WANTED: Male Doctor With Vagina

Dr. Y:

I was told your peers on the medical review board will see this letter. The day you squeeze out a human being from between your legs is the day you will have earned your license as a doctor thanks to your closed-minded, dismissive attitude to women. I couldn’t believe I had to appeal and work so hard for a simple test that would shed light on my troubles. I did not realize you were an arbiter of the services within my rightful reach. You were supposed to be my advocate. Little did I know I would have to prove to you my credibility as a patient. The testimony of my experiences and attendant symptoms was not significant enough. Since when is patient history insufficient? You “did not find it medically necessary” to learn what I could rule out to care for myself appropriately. You “did not need to know” right now? Who said my welfare is about you?

DrPhotoDo doctors really have to make us feel so stupid? Don’t dismiss women’s pains and symptoms if you don’t have a vagina that does different things throughout the month, and I won’t laugh when you hit andropause. But since you shouldn’t apologize for having been born the gender you take obvious chauvinistic pride in, you might see a female urologist next time. She should understand you as well as you can handle my concerns, yes? Acknowledge the limitations of experience and understanding your gender brings to your occupation and listen to your female patients. Rather than see us as people, you sit there matching symptoms against your sacrosanct checklist and call it science. It’s glorified plumbing. You seemed to think your job was to plug my case into your textbook paradigms and criteria of legitimacy. Doctor – while you don’t consider compassion, support, partnership medically necessary – your task, in the least, is to investigate problems on our behalf. Show respect for women who are obviously in tune with their bodies, not to mention educated. Most of us are not airheads or liars. If we tell you we feel terrible, believe us. Last I checked, this was America and my PhD in embryo development and childbirth that trumps your book knowledge entitles me to feel seen and respected as a human being when I walk into a doctor’s office with female concerns. You can’t begin to call yourself a physician until you remember that.

Diana Ha

*Don’t ever let any practitioner or medical staff member make you feel small. If there is no site supervisor, pursue it with the licensing board or state medical society. Doctors with the God Complex ruin it for the dedicated professionals who make every difference.

 

123 thoughts on “WANTED: Male Doctor With Vagina

  1. It was while working in a hospital that I learned about hot flushes. They occur due to low hormone levels, and can happen to men as well as women. Most men taking opioid pain medication for a prolonged period of time report hot flushes and have low testosterone levels, just the same hot flushes as a woman does when oestrogen levels are reduced. It made me feel better!

      • Thank you for sharing, Wayfarer. A woman in my family got a bad deal. I feel stabbed just having heard a female did a pelvic? All the hand of the doctor to the uterus, my main man relative/ family guy cannot be with her there. At all. I’m talking to him like every day because the domain of authority over this part of a woman’s anatomy is not for “practicing”. I think the thing I feel is that I’d be willing to not go to a doctor rather than be humiliated or worse. I rarely go to a doctor and lately I’ve been getting good ones. As a SPIRIT may I index myself and say?- they need to get rid of stirrups. Oh, it wasn’t my wife. A family member. U know? Someone “I know”. Not me. I would go psychotic? Maybe with my Mayahana zeal light a match on myself for women’s bodies no not that. But it wasn’t me. It was my wife. No it wasn’t.

        God you are really invisibly pretty when you are pissed. I wish I could help you more if possible.

  2. Wow, Diana. You were trivialized just like that **snaps fingers**? I would love to know the response from the review board. This is nuts, but you make me feel so empowered by your letter.

    • and you’re labelled as having the Munchausen syndrome!! Years ago I told a (male) doctor that my son has developing asthma and was laughed off. Further diagnosis by other revealed a collapsed lung (he had recently had Measles). But did the dope think laterally..NO! Just belittled a woman with nursing experience because” she wasn’ t getting enough attention”!! Fifty years later my blood still boils thinking about it. Yes Greg survived that and went on to become a healthy young man.
      You all stick up for your rights as a patient.

  3. I had Peggy read your powerful letter, Diana. I think that many people in the medical profession have lost sight of the Hippocratic Oath they took. There was neither empathy or professionalism in the doctor’s response to you. The elderly face a similar attitude all the time: “Oh it’s just old age.” None of this of course stops the physician/hospital, etc. from charging you $500 for that sage advice. Our medical care delivery system, including the whole issue of prescribed drugs, need fixing on so many levels I sometimes think that the only solution is to toss it out and start over. All too often, maybe even most of the time, the primary objective is making money. Patient care comes second. –Curt

  4. Powerful and fascinating post Diana. Coming from a family full of doctors I know they would agree with almost all you say. The ‘God Complex’ is the most dangerous thing in the medical profession ~ although to a certain extent surgeons need such confidence to create the impossible. From a business perspective, there is the efficient/statistical benefit of the diagnosis process, where plugging your symptoms into a “computer” to get your diagnosis is the correct call (efficient and more than not prevents misdiagnosis). Glorified plumbing…a perfectly accurate description, and a large % of their work. Why they get paid is the deeper analysis, the personal aspect, and just what you were robbed of on your visit.

    As you say so vividly, a proper diagnosis needs the subjective explanation of the patient…especially if the patient not only understands how their body works but especially so if the patient is of the opposite sex!! How absolutely frustrating it must have been for you. Great letter, look forward to an update. In China, I once went to a Western doctor who clearly misdiagnosed my sports injury and refused my very logical diagnosis. I walked out of his office in disbelief – got correctly diagnosed from a Chinese doctor and alerted the Western doctor’s error of both diagnosis and absolute arrogance. Any doctor in the States that I’ve seen with a significant sports injury have asked “it’s your body, you tell me what is normal and what isn’t” and this question made me an active participant. What a frustrating experience for you ~ especially if it has been something on-going and taking away from true enjoyment of your life. Wishing you very well D. ~

    • It’s plumbing if they can’t look up to see the person and apply common sense – which in my sad experience is the inability of most doctors here. (Which is also why I refused to birth Tennyson in the hospital. We did it at home but I’d rather do it in the car! And I’m not kidding.)

      You get this. “it’s your body, you tell me what is normal and what isn’t.” I’m mystified bc I can barely count on one hand the MDs who think this way, unlike the holistic practitioners I see. And that is exactly my point.

      The post is actually a synthesis of the letter the site supervisor handed him and the formal grievance I filed which detailed exactly what he said and did, along with my symptoms. I was not aware that you come from a family of drs, R. If they are anything like you in empathy and character, we need them desperately out there.

      • I too think it (medicine) is common sense: symptoms plus the feelings of the patient… I grew up never going to the doctor (for obvious reasons), but also the adage time-heals everything was practiced because my Dad understood unless it is major, doctors for the most part are not needed (nor drugs). My sister (an OBGYN) actually ended up taking OD courses for the experience of holistic medicine ~ and said it has been the greatest piece of study/influence she’s ever had…and has wrapped this around her current practice. Take care ~

      • You can’t know how pleased (and impressed) I am to hear of your sister and her response to the OD training. The beautiful faces I still remember from your post are now complete. Thanks so much for sharing, R.

  5. Maybe I like to play devil’s advocate once in a while (though I don’t actually believe in the devil, but not a story for here.)
    I hear you about the arrogance and dismissive attitude of this physician, and good for you for pursuing this. Someone else will benefit from your courage.
    I think it’s a much broader problem and more insidious. With nearly every administrator I’ve ever had to work – art directors, school principals, retail managers, business CEO, immediate supervisor – I’ve detected the same nasty god-figure. I was often made to feel small and lacking in skills, then found that one art director was stealing credit for my work. I lost one teaching job for doing my job, exactly as the school had demanded of us the entire year. Nothing stands up to money and power but more money and power, and I’ve never had either. Of course it’s a different situation when one is an employee of very little power, but the attitude of Big Man Always Right, whether male or female, permeates every aspect of how one feels about the work they contribute.
    The same attitude of Power being Right infuses our entire culture, and that’s what you encountered with Male Doc. I’ve got a different story with my OB-GYN. Seven months into what had been a relatively uneventful pregnancy, I dilated nearly 93%, four fingers open. Forty years ago, a baby born at only seven months was likely to survive but not without lifelong problems.
    My OB compassionately explained to me what to do to hold onto my pregnancy as long as possible, and I followed every direction, for six (miserable and frightening) weeks. When delivery proved difficult, he worked skillfully to prevent a Caesarean, and my son was born vaginally a few weeks early, but healthy in every way – in a hospital. The nurses were on a “soft strike” at the hospital, and when my doctor realized I wasn’t getting the attention he wanted, (my hands were covered in blood 12 hours later because I had held my baby immediately after birth before he’d been cleaned up), Doc stormed down the hall and ordered them to take care of me.
    IMHO, most pregnancies are safe enough to warrant home births, as long as qualified mid-wives are in attendance, as long as there was attentive pre-natal care, and as long as nothing dangerous was encountered along the way. I am pleased yours went well. Many friends have delivered at home and have healthy children. Sadly, two friends suffered tragic outcomes. I believe that being so negative about hospitals is not helpful for those who absolutely must have hospital care for childbirth. Both my daughters-in-law had Caesareans, and they probably saved their lives as well as their children’s. You have an enormous (and well deserved) readership/following. I urge you to be cautious. Someone very inexperienced might follow your advice and not get the medical care she really needs.
    BTW, my father, of blessed memory, was a family practice physician. I was always meeting people who told me my dad had been their doctor and how much they loved him. He was the man who listened, who was gentle, honest, compassionate, and who told aspiring young physicians (including the nephew who adored him) that wanting to make money was not the reason to become a doctor.
    Please forgive me for such a long comment, and you’re certainly not obligated to post this, but I wanted you to see the other side and consider it. You got a doctor who forgot what his job is. Plenty of others do know.

    • Sharon, I am touched by the wise, compassionate PERSON your OB obviously was, not to mention so relieved your child made it ok. I have heard birth story after story and nowadays, we are hard pressed to find MDs like that, as well as ones who are not C-section-happy. (And I get that there are times Cs save lives.) I appreciate the caution and take it to heart. I actually never advised anyone against hospitals or medical care for birth; just happened to mention in a comment the choices I have made. And the way we planned during and for my son’s birth included the local hospital in the event of an unforeseen emergency. I also did acknowledge the wonderful doctors out there in the last sentence of the post. Thanks so much for sharing and for being here.

      Diana

  6. Well written post. You are smart to know so much at so young an age. Most of us, who are older, at one time or other believed that doctors had an education that went past books. I learned at a young age to be very skeptical of them from how my own mother was treated but not enough so to seek out second opinions and to know that what my own body told me was the case. Too, there were no computers to research as there are now which is helpful. Before I had my own hysterectomy years ago I should have went to another doctor but after years of bleeding finally insisted on surgery. I now know I should have done things differently. I also recently went to a new PCP, who I did not choose, as he is much like the doctor you talk about here. Everything from books and not to believe what the patient says is the case for her own body. I will continue to look for the right doctor for me. Finally at 64yrs of age I have learned from mistakes not to make them again. You have to trust to a degree but not to the exclusion of your well being. Last year I had emergent open heart surgery and had no choice but to trust. I was fortunate to have good doctors but I still know to trust myself first and foremost in the end. Thank You!

    • So sorry for all your troubles, Renee! Makes us wonder what 5000 yrs of ancient wisdom might mean for us in systems of holistic healing like Traditional Chinese Medicine, among others. You bring up your mother. You would not believe what mine endured in the hospital years back. I wrote up a nurse after speaking with the Chief of Staff and should’ve pursued the others. Was just a LiTTLe tied up taking care of my mother! Keep looking for the right care. Of course we need to trust our doctors. My point is they need to earn it. Thank you for the reblog.

  7. No human being can comprehend the pain or emotional feelings of another whether male or female. I’ve met doctors like the one you mention in this well written piece who are insensitive by nature, but I’ve also met doctors who do their best to understand what the patient is going through. In humility they acknowledge medical knowledge is not perfect and many of them are overworked and sometimes may come across as insensitive because of lack of sleep. Regardless of that, there is no excuse for rudeness and I’m sorry you had that experience.

  8. Oh Diana! So, so sorry this was your experience.

    Even as a physician, I’ve experienced the same treatment by a male gynecologist, which is why I insist on female gynecologists. I even cringed if I heard a male OB/gyn was on call for my due dates. No patient should have to feel like they’re “fighting” with any physician to be heard and respected. I pray there are many more of us practicing at a higher standard than what you experienced.

    • It was one of my worst experiences in a dr’s office, V. What does that tell you when even female drs get this from their male counterparts — and where it regards the female body!? Apart from routine chk-ups, by the time a patient takes the time to make an appt, she has struggled with fear, worry, and often sleepless nights that attend physical discomfort. Why don’t all drs get this? That they are in the PEOPLE business. I couldn’t wait for access to my computer. I literally brandished my pen, delivered a hand-written detailed grievance almost 3 pages to the Board and a personal letter to him, which this post combined.

  9. You’ve touched a raw nerve on an important subject I’ve had a lot of conversations about recently. I am generally not an all caps person but the only way to say this is that when it comes to personal medical issues in the U.S., EACH PERSON REALLY HAS TO BE THEIR OWN PATIENT ADVOCATE! As you discovered, you cannot take no for an answer when it comes to a test or procedure you think you or a loved one needs and you must create an emotional shell of protection where big egos, condescending attitudes , bureaucratic sclerosis and just plain rudeness has no effect on your ability to do what’s best for you and your family.

    I don’t see things getting any better any time soon. Doctors offices are stretched thin and wide with an ever increasing amount of paperwork and mandates to follow and their patient loads seems to have tripled over the last few years. I was just at my otherwise very competent gynecologist’s office last week and found out an important letter regarding some test results was sent to SOMEONE ELSE with a a similar name (sorry couldn’t resist the caps again). Add in the Big Man Knows Everything problem Sharon stated above and you have a real mess of a medical system where everyone, patients, doctors, nurses, etc…are suffering in some way.

    • This happened to be an otherwise competent OB dept, part of a larger medical office that affords patients the time they need (while minimizing the wait). The dr I saw last time was away and I happened to have gotten a bad apple, one who I learned was new to the team.

  10. I’ve known fabulous doctors and I’ve known doctors that are incompetent. They have all passed the examinations which just goes to show that it takes more than passing the examinations to be a really fabulous doctor. I’ve been seen by more bad doctors than good ones and five of my family members have died because doctors misdiagnosed them until it was too late. In my father’s case, he was misdiagnosed for three years and by then the cancer was stage four. Other doctors are just brilliant. We do have to be our own advocates. And with these clinic/networks owned by insurance companies who seem, in my case, to employ the worst of the worst, now, more than ever, we need to speak out. Good for you on behalf of the rest of us!

    • I can’t get over stories like yours, Ginene, of which there are too many. These DoCtOrs have precious lives in their hands. And in my case, I wasn’t even asking for an expensive diagnostic like a CT or MRI. I don’t trust any SyStEm. Education, health “care”. Yes, I am always my own advocate, and – albeit unsolicited – one for others!

  11. Very candid post, and we need to speak out more about such issues and rights. Good to know you didn’t let them step all over you. One’s body is one’s temple and more often than not we know what makes it tick. Most doctors in Australia assume that all is okay if you don’t say anything is wrong with you. Fair enough. But when you do speak up about our bodies, we have a right to be heard.

  12. Sorry you had to go through this experience. Although I had a male GP who has a god complex, and I have managed to find another doctor since, my worse experience with a gyno was a female when I gave birth to my second child; she was rude, rough during an examination and dismissed anything I had to say! Um, I wanted to should, “It’s my 2nd birth. I think I know when I feel like pushing…b….h” but I was too tired to argue; waited for the nurse to come and she got the message. My daughter also had a terrible experience with a female gyno during her delivery. I think god complexes are not reserved to just one gender.

    • Absolutely. I didn’t mean to say it was. I just saw this one’s complex happened to enjoy a chauvinistic twist. And I know about rough female docs! What up???! Mine was cold. I dropped her for my amazing midwife way back.

  13. Can you switch doctors or does the U.S. health care system makes it difficulty/costly to do this? Maybe a woman doctor might solve the doctor relationship for you. Or not.

    I hope you’re feeling better, Di.

      • Some patients allow themselves to be overwhelmed by doctor’s words, etc. The trick (not for you, but for others), is to be as sharp as possible while listening to the doctor and have capacity to be fast enough to ask the right questions….right there in person.

        I know it’s awfully difficult especially for patients who are not accustomed to analytical thinking but in the end, that’s what it is. And asking doctor to re-explain in plain language.

        I’ve had a good (female) doctor who does try to explain well. (But she knows I have a sister who is a doctor.. I can easily have a double-check with sister.)

  14. Diana, I applaud you for taking a stand! Too often in our busy lives, it is easy to shake our heads, avoid that office in the future, and move on. I feel part of the reason we are here is to make our corner of the world a better place!

    I had a bad experience with the administrative side of a doctor’s office (getting the bill paid by insurance.) It ended up clearly being the office’s fault, but they put the burden on me to correct the errors that they made! The problem was eventually fixed and I was ready to move on. But my husband made a comment that prompted me to stop and try to correct a broken system in this particular doctor’s office. My husband said, “What if they did this to a little old lady?” And the clincher was, “Like your mother or my mother?” I couldn’t stand the thought of another person taking advantage of someone else because they could. I wrote a “complaint” letter to the doctor’s office and the CEO of the company that handled the billing for the doctor’s office.

    Did I change their practices? Did I help the next patient in the same situation? I don’t know, but I do know that I did the right thing! I sincerely hope that because of your letter the doctor who saw you will spend some time in introspection, resulting in better healthcare for patients after you.

    After all that said, I hope that you were able to find a doctor (or your regular doctor was back in) to help you find the cause of you symptoms and get relief!

    • Thanks for sharing, Deb. We do usually move on for the inconvenience – and stress. But errors like the one that got you abound and we really do need to speak up. Fortunately, there are many stop measures in place and complaints ARE heard. I have seen many times over that my bloody pen is indeed mightier than the sword. One reason it is important to make a clear, articulate case in the name of justice.

  15. Oh, you struck a nerve with this one. Just quickly, two experiences I had when I was younger with male doctors. I highly suspected I was in early menopause in my early 40s (I never had children) and that my hormones were out of control. I asked my doctor to please give me tests and find out how to level them before I went nuts. His response? All you need is Valium. ????WHAT???? I didn’t come here for an addictive drug, I came here for help. He was mad, threw a prescription at me for blood work, and said I’d be back for the Valium. He was history in my book. Another male doctor once told me, “Well, you’re over 40 now, you’ve got to expect to start falling apart.” Sheesh. Give me strength. Needless to say, I am thankful when I have found excellent female physicians.

  16. You go lady. I found this post awesome for lack of a better word. I hope your post empowers many women to speak up to the MDs who walk around with the “God complex.” And to get as many opinions for what ever is wrong if one MD doesn’t produce results.

    Reporting to medical boards and Yelp should surely help.

    • We need to take ownership as well as responsibility for our own well-being. Thanks, Y. I rec’vd both a call and letter stating my case is being looked into, which means he had people to answer to. I hope Danny’s getting good care.

      • Sounds like good steps are being taken re: the MD fiasco.

        Danny as of Wed. began speech and cognitive therapy at Baylor U. Program is free with graduate students that are supervised by profs. I think this will get him to the next level. Hopefully he can gain some self esteem and a better out look on his life. Hillcrest Hospital said they had gone as far as they could. He has come a long way but needs more therapy. Thank you for your concern, Diana.

  17. I SO agree with that letter!

    I had issues for years which required an ultrasound to verify whether what I was feeling was minor or something that needed treatment. Several doctors refused to send me for an ultrasound passing off my issue as something minor without being more thorough. I was furious. It wasn’t until I was having my munchkin when I asked the technician doing the ultrasound to do a sweep of the area with the issue. She found the problem and my fears were laid to rest but the problem is only partially resolved.

    It took a technician with a good heart to get me the answers I needed. Sad

    Now I have an amazing doctor who is very thorough. I feel very blessed and I’m getting the proper care I need. It only took 12 yrs!

    Doctors who choose not to take time to really listen to their patients are by far not worth my time. I don’t even want them taking my temperature.

    Glad you told off that SOB. They all need to be told off! Good for you. ☺

  18. People easily associate authority with ethics and morality, with right or wrong. That they trample on what’s in the way leisurely, devoid of any sensory capabilities.

    They live bitter, lonely lives. Like big boulders, everyone avoids them, as they come tumbling down, so foolishly.

    We’re behind you D, echoing.

  19. Great post–I had the misfortune of seeing a doctor who thought I didn’t know what I was talking about, when I actually had a real problem, so this letter is something I can relate to.

    • It’s unfortunate that the post spoke to so many bloggers, C – women, especially. I don’t know WHY drs come to the table with the assumption that we don’t know our body and how we feel. Thanks for sharing. I hope you didn’t suffer too much from his “care”.

  20. Hi Diana it’s sad what happened to you but unfortunately this is the reality today. Doctors, politicians, mechanics, car salesmen and more. It’s all about money and time our feelings doesn’t count anymore. All the best to you.

  21. What a nightmare experience D! I wonder how some people can work in a profession that requires people skills like listening, being compassionate, and doing it without judging. Sorry you had to go through this, doctors with the God complex have to be the worse! Kudos to you for speaking up.

  22. Some of that is Greek to me, but am Totally with You in Your Fight against the Thoughts that ‘males’ are superior. It is just a Complex, which they don’t Realize, nor are ready to accept. man thinks he is superior because of Faulty thinking and because of his physical Size. …Regards.

  23. Just adding my two cents to this. One, I agree doctors don’t listen or respect fully women’s ability to notice and have questions which are valid. Two, female doctors are sometimes just as bad! Three, respect for elderly is a problem with many doctors, noticing my 88 year old mother is a person with most of her brain intact! Ask her questions and directly answer her questions. I feel bad that when I or my brother go in with her, doctors directly ignore her, which makes her very sad and reluctant to go back. . . Nicely written and good luck, hope you find a respectful doctor to listen to your concerns.
    PS. I am a friend of Marissa’s. Smiles, Robin

    • Yes, unfortunately female doctors can be quite brusque. And yes, as another blogger mentioned, this dismissal is prevalent toward the elderly. Really a shame because they get it outside the doctor’s office all the time.

      I know you are a friend of many out here, Robin. =) Thanks for your time.

      Diana

  24. Wow, what exactly happened? I mean, if it’s okay to tell…

    Yeah, there are those who undermine and talk down on others just because they feel they are the only ones who have the authority, by virtue of age, gender or educational background. Never mind that it’s your life/body/sake that’s on the line and that if they’ll only listen, maybe they’ll find out they’re not the only ones who know of such things. I even once experienced getting scoffed at by a guy I approached to fix my phone. I was just explaining what I experienced with it and he immediately told me HE was the one who was going to say what the problem was and that HE was the one going to fix it. Some customer service, huh?

    • told me HE was the one who was going to say what the problem was and that HE was the one going to fix it.

      Gee, that is exactly how I’ve found many MDs to be. That guy should go to med school. LOL. He’d sure as hec be able to charge more for his “services”.

      • Well, he can’t go to med school, probably can’t even afford high school, that’s why he’s working like that (not to belittle hardworking people here, just stating the norm). Sometimes, I suspect that acting like an entitled jerk like that sort of feeds their ego a bit, even for a bit. I just let it go then. But I had another experience with a worse guy that actually resulted to an exchange of words. Too long to explain here, though, he he…

  25. Good for you for reporting it, so many people get away with things because people don’t like to complain because they’re afraid for future treatment, we are assigned a GP practice in the UK so you can see different doctors. I’ve had good experiences but I try to use alternative therapies where I can.

  26. We need to learn that health care is not what it used to be. Medical professionals are over worked, less attentive, less sensitive and moodier than ever. Supportive staff is totally unreliable and make mistakes all the time. We MUST advocate for ourselves because no one else will do it. I am a nurse and I encourage my patients to complain and follow up until they are blue in the face. Good for you for standing up for yourself. People need to be held accountable.

    • I have seen the conditions you describe, Laura, and the sad thing is Dr Y sauntered into an atypically nice, unhurried office in a new modern complex here in our upper mid-class neighborhood. I appreciate your understanding and compassion for both sides. Thx for the read.

  27. Healthcare today is so different than what it used to be and what it should be. I always act as an advocate for my patients. I also encourage them to “push” when necessary. Its a balance though. You can always file an official complaint but I have a patient who (rightfully) complained one time too many and was asked to leave the practice. Now she’s afraid to open her mouth. Its terrible.

My Two Gold Cents in the Holistic Treasury

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