Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When you hate what you do, it shows

I wrote previously about not really enjoying the other doctors in the practice I go to. Today I saw the meanest one, Dr. T and she did not disappoint. I sat down and she rolled her eyes and said do you want me to measure you or not? pull up your shirt. Hmm- I can think of about ten different ways she could have said that nicely. She measured me, slammed the doppler on my stomach causing little boy to kick hard and then opened the door to leave. I stopped her to ask her some questions. She rolled her eyes to each question and spoke to me like I was three. our encounter lasted five minutes, maybe. That. was. it.

I tell myself not to take it personally. I've read the reviews and she treats everyone this way, but I couldn't help it, I felt humiliated. I couldn't stop thinking about Eve and the horrible treatment some medical personnel gave her. When I once told my regular OB about Dr. T and how rude she's been with me in the past, my OB said she's going through a lot in her personal life and she's letting it into her work. I get it. I've had crappy days. I also know that not everyone in the world is nice. And mean people need jobs too. But. When you don't like what you do- it shows. Why not be a radiologist or some other behind the scenes doctor? I had this same issue as a teacher, surrounded by teachers who hated their jobs. They didn't know it- but it showed. I left my previous job because I grew to hate it and though it was scary to become a single income household sooner than I had planned, I knew if I stayed my dislike for what I did would show, and it would be unfair to my clients.

After the appointment I stopped at Publix for groceries and got a veggie sub for lunch. The guy who made my sub greeted me with a warm smile. He took care with my sub putting mustard on both sides and smoothed it out to even out the texture. He spread the veggies evenly instead of tossing them haphazardly in the center and asked me from time to time if it looked the way I wanted it to. That is the best sub I've ever seen I told him as he wrapped and handed it to me. He grinned I like to make subs for others the way I would like them to made for me.

That simple encounter left me walking away with a smile. It reminded me of the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King: Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better. And if you can't come even a smidge close to this standard, perhaps you should consider a different profession. And in the meantime, how about faking it till you make it? Isn't life too short to make yourself and those you work with miserable?


  1. ridiculous, i think you should request that you not see her again, i really hope she is not the on-call doctor when you have sunflower!!! i love it when i have someone like the sub gut wait on me, it doesn't happen very often but when it does it brightens my day.

  2. what a bitch! sorry you had to go through that...

  3. Uugh. I hate being treated that way at a drs' office almost more than anywhere else.

    But just a thought - what if her "issue" is that she's infertile, and is having an increasingly hard time dealing with it?

  4. UGH. So sorry you had to deal with someone so obviously ill-suited to her job. And I agree with previous posters - ask that she not see you anymore. That's just an outrageously unprofessional way to treat a patient, and she should hear from people that it's unacceptable. Hope you never have to deal with her again!

  5. Thanks for your perspectives and for sharing in my frustration guys. Ooky, perhaps that is her issue, but at the same time she just has to look at my chart to know I am infertile also and that I had two miscarriages (one of which she was incredibly rude to me about) so its not like I'm some fertile running around whining about how fat I look.... so I don't know, but that could be it ofcourse.

  6. How horrible of her! I agree with you, K, that she needs to put personal issues aside for work. When I was going through the deep hell of infertility, I made sure to check my own situational depression at the door when I was sitting with my clients. It was about THEM and what THEY needed to work through -- that's what I was there for. Some topics were tough (obviously) but I was still present for them.

  7. What a great juxtaposition. I've had the honor of coming across similar sandwich makers (or the like) and they really do make you smile and turn around your day. What a great lesson and reminder.

    As for the doctor - I'm just sorry you have to deal with someone like that. No fun at all.

  8. It sucks that after everything we've all been through, we have to deal with rude medical personnel! I'm so sorry, I wish there was a way we could all get the perfect doctor!

  9. Hey there,
    I've been wondering the same thing lately about doctors due to your stories, Eve's and some of my best friend's stories too. I emailed my good friend who is a nurse (not o.b.) and here are a few of her thoughts which helped me understand it a bit more (not that it's okay...but still it helped a bit!)
    I can explain some of the reasoning behind the insensitivities you and your fellow blogger's experienced. They are all examples of what our current health system is doing outpatient: treating health care like a factory.

    Doctors and nurses are extremely crunched for time. They see sometimes over 15 patients per day and pressured by management to make themselves as efficient as possible. However, people are not machines, and more efficient care does not necessarily mean a better experience for patients. Doctors and nurses who spend extra time (to actually get to know their patients) may get in trouble or even get fired! When I did my clinical rotation, the nurses seeing patient rarely had time to look into a chart, and doctors did only long enough to make a diagnosis. There are burnt out or bad nurses, but sometimes there are nurses who are just trying to do their best in a bad system.
    It is rare that you get a doctor or nurse that are in a system that allows them time to actually know you. As consumers, the only thing we can do to change this is by filling out those satisfaction survey sent out after appointments, and if possible, leave businesses that provide bad customer service (and tell them that is why you are leaving). However, it is difficult because you may not with your insurance have other options. Still, if you ever get questionable care, you always have the right to a second opinion!

    My friend is an awesome nurse and she had more to say about actually working with critical patients in the hospital...quite the stories and it seems like a flawed system!!

  10. That is a wonderful insight, and all too true. :)

    As for your Dr., yes we all have bad days, and yes it's normal for it to leak into other parts of our lives, but there are certain professions where it can't be tolerated, not even a little. Your lawyer, your doctor...these people should work harder at keeping things separate because they have such an impact on those they care for. "First do no harm" doesn't just mean physically. She's being irresponsible and no one should be making excuses for her.

  11. Thanks guys for sharing your thoughts on this. Susie, I appreciate your nurse friend's perspective on it. It's true there are a lot of people they have to see and get through and it can get into a state where you feel burned out. I get the time crunch since many of the teachers I worked with felt bitter and disgruntled for similar reasons (not enough time, too much responsibility and pressure etc) but at the same time like Myndi pointed out, you have to put aside these frustrations and at least for the five minutes you interact, you have to try to be polite. I mean, my regular OB, my MFM doctor also have tight schedules they all work in the same practice group but why can they, with similar demands and similar schedules, still manage to be so nice? Unfortunately, your friend is right, it is rare to find good doctors who will truly get to know you. It took me going through four OBs before finding this one so I can appreciate that it is difficult with the way things work. I think had I a normal pregnancy with no risky business at all I would go to a midwife because my friends who see midwives have completely different experiences.

  12. I call those "Carrie Bradshaw moments" where everything ties up real nicely to teach you a lesson. What a nice sub guy! ICLW