Monday, September 10, 2007

Gender Rotation

In some forms of Eastern mythology it is possible for someone (male or female) to alternate the polarity of the body's "yin" and "yang" with enough rapidity to impregnate one's self. This is less likely to occur to the individual whose doctor is dictating reports which document standard practices in Western medicine.
Unfortunately, at one point during his dictation, a doctor may accidentally change the patient's gender. Having done so once, it is just as easy to switch the patient's gender again. In situations where gender is not readily identifiable by the patient's first name, a transcriptionist has no way of knowing whether the patient is male
or female.

In other situations, an exhausted physician reading notes from a patient's chart as he dictates a report might inadvertently claim that a 52-year-old white male's past history includes a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
A new twist on gender identification involves the growing population of male-to-female and female-to-male transsexuals. When dictating reports on these people be sure to identify in which direction the patient's gender has been or will be changed. For example:

"This patient is a 35-year-old male-to-female transsexual who comes to the Emergency Room complaining of a ash......"

Next: Plurals and Tenses

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