Saturday, January 28, 2012

Letter

Hello,

I would like to report a recent appointment that I had with Dr. T in the Fertility Clinic.

I was scheduled for an ultrasound in the clinic, with her there to read the results.

A little background-in 2009 I was pregnant with twins and suffered premature delivery and both were born at almost 24 weeks and they passed away in the NICU. Since then I have had a successful pregnancy, resulting in my daughter who is now 18 months old. I am back to try for another pregnancy, but as an intervention I have an ultrasound to check how my body responded to the medication (I do not ovulate as a result of poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) and see how many follicles are growing, in order to avoid a higher risk of conceiving twins again.

Dr. T :

1. Did not introduce herself. I had no idea she was even a doctor. She walked in and seemed to be in a rush.

2. She had obviously not familiarized with my situation/read my chart before hand and had no idea the reason for which I was even having an ultrasound.

3. She acted as though she was angry that she even had to be there as she “had no voice.”

4. She did not explain anything on the ultrasound.

After the ultrasound, I waited for answers. She said, “Well, it looks like you have one or two follicles.”

I needed to know if there was one OR two-that was the whole reason I was paying for that ultrasound.

She was very short with me. She was rude. She was demeaning and derogatory in how she spoke to me. She wrote a note in my file that was EXTREMELY demeaning, simply because I had teared up while watching the ultrasound. She implied that because I had teared up while looking at the ultrasound, that I "must need counseling" and that "a doctor cannot control how many eggs a woman produces."

I think most people are familiar with something called post traumatic stress. I have it. After holding two of my babies while they died, there are several triggers, specifically in the hospital setting, that cause me to feel anxiety, and even fear. For her to comment in a demeaning way because I “teared up” is unfeeling and cruel. I am SHOCKED that XX Hospital would employ a doctor (specifically in the fertility clinic, in which I’m positive there are others who have had situations similar to mine) is very, very sad to me.

After I explained my situation she replied, “Well there are no doctors here. We cannot control how many eggs a woman produces. Just don’t have sex this cycle then.” She then turned around and walked out of the room. She acted like she had NO time for me, and seemed to think an appropriate answer to my question was to “just not have sex”.

I left that appointment feeling horrible. I did not have any answers to help me decide about my next steps. In a situation when you are dealing with time sensitive issues (i.e. a menstrual cycle/ovulation) immediate feedback is essential. Thankfully, K, a nurse from the clinic who is extremely kind and helpful called me back, and my doctor, Dr. R, also called me back immediately the next day. I am a teacher and it’s extremely difficult to talk to a nurse during the day-especially when I had a doctor right there who wouldn’t answer any of my questions, so noe of this should have been necessary. I was also contacted by Dr. B, who had seen my note come through and was concerned.

I then was called by Dr. K, who asked for me to share about the incident. The ultrasound tech had informed others about the situation. She also apologized to me after the appointment was over. I appreciated the concern and the time they took to listen to me.

During my time at XX, I have had so many knowledgeable, efficient, caring and kind nurses and doctors. My family doctor is the most amazing person and treats me with the most respect. However, I have had many cruel and hurtful comments made to me since losing my twins. In a business that deals with so much loss, I would hope that doctors are educated on how to treat those who have gone through these big life changing events However, this time was by FAR the worst. I don’t expect extra special treatment because my twins died. What I do expect is to be treated humanely, to have my questions answered, and to be treated with respect.

I believe that patient safety involves patient emotional safety as well. I think that my safety was compromised. I am very seriously considering moving to XX for the fertility part of my journey, because it will be very difficult to schedule around NOT having Dr. T ever again.

I would be more than happy to explain more or answer any questions. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Christy

12 comments:

AKD said...

I am again so sorry, but glad you wrote this letter. Hugs.

Denise said...

It's sad how cruel and ignorant some medical "professionals" can be. I'm sorry you endured this :(

Catherine W said...

I know that this letter must have been difficult to write but I'm so glad that you did. This doctor's behaviour was unacceptable and insensitive and you are right to highlight it. Hopefully you will save some other broken hearted women additional hurt xo

Wiley said...

I had a conversation with my OB once that they have no actual training in delivering bad news or supporting a patient who has endured a negative event previously. It's all just who they are plus learning on the job. I won the lottery in this department, but makes me worry about doctors who are at the other end of the spectrum.

Kristie said...

Chrisy, I hope they take your letter to heart and you get an apology from this doctor. I had a similar awful experience with a doctor. We lost our son at 23 weeks and when we started trying again we had a miscarriage at 11 weeks. We were at our first appt with the perinatologist after 4 confirming ultrasounds that everything was going fine through our fertility doctor. I was to meet with the perinatologist who I had previously consulted with and loved. We went in first for an ultrasound and found out the baby no longer had a heartbeat. I was in a room full of strangers and two unfamiliar doctors came in to read the ultrasound. Afterwards we met with one of the doctors who said she hadn't read my chart and asked me to "fill her in" on my history. So it was awful to have just found out that my baby died and then have to go and described how my son died and our pregnancy before that ended. She was very cold and offered very little help to us. I totally understand the post traumatic stress involved with losing a baby. I am so sorry you had to go through this and I really hope they realize how their behavior effects patients. I wrote a similar letter to my doctor and I got a very small apology, but it wasn't enough for me. I'm still glad I said what needed to be said so hopefully that doesn't happen to someone again. I just wish doctors realized how important it is that we feel comfortable with them and that just a little caring goes a long way. Hoping the best for you!

Jen said...

Wow. Dr. T is a bitch! I'm so sorry that you had to go through this and I'm so glad that you wrote this letter. This person should not be a doctor!

((hugs)) sweet friend!

Amy L. said...

Very well said. Yay, you...although I'm sorry you had to write it at all.

Jessica said...

I wish you had no need to write this letter, but I am proud of you for standing up for yourself (and any others) that have been given less than compassionate care. Hoping something good comes out of this!

Lori said...

Not sure how much you want to carry this on, but seriously, I'd go further and send this letter to the licensing board as well. Get HER counseling. Officially. Through the licensing department. See what she thinks of THAT.

Witch. I HATE her and I don't even know her.

Or use that word lightly. She's awful.

And I'm sorry.

Deni said...

This just literally left me with my jaw on the floor! How heinous! She needs to be punched in the face, seriously. I am not even sure how you managed to get out of there without being a puddle of tears, much less just "teared up". I'm so glad you reported it and I DO NOT and WILL NEVER understand why doctors who only want to make money go into RE. I'm just being honest, could they not get into dermatology or radiology? Some people are not meant to have contact with patients! If Sean ever treated anyone like this is would kick him in the junk! UGH! disgusted!!! Ok, my rant is over, but I completely agree with Lori, you should report her to the medical board. You should send this letter to the director of the clinic, the hospital director, the board of directors, seriously, every.single.person above her should get this!

You do not get to treat patients like this and continue to just go on about your business. I also think that you should put her name and her place of business out there because you can keep others from seeing her!

I'm sorry! Big big big hugs!!!

Holly said...

I hope they take your letter seriously b/c this IS serious. They def need to know about this dr and how she is treating patients.

With Out My Punkin said...

my reader is failing me, (((((((HUGS))))))) sending you lots of love. What a bitch. I agree with Lori. I'm so sorry