Portraits of volunteer doctors

novembre 23 2008, Categorie: Misc
Dr. Bowers, the first volunteer doctor to help us in Burkina Faso
By Nadine Gary, in charge of relations with voluntary doctors from USA

When I first spoke to Dr. Bowers in October 2007, it was on the phone, she was calling to eagerly offer her medical skills to help FGM victims recover their pleasure and dignity. "It is time for me to give back" she immediately said, embracing Clitoraid's project of going to Africa and volunteering her surgical services in our pleasure hospital in Burkina Faso.

Dr. Bowers is indeed a very skilful surgeon; her resume reads that she graduated from the University of Minnesota medical school in 1986. During her 20+ years as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist she has delivered more than 2,000 babies and has served as Ob/Gyn Department Chairperson at Swedish (Providence) Medical Center and as the only physician member of the Washington State midwifery Board. She is listed among 'America's Best Physicians', is a member-elect of the European Academy of Sciences, and is a member of WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health). She has appeared on numerous television news clips and documentaries and acted a small part in last season's CSI: Las Vegas' 100th episode

Yes, Dr. Bowers is a very popular woman too! She is one of the most renowned gender reassignment surgeons in the world, having undergone the procedure herself. For her, "surgery is an art" that she practices mostly everyday at her clinic in Trinidad, CO. On June 23rd 2008, Dr. Bowers was honored at the Los Angeles film festival for a documentary called Trinidad focusing on her revolutionary work in her clinic located in a very conservative town of the US Midwest. Indeed, Dr. Bowers has to withstand much criticism for who she is and what she does which has led her to embrace the phrase "With great causes come great enemies". However, she has the support of three lovely children that she is most grateful for. Two of them are in their teens and are already involved in humanitarian projects. Lately, they have been speaking of following their mom to Burkina Faso and helping her in her new endeavor to help others!

Dr. Bowers went to Paris in April 2008 to be trained by Dr. Foldes on how to perform the reconstructive surgery of the clitoris on FGM victims. In November, she will receive her last training from Dr. Foldes, at her clinic in Trinidad, CO where five FGM patients living in Canada and the US (including the young lady who wrote us the heart wrenching testimony below) will be treated. Dr. Bowers will offer her services for free to FGM victims not only in Africa but in the USA as well and her anesthetist has decided to do the same, allowing FGM patients to be operated on at minimal medical cost in North America.

Dr. Bowers is truly looking forward to helping these women and says: "I like taking on difficult causes. That is the reason I am so excited about performing the FGM reversals. Because they are humanitarian in nature and because they have so many potential benefits in terms of camaraderie and goodwill around the world, I am possibly more excited about this project than any other thus far. My goal, as you may know, is to not only help these women directly but also, like Dr. Foldes, improve upon the surgery and teach it to other capable surgeons with a similar mindset so that greater options are available for victims and their families".

Dr. Betty Dodson: “I definitely want to support CLITORAID at 100%”

By Sylvie Chabot
A doctor with an international notoriety, Betty Dodson, PH. D., artist, author and sexual educator, was known as a painter in erotic art, then became militant for the liberation of women’s sexuality in the sixties and seventies.

From then on, she never stopped helping thousands of women in fulfilling their sexuality so that they learn to appreciate their sexual organ and experiment orgasm through masturbation. Dr Dodson has published several books on this subject and has hosted workshops with women groups in her Manhattan studio.

It was on August 2006, that I went to her New York office to meet her. Betty Dodson then welcomed this project with much enthusiasm.  As soon as she took knowledge of CLITORAID’s objectives and its mission with the excised African women, which the goal is of enabling them to recover their pleasure thanks to the surgical operation developed by Dr Foldes, Betty immediately answered: "Yes, I definitely want to support CLITORAID at 100 %". Her role in the association will thus be of helping women before and after their operation.

Since then, many communications and meetings between Clitoraid and Dr Dodson went by; a complete tailor made education program was conceived by Dodson and her team and already sent to Clitoraid. The goal being of helping operated women to educate themselves to sexual pleasure, learning to like their new sexual organ. This program first includes very specific and solitary stimulation exercises, to later on be comfortable in sharing a new sexuality with a partner. This approach takes time, even a certain discipline. Dr Dodson also had a small light vibrator, efficient and not very expensive, manufactured in order to send it to Africa, the use of a vibrator being an integral part of the reeducation program.

The post-operation education to pleasure is fundamental for the success of our organization, because the mutilated women, once repaired, need to be guided to understand “how it works” and to find within them the essential confidence to reach orgasm. The mutilation that they underwent is not only physical, it is also mental and the post-operation assistance is essential. We all are very honored by the decision of Betty to join us; her experience is a priceless asset.

To know more about Dr. Dodson, we invite you to visit her Website: www.bettydodson.com