would be very different to the female partner,” she told the BBC.
“If we’re in a male-to-female partner relationship, it’s going to be more of a ‘we need to be careful because it’s a male person'” Dr Green also said female doctors were less likely to accept male patients’ concerns about their health.
“They may feel very uncomfortable with the idea of being a male patient, but if we’re really keen on getting to the point where we are actually going to do something about that, we’ll just have to have that conversation.”
Male patients have also complained that female doctors are not doing enough to treat men’s symptoms.
Dr Reddy said male doctors needed to accept their role as “part of the male-dominated world” and focus on “solving male pain”.
Dr Redding said male pain patients were being ignored.
“I don’t think they get that it’s not their fault that they’re not getting the attention they deserve,” she added.
“The doctors are doing a really good job of doing what they’re doing.
But if we want to be able to get to a point where there is equality in medicine, it has got to start with us as patients.”
“I feel like there are so many doctors out there, who are really really good at this job and they need to step up and make a real difference.
I want to see more female doctors in the field.”
Dr Whitehead was part of the British Medical Association’s task force which investigated male doctors’ claims of gender bias.
She said: “Male patients need to recognise that the role of a female doctor is to do what a female patient can do and I don’t see that changing.”
If male patients don’t want to talk to a female nurse, I don´t know what will happen.
“This is the way it is.
If a male doctor says to a male nurse, ‘I can help you with anything, but we have a problem here, so you better talk to your doctor’,” she said, referring to male patients.