We explore the dark history of the foundations of surgical gynecology and its "father", J. Marion Sims, inventor of the vaginal speculum, who performed experiments on enslaved women without anaesthesia in the mid-1800's, and learn about the ways in which the legacy of racism and sexualization towards black folks has persisted and developed to have a measurable effect on health outcomes.
This summer, I went to my clinic to see a general practitioner (GP) for an annual check-up.
Officially I’m a certain GP’s patient, but I see the residents that she supervises whenever I go. When I made the appointment, I did not have any particular concerns, but I wanted to get a pap smear and STI testing.
In the past, I have made some unsafe decisions, and I have also been in situations where a partner has not respected my condom-use wishes. Since then, I have had several clear results from pap smears and STI tests, but I have been going at least once a year as a precaution.