Why are people here so uncharitable toward doctors?


#1

One aspect of CAF that I have really appreciated is that charity is considered so important. Many other websites pretty much declare open season on posters who disagree with the prevailing sentiment, and all matters of ad hominem attacks are allowed. While obviously CAF is not perfect, I appreciate that at least charity is expected here, even if many posters (including, probably, me) often fail to live up to the ideals.

However, I have been rather disappointed by the low regard many posters here seem to hold toward doctors and other health care professionals. Although medical advice is supposed to be forbidden, and I appreciate the mods for enforcing this for the most part, it seems many posters are very cynical about doctors, especially when it comes to OB-GYNs and other doctors who often prescribe the Pill. Or, doctors who advise against AP practices such as co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, etc. It seems to be par for the course for such doctors to be accused of being ignorant, lazy, greedy, in the pocket of evil drug companies, etc. Many posters seem to think that doctors know the Pill is a horrible abortifacient carcinogen drug with tons of side effects and just don’t care as long as prescribing the Pill helps their bottom line.

Well, as someone in training to be a doctor myself, I find such uncharitable accusations to be very hurtful. Unfortunately, the average doctor in training just does not receive much education about NFP, usually it is mentioned offhand as an unreliable method of birth control that’s only 75% effective, that only ultra-conservative Catholics even use it, and that population is so low that the average doctor doesn’t need to be educated on NFP, much as they don’t need to be educated on every single rare genetic disease. This is very unfortunate, and it is also unfortunate that doctors aren’t aware of the available resources about NFP. At least a doctor who comes across a patient with a rare disease can refer him or her to a specialist.

Now, I know, on the other hand, that unfortunately many doctors are arrogant and condescending toward patients who disagree with them, whether for religious reasons, because the patient found information on the Internet, etc. It is true that many do have an “ends justify the means” mentality toward available medical technology. However, I think that most doctors do have good ends in mind, even if the means they employ are morally questionable. It seems some people find it very easy to jump to the conclusion that doctors are completely immoral and unethical simply because they disagree on the means. I think this is very uncharitable. Much as it is uncharitable to assume that the patients who avail themselves of medical technologies not approved by the Church (such as ABC, IVF, etc) are all acting out of some nefarious reason.

Also, it is one thing to discuss medical ethics and raise questions about certain technologies in a general sense. However, often, what happens is that someone posts about going to a specific doctor, and then posters accuse, or even casually assume, that this individual is ignorant, lazy, etc. Often posters will advise the OP to “never see that doctor again”. Isn’t that being uncharitable toward that specific doctor? Why do many people seem to find this acceptable?


#2

[quote="ToeInTheWater, post:1, topic:217256"]
One aspect of CAF that I have really appreciated is that charity is considered so important. Many other websites pretty much declare open season on posters who disagree with the prevailing sentiment, and all matters of ad hominem attacks are allowed. While obviously CAF is not perfect, I appreciate that at least charity is expected here, even if many posters (including, probably, me) often fail to live up to the ideals.

However, I have been rather disappointed by the low regard many posters here seem to hold toward doctors and other health care professionals. Although medical advice is supposed to be forbidden, and I appreciate the mods for enforcing this for the most part, it seems many posters are very cynical about doctors, especially when it comes to OB-GYNs and other doctors who often prescribe the Pill. Or, doctors who advise against AP practices such as co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, etc. It seems to be par for the course for such doctors to be accused of being ignorant, lazy, greedy, in the pocket of evil drug companies, etc. Many posters seem to think that doctors know the Pill is a horrible abortifacient carcinogen drug with tons of side effects and just don't care as long as prescribing the Pill helps their bottom line.

Well, as someone in training to be a doctor myself, I find such uncharitable accusations to be very hurtful. Unfortunately, the average doctor in training just does not receive much education about NFP, usually it is mentioned offhand as an unreliable method of birth control that's only 75% effective, that only ultra-conservative Catholics even use it, and that population is so low that the average doctor doesn't need to be educated on NFP, much as they don't need to be educated on every single rare genetic disease. This is very unfortunate, and it is also unfortunate that doctors aren't aware of the available resources about NFP. At least a doctor who comes across a patient with a rare disease can refer him or her to a specialist.

Now, I know, on the other hand, that unfortunately many doctors are arrogant and condescending toward patients who disagree with them, whether for religious reasons, because the patient found information on the Internet, etc. It is true that many do have an "ends justify the means" mentality toward available medical technology. However, I think that most doctors do have good ends in mind, even if the means they employ are morally questionable. It seems some people find it very easy to jump to the conclusion that doctors are completely immoral and unethical simply because they disagree on the means. I think this is very uncharitable. Much as it is uncharitable to assume that the patients who avail themselves of medical technologies not approved by the Church (such as ABC, IVF, etc) are all acting out of some nefarious reason.

[/quote]

You bring up a good point here. I don't think it should be the doctor that is the problem. I had a horrible experience with a doctor that wanted to put me on the pill for dysmenorhea even though I have severe epilepsy which contraindicates it and my epileptologist has instructed me (notice not even neurologist I have gone past thatpoint) that Iam not to use contraception as my epilepsy has been linked to my cycles. The doctor denied any link. It is not the doctors fault -it is the establishment - it is the fact that it is cheaper for most insurance companies to give the same treatment across the board then it is to do further testing such as hormonal testing and find what the problem is. My best friend went through it found out her thyroid was "within normal limits" but those normal limits came wth abnormal function. So you are right - we need to show the docs more charity - especially if they can show more bed side manner. It is the establishment that needs to be retaught.


#3

[FONT=Arial]Ignorance of the law is no excuse (and I am referring to natural law). Compassion is not the same as tolerance, because tolerance is not a virtue. Wrong beliefs are just that, no matter how well intentioned. While I am not hostile or mean, I do not have to condone.

I remember the quote that "the road to hell is paved in good intentions."

I do not condemn anyone but am willing to engage in respectful debate and do expect others to act with professional integrity. How is the Hippocratic Oath consistent with birth control and abortion? My how things have changed since 1930.[/FONT]


#4

It does seem true that doctors are under-educated about NFP (and seem to conflate it with rhythm), and are a bit too quick to prescribe the Pill because it’s (apparently) much easier to do.

Some of my experiences: Before becoming Catholic, I spent some time on the Pill, and noticed that I was getting migraine headaches every month on the same number day of the cycle. This was a dramatic increase from prior to starting the Pill, and these migraines were ‘stay in bed, completely unable to function for 3 days’. So, on my own, I quit taking the Pill, and wonder of wonders the migraines stopped. (My other migraine trigger is red wine, and I just avoid that–yeah, I drink white wine with beef.) I’ve still had more than one doctor try (rather aggressively) to urge me to take an Rx for the Pill even AFTER I’ve advised the doctor of my history (and denying to me that there is any correlation between migraines and oral contraception even though it was clearly listed as a possible side effect) or suggesting that I should just take an additional drug against the migraines (I think it’s simpler to avoid the known causes and use medications against migraines when the causes cannot be isolated and/or cannot be avoided–I’m one of the fortunate migraine sufferers with only two triggers which are both easily avoided).

Then there’s the rather appalling story that took place as I was in the middle of converting to Catholicism (but had already made the internal conversion). I had become pregnant and miscarried at 6 weeks. I’m in the doctor’s office after the pregnancy loss had been confirmed waiting for them to bring up the shot (I am Rh neg, husband Rh pos). The nurse practitioner had the nerve to say to me “you should consider something more reliable than NFP, you can’t rely on having miscarriages”. Now, at the time, I had ONE living child (this was actually my third pregnancy loss) and he was 4 years old. I ripped into her so loudly that I was overheard throughout the office (they quickly hustled her out of there, and when I returned a few months later pregnant with my second son, she was never allowed to interact with me). It was pretty uncharitable on my part (beginning with something like “you should consider another profession if you can’t get it through your pea-sized brain how wrong that is to say to me”). As I have stated since, I have been surprised by the conception of only one of my children. That would be Paul, formerly known as “Baby B”, because I never expected to conceive twins (there is zero family history).

Of course, the fertility stuff is moot now in my case–but I think it’s quite clear that the NP deserved to be “fired” from my care (even though, given insurance issues, I couldn’t easily change offices at that time). Uncharitable toward the NP, perhaps–but I preferred my care during pregnancy to be handled by people who understood that I was delighted to be expecting (or devastated when I had the losses).


#5

It seems clear that you intend and hope to be a good and conscientious doctor.

Unfortunately I guess some patients will be more inclined to vent about the seeming failures and inconsistencies...as they may do for any profession or even trade, and naturally we are more aware and sensitive to the criticisms of our own profession or trade, or creed etc.

People won't always overtly express gratitude for the effective and satisfactory performance or outcome of professional efforts for their benefit...but many, if asked, could express their gratitude for the health and life they have today due to the vigilance and care of our doctors.

For myself, no I've never complained of my doctor, nor have I praised him online,
but have in fact thanked him personally more than once for the diagnoses which have meant that I'm alive, that I'm not further damaging my system by eating gluten foods which are basically poison to me, as I'm celiac...and a couple of other autoimmune illnesses, thyroid and connective tissue...and by his calculation I'd have been dead by now if he hadn't been pro-active in his diagnoses over the past several years...

I hope you won't continue to feel discouraged by negative comments...as there will be plenty of positive stories out there...it's just that there is not usually a focus for sharing that. I only do to prompt you, hopefully, to feel better about the perceptions regarding your chosen profession. Warm regards, Trishie :)


#6

I don't think it's doctors in general. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my podiatrist who successfully treated some serious foot problems of mine. :)

But, you have **many **educated Catholics on this board who have been belittled, insulted, patronized, and infuriated by their OB/GYN. Doctors make **RUDE **comments when you inform them you use natural family planning. They try to strong arm you into contraception even AFTER you decline those options. They make rude comments about the number of children you have. They try to manipulate women going in for C-Sections into having a tubal ligation. They try to put you on the pill for everything under the sun.

Frankly, women on these boards striving to be faithful, loving Catholic spouses and parents are TIRED of being treated like idiots by their doctor. It happens a LOT.

So, on posts here, yes you do see women vent regarding these situations. I don't think its unfounded venting, it's based on real experiences.

There are many good OB/GYNs who work with their patients, who are never condescending or rude or who are pro-life or NFP physicians. But, honestly, they are the exception and not the rule. And, like so many other topics, a forum like this often only discusses the bad and not the good.

It's just how it is. If you are going to be a doctor, I hope you will be the exception to the rule regarding fertility and patient respect.


#7

To clarify, I'm not saying it's wrong to be offended by doctors who treat you with arrogance, rudeness, and (in the case of Melissa) actual emotional cruelty. It's certainly not wrong to refuse to see such a doctor again.

I'll also acknowledge that there are certainly doctors who have political and ideological agendas and put that into practice, and that this may be more common in the field of OB-GYN. I think that OB-GYN is such a difficult speciality to practice these days due to liability issues, malpractice insurance costs, etc., that only the "most committed" go into it...and unfortunately, "most committed" often means committed to the ideals of the Culture of Death, such as widespread use of contraception and abortion on demand. I think female OB-GYNs and NPs might especially be prone to this, to choose that field with an ideological motivation to "promote women's health", defining women's health the way Planned Parenthood does. There is even a push by some to actually require doctors to perform abortions as part of their training to qualify to become OB-GYNS in the first place! I really hope this doesn't come to pass because that would cut down even more on options for OB-GYN care for anyone who's pro-life, Catholic or not.

And speaking of ideologically motivated doctors, I actually would not recommend that practicing Catholics take their children to see an Adolescent specialist, because people who choose that specialty do tend to be ideologically motivated and find nothing wrong with teenagers having sex, using birth control, and having abortions, and will actually help them keep their parents in the dark about all of it (though they will give lip service to the idea that ideally, teens should feel comfortable discussing such issues with their parents). I have a friend who went to see an Adolescent specialist once and then asked his parents never to bring him there again, because that doctor made it out like he was abnormal for not wanting to date or make out with girls. This guy wasn't Catholic and didn't even have any particular moral objections to such behavior. He just wasn't interested in dating at the time, though he did have his share of crushes on girls he didn't like any girl enough to actually want to date her.

What I have a problem with is posts like one in Parenting where a poster states that she wants to wean her child because her doctor prescribed her a certain medication, and a poster replys suggesting she check out for herself if she really needs to do that. Not that she should talk to her doctor about whether she really needs to stop nursing. The poster assumed that the doctor would be "clueless" about this, yet ironically she then cited a source on medications and breastfeeding which I actually do know about since it's part of my curriculum.

That's the kind of uncharitable assumption that bothers me. The poster didn't even state that her doctor told her to stop nursing in the first place, many women assume certain meds are not compatible with breastfeeding and either stop taking the med or stop nursing. Sometimes, this is the case even if the doctor tells her it's okay, such as in the case of anti-depressants in women with PPD, many will refuse to take meds because they want to breastfeed and don't want to take any risk that the med will hurt the baby. Now, if she'd said that the doctor was trying to aggressively push her into weaning, then I'd have a different reaction.


#8

The kind of thing you are talking about should be reported to the moderator if it is exactly as you say it was. Yes some medications are dangerous to take while breastfeeding. The charitable thing to have said would be- if you are uncomfortable giving up breastfeeding have you discussed alternative treatments with your doctor?


#9

[quote="joandarc2008, post:8, topic:217256"]
The kind of thing you are talking about should be reported to the moderator if it is exactly as you say it was. Yes some medications are dangerous to take while breastfeeding. The charitable thing to have said would be- if you are uncomfortable giving up breastfeeding have you discussed alternative treatments with your doctor?

[/quote]

Okay, I did report that post. I wasn't sure if it went against CAF rules or not, so thanks for backing me up.

I think there's a big difference between questioning whether a treatment is ethical or moral, which I think is everyone's business, and questioning whether a treatment is medically appropriate. For example, the Catholic Church itself states that combined oral contraceptives are allowed to be used for medical treatment as long as that is the primary purpose and that the contraceptive part is an unintended, unwanted consequence. Now, I agree that the Pill is overprescribed, and I actually was given advice by a doctor that if I work in a Catholic hospital and someone wanted birth control, to ask her questions such as "Do you have pain with your periods? Any at all?" and that as long as I could document some medical reason, I could prescribe the Pill and get away with it. Obviously, I rejected that advice as unethical, and I think it might be illegal too, since I'd be lying in the medical chart. If the girl wound up with a blood clot and died, then I'm sure her lawyers would have a field day with me. I'd also get in trouble with the girl's insurance company because the hospital would use my records to bill for treatment of dysmenorrhea (medical term for severe cramps), not for contraception (since obviously, a Catholic hospital couldn't justify prescribing contraception).

On the other hand, there is a post here by a woman who has severe endometriosis that has rendered her infertile, and has been advised to take female hormones that would shut down her system. I don't think this is against Catholic teaching, and I don't even think it would be if the woman wound up getting a hysterectomy. The Pill is not inherently immoral, and I think there are cases where it is legitimate to take it. I wouldn't advise taking it every month indefinitely. But something like where a girl is having so much vaginal bleeding that it is threatening her life? I'd find nothing morally wrong with prescribing the Pill. I'd also refer her to a blood specialist to see if she has a bleeding disorder. I think using the Pill as a "Band-Aid" in this way is permissible as long as you are also doing your best to find a more effective medical treatment.

Now, some people here might disagree with me, but I hope they wouldn't question my good faith. Maybe I'm taking things too personally here, but I think it's way too simplistic to divide the world into those doing the right things for the right reasons and those doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. Many people wind up doing the wrong thing, but for the right reason, and I think they deserve compassionate, charitable education, not condemnation.


#10

I think most of the negativity is directed towards OB/GYNs specifically rather than the medical profession in general. Many people who practice NFP or who want to have more than 2 or 3 children are treated very poorly by OB/GYNs and the frustration with their experiences is reflected in their posts. For instance, my mom had me when she was 42. Her OB/GYN thought she was crazy and told her to not even try, but sure enough after a month of trying she was pregnant. After the birth she told him she wanted me to have a sibling because growing up an only child would have been lonely, and he ridiculed her so badly. He actually left his office to go down the hall and laughed loudly about it to all the other doctors and nurses saying things like "Can you believe this crazy woman?! Who does she think she is?" He tried very hard to get her to not try for my brother, but three months later she was pregnant with him. He immediately handed her permission papers to get her tubes tied during the C-section for my brother, and he wouldn't take no for an answer. He wanted to do anything in his power to prevent her from having more than 2 kids, because he felt like he knew what was best for her even if it was against her wishes. So, she ended up getting her tubes tied.
I think there is also a lot of frustration with the medical establishment that considers birth control and abortion as legitimate parts of "reproductive health."
I don't think anyone here actually thinks that doctors are bad people out to get us all, or at least they shouldn't! I'm sure most people can seperate their experiences with individual doctors from their opinions of the medical profession as a whole.


#11

What you are saying is right - one caveat- you also want to be very careful that the pill you are prescribing in the case of a married woman or a sexually active woman (lets face it you are there as a medical practicioner not as an evangelist) is not an abortaficient or does not have abortaficient qualities.


#12

I think the reason why people seem to be and are uncharitable towards doctors and those in the medical profession, is not because they think poorly of doctors in general but rather the opposite.

Kids grow up learning that a doctor is the be all, end all, greatest profession ever. That doctors, nurses, and health care workers are these altruistic healers. Doctors know (or should know) all this mysterious information and knowledge that us "normal" folks don't know.

So when a doctor fails these (obviously unrealistic) expectations there is a backlash and feelings of disappointment and even betrayal by a profession or person who was supposed to protect and heal.

You just need to be in a profession like me, where we are routinely disparaged, lawyers are the butt of all the jokes. :D

(Oh and just like doctors don't know much about NFP, because it is not taught, most don't know very much about breastfeeding either, for the same reason, it is/was not taught. Pediatricians routinely suggest/recommend things that lead to early weaning or don't know enough about breastfeeding problems to help new mothers fix them. These are pediatricians, who knows what GPs and other specialists know about the subject.

Medication is a trickier topic and one should listen to their doctor's advice. I remember getting a prescription while breastfeeding where I had to call my OB/GYN because the packet clearly stated that one shouldn't take the medication while breastfeeding, I had wait a whole weekend, and call the doctor on Monday to ask if I could safely take this medication. One needs to be informed about their health and health care decisions to make sure that their doctors are not overlooking important information).


#13

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:10, topic:217256"]
After the birth she told him she wanted me to have a sibling because growing up an only child would have been lonely, and he ridiculed her so badly. He actually left his office to go down the hall and laughed loudly about it to all the other doctors and nurses saying things like "Can you believe this crazy woman?! Who does she think she is?" He tried very hard to get her to not try for my brother, but three months later she was pregnant with him. He immediately handed her permission papers to get her tubes tied during the C-section for my brother, and he wouldn't take no for an answer. He wanted to do anything in his power to prevent her from having more than 2 kids, because he felt like he knew what was best for her even if it was against her wishes. So, she ended up getting her tubes tied.

[/quote]

Well, in that case I think your mother would have a very good case against that doctor in court, that he coerced her into having a medical procedure and did not obtain proper informed consent.

I have actually spoken to some Catholic priests about the Catholic approach to medical ethics, including this scenario of an OB pressuring a mother to get a tubal ligation as she is lying on the operating table, since I have heard of that happening. The priest I spoke to said that this would be considered unethical even if the operation wasn't for contraceptive purposes. It would be just as unethical if a surgeon who was taking someone's tonsils out told her, as she was about to go under anesthesia, "Hey, your nose really looks out of joint, you won't mind if I straighten it out for you, right?" and handed her some papers to sign, did the surgery, and billed for it.

As for the whole issue of using medications with possible abortifacient side effects...even that, from what I understand, isn't completely prohibited. This is per CAF's Moral Theology forum, not just individual priests (since I know some priests are very liberal). Of course, the beneficial effect should far outweigh the risk of causing an abortion, so it wouldn't justify taking a medication for acne.

I think we're getting off the point here. I'm fine with people saying that a doctor who says the Pill is not an abortifacient mistaken. However, I'm not as fine with people assuming the doctor was deliberately lying. Unfortunately, since pregnancy is defined by many in a medical field as starting with implantation, the doctor could very well have been taught this and passed it on not realizing that failure of a zygote to implant still results in death of the zygote. That doctor would benefit from better education, but isn't automatically guilty of the sin of lying.


#14

[quote="jilly4ski, post:12, topic:217256"]
I think the reason why people seem to be and are uncharitable towards doctors and those in the medical profession, is not because they think poorly of doctors in general but rather the opposite.... when a doctor fails these (obviously unrealistic) expectations there is a backlash and feelings of disappointment and even betrayal by a profession or person who was supposed to protect and heal.

You just need to be in a profession like me, where we are routinely disparaged, lawyers are the butt of all the jokes. :D

(Oh and just like doctors don't know much about NFP, because it is not taught, most don't know very much about breastfeeding either, for the same reason, it is/was not taught. Pediatricians routinely suggest/recommend things that lead to early weaning or don't know enough about breastfeeding problems to help new mothers fix them. These are pediatricians, who knows what GPs and other specialists know about the subject.

[/quote]

LOL, I agree that lawyers are the target of a lot of uncharitable comments as well...I wonder if you've read the topic where a poster actually was reconsidering going into law because people were saying that meant he'd have to lie all the time.

As for breastfeeding, yes, many doctors are misinformed, I even recall a doctor telling me that the La Leche League was a "fascist organization". This doctor wasn't actually against breastfeeding, he did recommend it to people, but he probably wasn't as helpful as someone who was more committed to breastfeeding. On the other hand, I somewhat understand where he's coming from in that some pro-breastfeeding people are very strident and act like anyone who gives a child formula should be investigated for child abuse. I've seen that happen on CAF too, that a mother posts explaning that she's no longer breastfeeding, or even that she's considering it, and people jump on her with uncharitable assumptions that she's being lazy, doesn't know anything about breastfeeding, and should call the nearest LLL immediately. I think that's just as ideologically blind as a PP-supporting OB-GYN pressuring a woman to have an abortion because the baby has Down syndrome.

I agree that some people are harder on doctors because they hold them up to an ideal. Maybe I'm not as hard on doctors because I know from personal experience there are just as imperfect as people in another field of work, that there are certainly many I'd never recommend to family and friends, but that most of them are decent.


#15

Well, I would totally tell someone to check this kind of thing out, because it is very very common for doctors to tell people they need to wean due to medication issues when they don’t, or when it may be possible to find an alternative plan. Many many women have had breastfeeding problems caused or made worse by doctor’s advice. Yes, some doctors are clued in, but on the issue of breastfeeding, many are not, yet seem to behave as if they are.

And that seems, with parenting stuff, to be the rub. It is very common for doctors to give moms advice on stuff that is either controversial, or which they have only limited knowledge of, as if they are experts and the issue is clear cut. (Actually, I had my physiotherapist complain about the same problem with relation to her work, so it may be more widespread.) Being a medical doctor does not make one an expert on child behavior or nutrition for example, and yet it seems like medical advice is not distinguished from opinion or information which might be deemed to be helpful.

With OB/GYN care - honestly, it is just messed up. Look at what the Cochran report has to say about the various stadard procedures in that field, look at the percentage of directives by the proffesional org that have nothing to do with health or best practice, or the stats for North America on maternity care. THis is the area where a lot of women have the majority of their experience being in the hospital system. Personally, I come from a medical family, and worked in a medical clinic throught university, and tended always to have a positive view of doctors. After three pregnancies (with different doctors and hospitals), I find it hard to trust any doctor - I am afraid of hospitals, and would go to a lot of trouble never to go to a hospital again. This is COMMON, and it isn’t as bad here in Canada as it is in the US.

I am not sure if this answers your question. People feel strongly about their bodies. If you feel your body, or that of your child, has been violated somehow, it is like being assaulted.


#16

I think sometimes we (OK , I know I DO) get into the mentality that A PERSON is smart... but PEOPLE are stupid.

And so although I LOVE my doctors. I've gone above and beyond seeking out Doc. that are rockstars in their field, who talk with me as an intelligent person who has legit concerns... I don't trust the average joe. I've personally experienced malpractice as a child do to wrongful RX's. That were KNOWN!!! I've had a doctor tell me of a DX 6 months after a test and oops they forgot to mention that... (fertility related). I walked out of that office when a woman came in screaming that someone left a message on her phone wondering why she didn't come back for her cancer screening 10 months ago... She never knew... I've had Drs refuse to do appropriate testing because they don't believe in the condition I have. I watched an ER dr. torture my son, had I expected what he was about to do I would have stopped him. I let my guard down. And it wasn't until the next day I found out from my PEDI he should have known better to do what he did... nearly causing my child an unnecessary surgery. Quite frankly, I'm a firm believer that SOMEONE graduated at the bottom of their class. And I don't want that guy (or gal). My own mother has had to refuse a hysterectomy for the last 20 years by her OB (the only nitwit in town) because that's just what he does. She doesn't actually NEED one. When she ended up with Breast Cancer, he wanted her to go see his internest buddy rather than a specialist... well, just 'cause. By the time HE had coordinated a visit to talk about the POSSABILITY of breast cancer, she had already pulled her friendly strings, and was into and seen by one of the TOP BC specialists in CA, surgury scheduled, and treatment options outlines for multiple outcomes. Same guy talked down to her because she hadn't put me on BC when I started my period... She knew if I needed it, and I didn't "need" it... I was raised to respect my body and I did.

So... it's not YOU AWESOME doctors, the individuals that some of us are all flared up about. WE are so greatful for your committment to the health and well being of us your patients.We will tell our friends to come to you. We will thank God for you, and ask God to protect you and guide you in the healing of our bodies. If you need a foot massage from walking all those rounds and taking care of your patients, and even becoming emotionally attached to your serious cases... LET ME BE THE FIRST to sit down and do it... I'll even paint your toe nails!

But if you think waving your diploma in my face is the sole qualification, while ignoring things right infront of you, and NOT LISTENING to the patient when they are telling you crucial information... If you can't jump on board with TODAY's technologies that are life saving, and quality of life saving, (I'm not talking morally questionable) may you be found out sooner than later, before you kill someone or let a person just emotionally fall apart... No one deserves respect merely for their title... but you have it when you earn it!!! At least from me.... I WILL give you the benefit of the doubt upfront. But the second you prove you don't deserve it... Well, it's on!


#17

Oh, I totally agree. I am not asking to be respected just for my title. I am just asking to be treated with the same charity and “benefit of the doubt” that you would offer to someone else. It’s not just here on CAF, I actually never wear a white coat or anything else that would identify me as a doctor when I’m enjoying my “private life”, because I know a lot of people don’t trust doctors and are even hostile toward them.

Also, I am totally on board with a patient deciding to “fire” a doctor for being rude, or being disrespectful of their beliefs, or just not being a good doctor. I’ve done the same myself, and I actually don’t think it’s good for a patient to have a doctor who he or she doesn’t trust, whether or not the mistrust is justified. I also would not at all be threatened by a patient getting a second opinion from another doctor. I would, however, feel hurt if the patient told all their friends that “Dr. Toe told me to take drug X, the specialist told me something completely different, so Dr. Toe must have been paid off by the drug company to promote Drug X”. Or something equally uncharitable.

It saddens me that some people (again, not just on CAF) see the whole medical profession to be as suspect as the legal profession, or politicians, used car salesmen, etc. That the mere fact of being a doctor means it’s ok to make certain assumptions about someone. Hence why I feel hurt when a poster mentions a doctor’s advice, with no context about why that particular doctor came to that conclusion, and people jump to conclusions that, for example, just because an OB recommended a C-section that he must be too greedy, lazy or incompetent to consider other options. Or that every poor outcome must mean the doctor did something wrong. For example, I recall a post about a pregnant woman with placenta accreta (a condition where the placenta grows into, and sometimes through, the placental wall), where C-section usually is medically indicated. Yet a poster snuck in a swipe at doctors anyway by claiming that the woman probably developed this condition because of past unnecessary C-sections. The poster hadn’t even mentioned having any C-section in the past, much less multiple ones! Again, it is one thing to talk about trends and generalities, another to make assumptions about a specific doctor, a specific medical case, or a specific patient.

I guess, to quote a president, that I have no problem with patients taking a “Trust but verify” approach to their doctors. The problem I have is with the “Distrust without bothering to verify” approach. I just wouldn’t want someone to reject something that’s medically appropriate based on their own prejudices and preconceptions, instead of really thinking about the individual case. (And yes, I know this applies to doctors as well as patients). I think this is probably one reason why CAF bans medical advice here, even if well-intentioned.


#18

[quote="ToeInTheWater, post:17, topic:217256"]
For example, I recall a post about a pregnant woman with placenta accreta (a condition where the placenta grows into, and sometimes through, the placental wall), where C-section usually is medically indicated. Yet a poster snuck in a swipe at doctors anyway by claiming that the woman probably developed this condition because of past unnecessary C-sections. The poster hadn't even mentioned having any C-section in the past, much less multiple ones!

[/quote]

Ummm, I think you might want to re-read that post. The poster said no such thing. What she DID make was a simple comment that the condition is a scary one and was virtually unheard of until the rise in c-sections. Nowhere did she say the person probably had a previous c-section, and nowhere did she take a swipe at doctors. :shrug:


#19

As for my own answer, I will only state that the majority of doctors I've been to for myself or my kids have been uncharitable to ME as a patient or parent, acting as though I couldn't possibly know a thing.

I am one to question things and do my own research, which most docs are not usually too eager to find out.

Now I've searched all over for doctors who take me seriously, and I love them. :thumbsup:
Still, IMHO, they are few and far between.

I hope YOU become a doctor who listens to her patients, respects that they may very well have more knowledge than you in certain areas, and who knows your own limits. One who tries to stay on top of current knowledge and research, and will be humble enough to realize that just because things used to be done a certain way or that you were taught a certain way doesn't mean it's the best way for all people or all times.

You do that, and I'll hire you. :)


#20

I admit that I probably am taking some of this too personally, and that that the poster didn't come out and state that this particular case was due to prior C-sections. But her comment seemed to imply an assumption that since the condition was unheard of before C-sections, this woman must have had a C-section in the past. And I know that there are unnecessary C-sections, but it seems many around here think the vast majority of them are, much as many seem to think the vast majority of prenatal care itself is unnecessary, to the point that a woman posted about her daughter planning on giving birth with no prenatal care at all and only her husband to assist her at the birth...and many seemed to think this was perfectly reasonable, or at least no more dangerous than a hospital birth. That kind of thinking scares me, honestly. The cynical side of me keeps thinking that a lot of women who rail against C-sections and "hospital birth" would be the first to call a malpractice lawyer if the OB agreed to a vaginal delivery and something bad happened to the baby. Anyway, it was in that context that I assumed that the poster meant to take a swipe at doctors, I'm sorry.

Now, I am not saying a woman should blindly say yes to a doctor who recommends a C-section, or any other procedure or treatment. Or that you should tolerate a doctor who doesn't treat with you respect, gives you a "my way or the highway" attitude, etc. However, I wouldn't recommend that the woman also become hostile and accuse the doctor of something like, "I bet you're only saying that 'cause you're afraid I'll sue you!" Even though this does happen, that doesn't mean it's okay to assume your own personal doctor doesn't have your best interests at heart...if you can't believe that, I'd want you to find a new doctor! (And yes, I know this is sometimes easily said than done).

ETA: Maybe you can compare me to a traffic cop who's seen, or heard of, many cases of death and destruction caused by people speeding, not wearing seat belts, etc, and sees people loudly proclaiming that there's absolutely nothing unsafe about driving at 90mph without a seat belt, and that the cops only give tickets for that to fill their daily quota. The cop probably knows that this happens, and that it's wrong...but that doesn't mean speeding is safe. I've actually considered posting in some individual topics, especially in the Parenting forum, but I've kept quiet since I didn't want to people to say, "Well of course you would defend the doctor, you're biased".


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