When the first woman became a star in the male-dominated field
From the moment she entered the field of obstetrics, Alyssa Kish held a special place in the hearts of men.
Kish, 29, was born in Houston, Texas, and went to medical school in New York, where she earned her M.D. in obstetracy.
She earned her medical license in California, then moved to San Francisco, where, in 2016, she started a practice specializing in women’s reproductive health.
Kash says she learned a lot about women’s health from her peers.
For example, she says, she learned that women have different levels of pain.
“There are different kinds of pain,” she said.
“If it’s in the cervix, there’s a lot more pain.
If it’s down the fallopian tube, the pain is less.
And if it’s at the end of the menstrual cycle, it’s less pain.”
Women in the field are sometimes hesitant to share their experiences with women because they don’t want to be judged, but Kish said she’s seen that change.
“It’s not about the women,” she says.
“It’s about the men.”
It’s hard to tell whether Kish’s change in perspective is because she is a better patient, a better provider, or because she has a more authentic view of women’s lives.
But she says she’s learned a few things from her colleagues.
For example, Kish says she knows many women who have undergone hysterectomies, a procedure that involves removing the uterus from the body and inserting it into a vagina.
She is often surprised by how many women are so willing to undergo the procedure.
“You could say it’s the one area where I can really help women,” Kish told The Washington Post in January.
“I’ve been very good at understanding that.
But I have to say that when they say that, they’re talking about a lot of women who are not interested in having it done, who are afraid of it, who don’t think it will be a good experience.”
Kish said that despite her experience, she still struggles to see women in the clinic as patients.
“If I see a woman, I’ll look at her with a kind of pity that I think I would have, if she didn’t have a uterus,” she explained.
Kamp said she is also grateful for the support she has received from colleagues.
She said she would not have come to obstetradiology if she did not feel like she was an equal to women.
“When I think about the impact that I had in my career, and how much I’ve been able to make a difference, it feels like I’ve had a huge role in that,” Kamp said.
Kissel, the Texas-based physician who has a specialty in obstetric and gynecologic medicine, said she feels lucky that she has experienced so much support and compassion from colleagues while being an out-of-state doctor.
She says she believes that she will have to do the same for women in her field.
“This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever had to do,” she told The Post.
“The things that I have learned are going to serve me for the rest of my life.”
Follow Dana Eisen on Twitter at @DanaEisen.