Please don't waste my time or my Copay

I went to the doctor yesterday. I do that. A lot. Especially lately, but I won't get into that in the interest of TMI. Let's just say that I had to see my OB/GYN about some unexplained, mysterious womanly events that sort of freaked me out. I called my HMO for an appointment, only to be told that my previous doctor moved to another facility, and she didn't have an appointment available that day. The only doctor who could see me that same day was Dr. Ugly Teeth. Hmm...never heard of Dr. Ugly Teeth, but, if he could see me that day, fine. I'm calling him Dr. Ugly Teeth because I feel bad publically bashing (oops--spoiler!) a medical physician by name. And seriously, he had way ugly teeth. And a gross little mustache. Men, take note. Women hate mustaches. Unless you're Burt Reynolds. Which most of you are not. Sorry. Deal with it. Anyway, this man comes into the room and procedes to tell me that my problem is nothing to worry about. Really? Nothing to worry about? Yes, yes, nothing to worry about, and then precedes to explain to me how a woman's cycle works. Yes, this MAN is explaining it to me. ME! A woman who has been pregnant several times, who has gone through countless ovulation kits, pregnancy tests, hormone testing, and heaven knows what other kind of infertility crap. Clearly, he thinks I am misinformed. Now, I don't mind getting explanations from doctors. Actually, usually I like it, because they give me information that helps me make informed decisions about my medical care. But I don't like being talked down to, and I don't like a doctor assuming that I don't know that when a woman isn't pregnant, the lining of her uterus sloughs off, and that's considered the first day of her cycle. Thanks, but I learned that in the fifth grade, compliments of the California public school system. The other thing that drove me nuts is that this man dismissed my concerns about my body. Now, I'll concede that maybe my problem is nothing to worry about. In fact, I hope he's right. I've got plenty of other things to stress about without thinking about my uterus all the time. Still, I'd rather be reassured than dismissed. Doctors, take note. There is a difference. Men, take note again. Women don't like to be dismissed. And what kind of man wants to be OB/GYN in the first place? Dealing with a bunch of hormonal women who are freaking out all the time and trying to regulate a system that makes absolutely no sense and can be thrown off at the slightest provocation? That sounds like fun? Whatever. If it were me, I'd pick something safer. Like podiatry. Women love to have pretty feet. Anyway, I has highly disappointed with my care yesterday, and thoroughly pissed that I had to pay a $10 copay to have a man with bad teeth and nasty facial hair who barely bothered to look at my face, much less any other part my body, tell me that I'm fine. Needless to say, I'm not going back to Ugly Teeth again. I have better things to do with my time and my copay. Like go to Starbucks for some serious almond steamer/chocolate cake therapy. Now there's some medical care I can endorse.


Blogger Tracy M said...

Heather, I am totally smiling- but only because I think most of us out here can totally relate. Unfortunately!

I always wondered what's with men going into OB/GYN too- I mean, kinda presumptuous, thinking that reading about my body makes you an expert, when I live with it everyday? That said, my current OB is an man, and I love him, so I guess Im a hypocrite! (But he is so sensitive an always listens to me and lets me call the shots about my body...:)

With you on the mustache thing. EEEWWWW! Creepy perverts or the Beastie Boys- neither, thank! Although, I have to add Tom Seleck to the "OK, I Can Live With It" mustache list.

I hope everything is ok for you. I hate thinking about my uterus too.

2/09/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger nestle said...

Kev's in med school, not planning on going into ob/gyn stuff because he wants to do peds but he wants something to solve and mentally stimulating as well as continuity of care. He's thought about OB because he said it's constantly challenging and a constant problem to solve (medically, not womanly, I know I called him on it). I've also talked to some Men and Women OBs to see what the life is like for one of those Drs to see if Kev might be interested in it. Both Drs (partners, male and female) said it's the one field in medicine that is challenging all the time. They said every single case is different and it is very mentally stimulating. That is tantalizing for a lot of men. Plus I think their draw is to see if they can figure out a cure for women's hormonalness. Kev came home after learning about women hormones and looked at me and said "You poor thing. Women's hormones have no rhyme or reason to them. The fluctuate all the time." ummmmm duh? Anywho that's why they like it anyway. I've been doing my homework.

2/09/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Not only a dismissive doctor, but one with ugly teeth AND a mustache. Yuck! I learned in our years of IF treatments that doctors are working FOR me, I'm the boss and can "fire" them at will. I had a doctor who did some testing, but one of the results didn't make sense and so I asked if we could repeat that. He basically threw a fit, so he was fired. I found a new RE, told him what I was looking to do and he agreed and even complimented me for being more informed than the other doctor. I loved him! (And he did the procedure that gave us dd, so I doubly love him).

Another one. I went to a dentist, chosen right off of my insurance list. He was nice, did a good cleaning and then when he went to fill my cavity (bad teeth!), he had shaky hands. My mouth was not only being drilled in, but my whole head was being jostled around by the poor man's shaky hands. It was scary seeing the instruments come at me, flailing around in his unsteady hands! He was nice, but I fired him too.

Anyway, that's a lot of talk from me today. I hope your uterus is okay.

2/09/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


Ok, I'll add Tom Selleck to the list, too. But that's pretty much it, I think.

I like the idea of firing doctors, but it can be difficult to find one you like, especially when you need somebody right away and you are a slave to the HMO. I actually think there are some situations where an HMO can be very helpful and necessary, but I have yet to be satisfied with how my HMO handles OB/GYN issues. It's very frustrating.

2/09/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger moddy said...

How frustrating for you to have to deal not only with "womenly" problems, but a crappy dr as well. My last male dr freacked me out so bad(He was blind in one eye and kept looking at me funny out of his good eye, it totally weirded me out!!!! that was he wouldn't listen to a thing I said) that I swore I would only see a female dr, perferrably a CNM after that.

2/09/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

I'm diabetic, and I've seen so many crappy, clueless doctors. Don't get me started!

2/09/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Beanie said...

When I was younger, growing up I thought that I would only see a female Dr. for my female needs. In the past 5 years, I have had both male and female Dr.'s, for both female and other needs. Moving 5 times in 5 years is part of the reason that I have had so many. It was like playing musical doctors! (and the worst part was when I found a dr. that I really liked, we moved) Our family Dr. now is a man, I just switched OB/GYNs from a female to a male, I like my Dr.s now and will be staying. I have decided that how I feel about the Dr.s I see isn't really determined by if they are male or female. Males and females think differently, treat patients differently, etc. and some are more in tune to their patients than others. And when I find Dr.s that I like, I don't care how far I have to drive to see them. (right now for both I drive 30-45 min. in good traffic) As far as copays go, I would love a $10. copay. Again depending on where we live and what insurance plan and/or company we have it has usually been $15. and now $20. (But I guess that's the price for being able to see whoever I want)

I guess you could always try to find a Dr. that you like and hope that he/she is young...meaning that he/she is a long way from retirement and you could go to them forever!

2/09/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger fMhLisa said...


It's definitly time to eat cake.

2/09/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok. I can't believe I am admitting this...but here it goes:
Went to get a pap
Doc called with a need to re-pap
Came in the room after his examining the week before: tells me I have genital warts
I freak out...ask my husband who he slept with before we were married
Wait a sec...wouldn't I SEE/FEEL/EXPERIENCE warts? Wouldn't husband have them too?
Told doc husband and I had ONLY slept with one another, an STD was impossible
Doc looks at me like I am nuts.
He was french-that's not a commentary on THE FRENCH...just fleshing out the story
Turns out it's HPV and genital warts is another name for HPV
Never went back to see that doctor
A few weeks later was flashed way too close to my face by a man on the subway...of course I remember HIS genitals more than his face, but I could have sworn it was the doctor.

Consulted a mormon GYN
He said HPV is a catchall diagnosis for any abornmally-shaped cell and what is abnormal at one lab can be normal in another.
HPV showed up again a few years later after several NON-HPV paps.
The correlation: I was nursing with the first HPV pap and pregnant with the second HPV pap...I think my hormones somehow make the cells a different shape.

No matter what I am going to be vigilent about my paps so that I detect cervical cancer early, if that is what these coming and going HPV's mean...

There's my experience. enjoy.

2/09/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous--thank you so much for sharing! I had exactly the same experience (minus the flashing part...). Had abnormal pap, further testing Doc said HPV. When I told her it was impossible she just shrugged like there were obviouly things I didn't know about in my marriage. Had a total freak out on DH, wanted to know who "SHE" was, etc, etc. Mine was cancerous however. So when I went to the oncologist I brought it up with him (much more timidly I might add). He said that HPV is extremely common and alluded to the fact that it is not just transmitted sexually. So what your GYN said makes a lot of sense.*sigh of relief*
Yes, I highly advise annual check-ups as well! I've never missed one--mine showed up in a year. The good news is that it is easily curable when caught early!

2/09/2006 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth-W said...

I have never had a male doctor look at anything below my belly button or above my knees. I've thought for a long time that maybe I was prejudging men and that I was male doctor phobic. Now, I am feeling a bit less so. My CNP who I have seen for the last couple annuals has moved, so later this year when I'm due, I thought I would just go the the family practice guy I see for the occasional sinus infection; I should be less neurotic/biased, right? After your post, I'm thinkin' I'm going to find another female NP.

2/09/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger D-Train said...

Heather, what you don't understand is that when little girls become big girls, they start to......


2/09/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Ariel said...

"And what kind of man wants to be OB/GYN in the first place? If it were me, I'd pick something safer. Like podiatry. Women love to have pretty feet."

Oddly enough, we were discussing this in one of my nursing class today. We were talking about what we want to specialize in, and on guy said he wanted go into ob/gyn. He then turned red and said "not that I want to be looking at women all the time, but... *insert faraway look here* delivering babies would be the most wonderful job in the world." This is a guy with a handle on what is important in life, and that's why he wants to work in women's health. Another student commented "Well, that's a lot better than podiatry. Feet are so gross." Pretty much everyone agreed. So, from the people who see it all, it's official- uteruses are much cooler than feet.

2/09/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger hans said...


I have seen and met so many docs in the last two years, my mind reels at the experiences.

Good for you, in firing Mr. Weird Teeth!


2/10/2006 01:15:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs. M said...

Heather, your experience doesn't sound nice at all. I'm glad you got rid of that guy.

My one experience with a female ob/gyn was not good. She was very rough physically and not at all easy to talk to. So, I left.

Just wanted to agree with Beanie, that what matters most is the quality of the care you receive.

2/10/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

HPV? Warts? Holy cow, I think I'd flip out. Thanks for the heads up.

Also, I can imagine that most GYNs can not possibly believe it when you tell them that you've only had one partner, and that he's only had you. My cousin said her Dr. told her that it's not uncommon for a woman to have only one partner, but that she had never, NEVER seen a couple that had only been partners with each other. Pretty sad, if you ask me.

2/10/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

"And what kind of man wants to be OB/GYN in the first place? If it were me, I'd pick something safer. Like podiatry. Women love to have pretty feet."

Ok. Pediatricians can be hired for as little as sixty to ninety thousand dollars a year.

OB/GYNs commonly make $800k plus a year.

So, if you don't make it into surgery (I depose surgeons a couple years out of residency who are routinely making $2kk to $3kk) and are interested in money

... or ...

if you really want to do something involved with life (a friend's son almost dropped out of becoming a surgeon after his OB/GYN rotation because it was so real and life affirming) it is easy to become an OB/GYN.

Money on the one side, life and affirmation and doing something useful and real on the other.

It is easy to see why so many men like the field.

2/10/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tigersue said...

The funny thing is more and more Dr.s are leaving the field because of high liability insurance costs.
Anyway as to why do men become ob/gyn's, I came to understand with my Doctor why he did after I had my last baby 3 months ago.
He came into my room the 2nd day and I was holding her in my arms. He looked at her and his face softened, and he said, "I just love them at this age". He went into this because of the baby, and wonderment of being part of bringing children into this world.
As a Newborn ICU nurse, I understand it, every delievery is a challenge, you never know what to expect and the miracle is so amazing that it never becomes common place.
Oh by the way, my Dr. has a mustache and I love him, he is the best around, but in men in general they can leave them.

2/11/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Ok, I guess the baby thing is pretty cool. I was thinking more along the lines of dealing with crazy, whacked out women whose hormones are completely wild and they are not getting pregnant and are demanding that you fix it.

Not that I, um, have ever done anything like that. Unh-unh.

2/11/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tigersue said...

Thinking of the hormone things, the neonatologist that I used to work with had this great story, of years ago when Ibuprofen was still a prescrition med, he would write out scrips for the nurses on the unit.
He got called by the state medical board wondering why on earth a Neonatologist, who's practice is working with sick newborns is writing out all this prescriptions for Ibuprofen. His answer, you work with 40 women, you start to give them what they need to keep them happy, and the unit functioning effectively. I thought it was great.

2/13/2006 07:02:00 PM  

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