I Fired My Doctor.

05 January 2011

I will preface this post with:  I am not dying.  This was written a bit ago and everything, everything turned out wonderfully.

I was seeing a specialist, in fact the only person in the city {and we’re not in a small town by any means} in that specialty.

At the first appointment it was split into two parts, we waited a half an hour for the first part and another forty-five minutes for the second part.  So if you’re counting the second part of the visit was actually an hour and fifteen minutes after it was supposed to be. 

And I was tired and pissed, but I tried to be understanding that this is a specialist and emergencies pop up, right?

And then I had questions that on the surface seemed pretty simple, but couldn’t be answered.  And their waiting room was like a poster child for every white trash person in the city and reeked of cigarette smoke and weird smells.  And my gut… my gut kept telling me that this was WRONG. 

I shrugged it off and thought maybe I was being an elitist asshole because I didn’t feel well.  I kept chalking it up to nerves which in retrospect, was really really stupid of me. 

I was researching everything online too, talking to other patients, reading medical journals, learning what technology is available, what is normal and what is not and things, they didn’t make sense to me.  And statistics he quoted me, things he actually wrote down as fact didn’t make sense and seemed off from what I was reading.  Off by a lot.  Statistics that shouldn’t be off at all when making decisions about which route to take with my medical care.  Did I mention that he ‘suspects’ {and also wrote that down} that I was a type 2 diabetic even though um, I explained to him I’ve had actual bloodwork done to rule that out and I’m not.  And if you haven’t gathered from all that, he wasn’t really listening when we were having a conversation.  He was talking at me because, I believe he is a pompous fucking asshole.  Ahem.  That is beside the point.

But, this is a specialist and specialists know everything, right?  He is after all the only one in the city.

And then after stewing and freaking out for two weeks, they cancelled an outpatient procedure with less than 24 hours notice due to the doctor’s scheduling conflicts.  I scheduled an appointment two weeks prior and with less than 24 hours to go they just discovered the conflict?  The nurse was really flippant about it too, obviously knowing I was going to be upset by the whole thing she started the conversation with, “Well, I’m probably going to rock your world but we have to reschedule,” in a singsongy voice.  Professional, eh?  Never mind the fact that my husband took two days off work and I found a sitter for half a day and you know um, this has been planned for two fucking weeks.

So I thought about it.  I stewed on it.  And I decided that, you know what?  This isn’t acceptable.  It’s NOT ok for me to feel uncomfortable about this, it’s not ok to feel like someone was shouting in my head, “RUN.  RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN.” 

And when I finally was at peace with everything?  The moment I called the nurse {ten minutes after she called to reschedule} and told her that I would absolutely not be back.  Ever.  I outlined exactly why, just in case there were any misunderstandings and she was genuinely shocked that I wasn’t just going along because, you know he’s the only guy in town in this specialty. 

Fuck that, he’s not laying a single hand on me.

And then I called Dave and told him I fired the doctor and he was as relieved as I was… information he probably should have shared with me before hand.

I’d rather drive an hour each way {in snowy winter} to another big town and see someone who makes me feel like I’m making the right choice in putting my health in their hands.  This isn’t something to be light about and I don’t think enough people put enough stock in that.  The new doctor?  They were able to get me in for an appointment the very next day, have the technology that I was looking for, were able to answer questions without pulling out 12 binders and looking for the answer, and came highly recommended... as in have done hundreds of this procedure, not less than fifty.  Did I mention that she has also published many medical journals in her specialty?  She knows her shit and better than that, I trust that when my life is in her hands, it is well protected.  Dave and I don’t even care that she’s out of network and we’re going to have to pay out of pocket for most of it.

I’m worth it.  

Have you ever fired a doctor?

14 comments:

Bunny @ 86n It said...

We fired Franca's doctor recently. Best decision ever. Her old doctor never spent more than 2 minutes with us, and while her nurse was the bomb, we always left with questions. Their waiting room felt like a truck stop, but with 5 blaring tvs. Then she left the practice with no notification and no one could tell us why. Urgh.
Her new doctor is patient, honest and SO much more on the same page with us. It feels great!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

I'm so happy to hear this! I've been to some terrible doctors, and my most favorite doctors haven't been doctors at all, but nurse practitioners. They have great specialties and none of that pompous attitude. I hope you are well on your way to being 100%!

Amy said...

I fired a doc once... well, she was actually a nurse practitioner. I said I wanted to be tested for PCOS, because I have like every one of the symptoms except the weight issues. She LOOKED at me and said I didn't have it, didn't need to see a doc and I should go home and relax. Sorry, I don't think relaxing is going to make me have a period. New doc, some bloodwork and an ultrasound later, and guess what, PCOS. No fucking shit.

Lori said...

Good for you!!

~*Jess*~ said...

Good for you. That's some shit. Of all fields, the medical field needs to be of utmost professionalism. Jerks.

Anonymous said...

Yes, when I was 15 weeks pregnant. I live in the same town as you and was going to the big group of OB/GYNs that the rest of this city seems to go to. They did something that left a terrible taste in my mouth and I realized then that if they were doing stuff like this now, imagine what they'd be like the rest of my pregnancy.

I immedatiatly found a new OB and called up the old ones to tell them I was done and why, had my records sent over. BEST.DECISION.EVER

I also fired our son's pediatricians, another large group that the entire city goes to. I kept telling them over and over and over again about a breathing issue he had. The blew me off for months, but I knew something was not right. After 9 months, my husband was done. He found a new pediatrician. So I guess he fired them. This was again, the best decision ever. Turned out, our son had two things wrong with him, one of them required surgery and come to find out, could have been taken care of when he was as young as 4 weeks old!!!!! So yeah, I had a year of zero sleep thanks to stupid ped #1.

Two Normal Moms said...

Holy crap. I love you. Seriously. It makes my heart swell to see people take their OWN medical care into their OWN hands! I'm so glad you listened to your istincts. And, for the record, I'm really glad things turned out alright for you!
-Ally

Mommy Lisa said...

Yeah, I am firing my ob/gyn this year because I am not having more babies - he won't prescribe my asthma and BP meds - he is always at least 30 minute to TWO HOURS behind and even though I love him to death my GP can do for me exactly what he does and more all in her office...and I love her just as much.

I am so glad to hear you are taking matters into your own hands and getting better. :)

mwah!

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

Wow, what an ordeal! I'm glad you stuck up for yourself and fired that doctor. There's something called customer service and doctors aren't above that.

Emily said...

I sort of fired my GP when I was a tween. The doc I'd gone to forever left town, so my mom started taking me to the GP she started seeing when she was pregnant with my little sister. I'm not sure what it was about him, but I never, ever liked him - he gave me a weird vibe. I'm not sure why my mom finally let me switch, but I'm guessing I probably whined enough about him every time she took me there that she just got sick of it.

Anonymous said...

I fired my OB/GYN and a GI Specialist while trying to find the source of some major problems I was having. The GI Specialist decided that I had Crohn's disease. The only symptom attributed it to was inflammation he saw during colonoscopy. Turns out, the prep he required causes inflammation. Hmmm, I wonder why he has so many "Crohn's" diagnosis. In an effort to rule out "girl" problems that could be causing the same issues, I saw the OB/GYN. After being 2 hours late for the appt., he didn't listen to a thing I said and was very condescending. I decided right then and there to go see someone else. Turns out I had a huge ovarian cyst that was the culprit and needed to be removed. The OB/GYN didn't even mention my complaints in his notes for that appt. I'm so glad I got a second opinion for both the GI and OB/GYN stuff.

You have to be your own advocate. You did absolutely the right thing. If you don't have a good comfort level, go see someone else.

Sara Rooks said...

Good for you Michelle!! Never settle for anybody when it comes to your health. I have gone thru many doctors with Leo and end up doing most of the "homework" on my own now. We have also taken him to out of pocket places (talking $1,000 per visit sometimes) and don't get to many answers there either. Do what you feel is right! I am a huge advocate about doing your own homework also :) Just sayin'

Cris said...

You did the right thing! I fired my OB, almost same problems you mention here... he was almost never available, I had a positive home test, but he was never available to write the prescription for the blood test, I had to reschedule 3 times in 2 weeks and the fourth time, he didn't even show up. So I fired his butt off! Sadly, after 7 years of trying to conceive I had a no embryo pregnancy :(. But everything happens for a reason and I met my OB at the ER, and I must say he's a keeper. He's been the most supportive doctor I've ever met, my husband adores him, lol! and now we have a 28 month old boy :)
Love,
Cris

Anonymous said...

I've just found your blog and love it. I live here in the Toledo area too, and reading this post and the fact that you had fertility problems, it sure sounds like the same doctor that I fired that was the only one in the specialty in this large city. I then proceeded to drive 2 hours each way to go to the Cleveland Clinic, where they were absolutely fabulous. They were not able to solve our problems, but put 200% into trying.

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