When Bedside Manners Go Bad: Firing My Doctor

bedside manners

Of all the fellow infertiles whose blogs I regularly read, surely I can’t be the only gal to have fired her RE for being a soulless jerk, right? Right?! (eek!) Well, either way I’ve left Dr. B’s care and his office and am moving on to hopefully greener pastures. It became obvious that he’s not the right RE for me and I will explain why. Despite treating with him for only seven weeks, I’ve had more than enough. Bedside manners apparently don’t grow on trees. I mentioned here the other week that there was more to the story; this is that “more.” I don’t mean this to be a full negative blast, as I did get some positives out of my treatment, but in this case the bad outweighed the good.

Personality: When I first met Dr. B, he came across as intelligent, well-studied, and knowledgeable, but he had a kind of strange personality. “Strange” as in he’d take me back to his office to discuss my treatment and then not speak to me for minutes at a time while he looked over my chart. Then he’d suddenly begin talking very fast and low, matter-of-factly declaring my treatment course without much of my own input taken seriously. Not a good sign, but I chalked it up to him being simply the brilliantly misunderstood type–the kinda guy with lotsa book smarts who never developed his social skills. I left it at that. Overall, he was pleasant enough and seemed to want to help me.

Treatment: The problem was, Dr. B’s “somewhat” weirdness continued to get….well, weirder. Because he would see me in his personal office for a “chat”  following every single visit—even just blood work and u/s visits—I saw him very frequently. He rarely spoke much—most conversations were coldly clinical and brief. For example, he put me on thyroid meds early on, then never mentioned my thyroid to me again! Finally I asked him whether my latest TSH count of 2.6 didn’t still seem somewhat high. His response: “No. That’s a good number.” Period. End of story. Okaaaaaaay……. Thanks for clearing THAT up! Two days after putting me on Clomid, and only two weeks after having started me on Synthroid, he looked up from my chart one day and asked, “Do I have you on any meds?” I was like “What?! Ummm, yeaaaah. Ya do… remember? We JUST talked about this on Tuesday.”

Patient Reaction: It became routine for me to leave Dr. B’s office feeling dejected, unsure about my treatment course, unsure even what was really going on with my body reproductively, and—more importantly—why I was told to keep coming back for visit after visit after visit. Again, I told myself that maybe this is how things are done in Infertility Land and that it would get better as I understand the process more, and (despite my intuition) continued treating.

The Final Straw:  This all came to a head the day of the IUI. I got to Dr. B’s office early that morning. While I walked from the parking lot to the building, he was also arriving to work for the day. He merely said good morning, held the door for me, and said not another word. We walked through the lobby in silence. We rode in the elevator in silence. We walked through the hallway of his office’s floor—you guessed it!—in silence. Awkward silence, at least for me. I mean, hello, I am still a human here! Last I checked, I’m not invisible. No small talk, no mention of the day’s procedure-to-be, no comforting words, no comment even on the freakin’ weather. Huge red flag.

When I came back to the office later that morning to have the actual IUI done, I was directed to a room to “undress from the waist down” (really, who needs these instructions? I mean, I practically drop my pants in the waiting room. I know it’s gonna happen. But anyway, I digress). So Dr. B enters the room about half hour later. Remember now, this is my first IUI. I don’t fully know what to expect. No one’s told me any readings on how DH’s numbers looked (I only found out afterward that I should’ve asked or that they should’ve told me). I had this crazy fear that they might mix up DH’s specimen with someone else’s (could you even imagine?!) and no one reassured me of protocols ensuring that that hadn’t or couldn’t happen. He didn’t explain the protocol or the procedure or my odds of conceiving (I did have enough presence of mind to ask that one at least). Instead, Dr. B literally walked in, told me to put my feet in the stirups, and went to work. LITERALLY. That was it. He did not say ONE WORD to me during the procedure except the one time I asked a question. Even then, he seemed annoyed that I’d even asked. Once it was over, he simply left the room and it was the tech who instructed me to wait a few minutes before getting up.

I felt like a such a ….specimen. For all it was worth, he could’ve been neutering a dog on that table, and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. He gave me no follow up instructions, no feedback on how the IUI went, nothing. He only told me to “come back in a week.” For Pete’s sake—WHY SHOULD I COME BACK IN A WEEK?!?!? I left there so thoroughly disgusted, über upset, and extremely angry.

The End:   Moral of the story: if you dislike people, think you’re smarter then everyone else, and ignore your patients, it’s a super great way to grind a medical practice into the ground. Free advice to anyone out there who’s a doctor or in healthcare. That’s all. *end of rant*

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Author: Marixsa

Navigating the infertility waters and encouraging other mamas-in-waiting along the way.

5 thoughts on “When Bedside Manners Go Bad: Firing My Doctor”

  1. Oh Goodness! I can’t believe the bedside manner. I too, have fired my RE. The difference is that I stayed at the same clinic and just transferred RE’s. I did this for 2 reasons… 1) the clinic in itself is pretty amazing. The staff is super nice, even the Dr. I fired was fine, we just weren’t on the same page when it comes to communication. Plus, the clinic I am it is ranked one of the best in the Seattle area… so, there’s that. But I totally hear you on moving onto a different RE. Me moving to a new one was the best move I made. She has more of my communication style and her nurse coordinator and I would probably be besties in real life. It just works better. I hope that you find a good Dr. and clinic nearby!!! Good luck and way to stand up for yourself!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Relief I’m not the only one! Like you said, communication style makes a difference. I consulted with a new RE yesterday and the difference was amazing. I get that not everyone will click, but for something like IF, “clicking” totally counts. Like a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

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