Dear Ann Landers, I was upset by the letter from the woman who did not want a male technician to perform a breast sonogram. I am a registered nurse who happens to be a man. According to the latest statistics, less than 5 percent of the RNs in Canada are male.
Discrimination against health-care providers based on gender offends more than just the workers involved. Due to the overwhelming imbalance of women in nursing and other health professions (except physicians), most male patients have no choice but to receive care from women. Why extend to female patients the privilege denied to males -- that of selecting the gender of their caregivers?
Many women who express discomfort with male nurses and other providers are, at the same time, quite comfortable seeing male physicians. Women are doctors, lawyers, engineers, politicians, welders and autoworkers and are involved in other formerly men-only trades and professions. Nobody would suggest that a woman at GM or Ford could only work on certain types of cars. Why treat health-care providers any differently? -- R.N. in Alberta, Canada
Dear Alberta, If, as you have stated, fewer than 5 percent of the registered nurses in Canada are male, you can be sure that the patients up there have very little choice. Male patients are going to be treated by female nurses. Period. The law of supply and demand works in every area of life -- health-care services included.