Purpose and Mission
Sexual and reproductive health is a broad medical specialty that touches on a variety of branches of medicine, including outpatient gynaecology, contraception provision, sexual health, and public health. While it is generally considered a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynaecology today, sexual health is clearly heading toward becoming a medical specialty in its own right.
Sexual health doctors work with patients to diagnose and control sexual problems. Their primary focus is work with patients to treat the underlying causes of the sexual dysfunction, and treatment may include dietary changes, exercise, physical therapy, medications, surgery and medical devices.
Some sexual health doctors work in private practices, but a growing number are directly employed by hospitals and clinics all across Australia.
Those in private practice are overseen by the management of their group and the medical committee of the hospitals where they practice. Sexual health physicians who work as employees usually report to a department head.
Sexual health doctors may have notable supervisory responsibilities, especially in terms of managing a patient care plan and supervising professional staff at a private practice. Doctors with less experience most often have fewer supervisory responsibilities and focus on patient care.
Physicians must earn a bachelor’s degree to qualify for admission to a four-year medical school program. After medical school, a sexual health doctor completes a three- or four-year clinical residency (most often OB/GYN) to learn from experienced colleagues.
Doctors are required to register with the Medical Board of Australia and other agencies to practice medicine in Australia. Those who desire to specialize in sexual health must successfully complete their residency and at least one year of additional training in sexual and reproductive health.
Responsibilities of a Sexual Health Physician
Sexual health physicians are doctor who specialise in the management of sexual problems. Primary responsibilities include taking histories of sexual behaviours, managing sexually transmitted diseases, treating HIV patients, and educating patients and their partners about sexual transmitted diseases. Specific duties include: