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,