How not to pick an obstetrician.
February 19, 2009

My husband and I selected our obstetrician on the basis of a rave review we received from one of his relatives.  We were told that she was GREAT and FANTASTIC and AMAZING, and after all she had helped bring a few babies into this world, so we eagerly scheduled an appointment as soon as the urine was dry on our positive pregnancy tests.

It is nothing short of a miracle that I still listen to anything my in-laws say.

The first time I met the obstetrician, she was short and angry.  She administered the necessary pap smear with GLEE, people, FUCKING GLEE, and I left the office with my entire list of questions unanswered.

The second time I met the obstetrician, my husband was with me.  It was an awful appointment and we both left the office dissatisfied.  And the next few times that we met the obstetrician, things did not improve.  We were berated, belittled, and ignored as a matter of routine.  And then came Friday night, when we found ourselves in the emergency room, scared and anxious and uninformed.

After that “adventure,“ it took the two of us about ten seconds flat to decide that we wanted to find another doctor.  A doctor who is sociable and well-educated.  A doctor who presents us with options and does not bemoan our choices.  A doctor who is willing to discuss diet and exercise and weight gain and OH, I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE PREGNANCY with us.  A doctor who knows a thing or two about Crohn’s disease and who is decidedly more open to answering our questions.  A doctor who speaks English as a native language.

We just don’t know where to start…

What have been some of your less-than-savory experiences with doctors?


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  1. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on February 19, 2009

    Oh my goodness - you just described one of my worst nightmares!  I hate going to bad doctors.  I actually had one make me cry (and I’m not a big crier) after he told me my stomach issues were in my head and that I should make more friends.  Seriously.

    I don’t have an answer for you because I, too, will need to find an obstetrician, but I will be curious to hear what works for you!

  2. By Amy on February 19, 2009

    I am so sorry you had to go through that.

    I’ve had two female ob/gyns and I’ll never have another. They were BRUTAL. I have a male gyn now and love him. But I did a lot of “consultations” before I settled on him, asked a LOT of questions. It was exhausting, but totally worth it because this is a medical specialty designed to be as invasive as possible and you want someone you TRUST.

    Good luck.

  3. By Mom24@4evermom on February 19, 2009

    When I was pregnant for the second time, after experiencing infertility for 6 years (and this doctor knew that), my husband had brought home a kitten one day.  Well, the kitty was sick and had diarrhea.  Without asking any intelligent, pertinent questions, this idiot started talking about how I should abort.  This was after my first appointment, very newly pregnant, while doing a vaginal ultrasound he referred to the probe as a dildo.  There are, unfortunately, many, many other stories, but long story short, after the abortion comment, I switched, even though I was in my fourth month.  Best move I ever made.  The rest of my pregnancy was so much more enjoyable.  It’s worth it to find the right doctor.

    When I was first married, then when I was a new Mommy, I suffered through a HORRIBLE family doctor because my in-laws thought he hung the moon.  I empathize!

  4. By violetismycolor on February 19, 2009

    Horrid…I have had agreat OB/Gyn for the past 20-some years and I don’t even remember how I found him…just luck I guess.  But my first pediatrician was not a woman who would talk to one about children but would tell you how to raise them; she would try to make my decisions for me.  After about a year, I switched to a wonderful pediatrician that my 20-something kids still adore (though they don’t go to him anymore).  I hate the whole doctor-search thing.  Find someone who cares about you…ask other young mothers, is my advice.

  5. By Elizabeth on February 19, 2009

    Thanks for your comment, Sarah.  A superhero?  I’m honoured you stopped by!  Anyhow, I’ll admit that my family doc is occasionally less-than-tactful, having said “Well, someone ate a few too many Easter Eggs?“ to my 18-week pregnant self (when preg with my daughter).  That being said, however, I do appreciate him.  Best delivery experience EVER.  I’d advise you to keep looking, and go with your instinct.

  6. By Michelle at Scribbit on February 20, 2009

    Oh my—the first guy I ever saw was a complete jerk.  I won’t go into the details but I was so ticked and when he lost his hospital priviledges a year later I was cheering.

  7. By Heidi on February 20, 2009

    Ladies! This poor superhero preggo blogger! I’m getting my tubes tied! Especially after reading Mom24’s dildo debacle. AGGHHHT. You need a Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.

  8. By napmom on February 20, 2009

    I think that my personal favorite was with my second child. 

    I had the standard ultrasound and was about 30 miles from the lab office when they called me back because “the doctor needs to relook at something.“  Obviously that made me very nervous. 

    I went back in and the doctor looked at some stuff and said that MY OB/GYN would be calling me.  I did not receive a call. 

    Then, at my next OB/GYN appt the doctor went through all of the standard doctor stuff and was about to let me leave.  I asked her what the results of my ultrasound were and she said (WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING) “oh, they were normal.“  I explained to her that I had to go back in and I was wondering what they were looking at/for.  She said something like, “Oh, it was probably because they wanted to make sure that the…....“  I don’t even remember what she said but she totally just blew me off.  I was furious.  I stayed with the practice though and I like everyone except for that one doctor.

  9. By Katelyn on February 20, 2009

    I had a midwife to start…then she informed me she was leaving the practice at our second visit.  I had a few complications, and I decided I was not going to put myself through the interim midwife, then the new midwife and decided to go with an OB/GYN in the same practice.  I liked her, for the most part, occasionally I felt she blew off my concerns, but I was a neurotic new mom with a tendency to not trust doctors.  Where I am, unfortunately, you have a primary OB/GYN in a group of 8.  Whoever happens to be on call when you deliver, is who you get.  Luckily, she ended up delivering Brooklyn, but you can read all about the OB/GYN I didn’t like in my post titled “Me” in January…..

    Good luck!  It’s important to feel comfortable with your care provider.  What happend on Friday?  Did I miss a post?  I hope you’re doing better!

  10. By Tara on February 20, 2009

    Run like the wind. 

    It makes such a world of difference if you have a caregiver whom you not only like but who also appreciates and respects your wishes.  If at no other time than when you’re pregnant.  You deserve and need to be treated well. 

    I had a midwife and it was the best experience ever. The level of care was outstanding.

  11. By Allison on February 21, 2009

    I’m so sorry that you didn’t like your OB. I’m glad you are going to find a new one, though!

    I’ve been lucky and haven’t really had any bad experiences with doctors. Yet.

    I loved my OB. She was kind, caring, compassionate, and knew the answer to every question I asked, or was willing to find out for me. In fact, I still see her for my routine GYN stuff, too :)

    Good luck in your search.

  12. By courtney from mommie blogs on February 21, 2009

    I am so sorry your visits did not go well.

    I love my OB now and actually loved my old OB, but had an awful experience with the nurse, so I thought, hey I pay too much for health insurance not to have the best care, so I left!  To make a long story very short—I started to bleed when I was 8 weeks prego with my son, mind you this exact thing happened 3 months prior and I miscarried, so needless to say I was afraid, my blood tests were delayed and I called twice to find out the results, the nurse said we clearly are having a delay, so you will need to wait until Monday and then proceed to say “I understand your anxious, but honestly your only 8 weeks, its not like your further along”... wait what?  As if it would be fine if I miscarried again!

  13. By ExtraordinaryMommy on February 23, 2009

    I’m so glad you are finding another doctor - if you lived by me, I would have the perfect recommendation.  Mine was heavenly AND saved my life (no exaggeration) AND my daughter’s.

    There is nothing worse than having a wretched doctor (had a bad experience over the summer) or dealing with ill-informed office staff/nurses.  (Currently experiencing this)

    Best of luck finding someone wonderful!

  14. By Melssa on February 25, 2009

    Good luck in finding someone new.  With my 1st I ended up moving a month before he was born.  He was also breech which led to a c-section.  My OB in CA recommended someone he went to school with, but it turned out that she had retired.  I ended up seeing the woman who took over for her and I LOVED her.  Since the N was breech I saw her often before he was born.  Since we scheduled a c-section she was the one who delivered.  When I had my twins she was on vacation when I went into labor so I had to go with someone else.  That doctor was okay, but I didn’t know her and she seemed pretty reserved.  My doctor was back from her trip that day and came in to check on me and the boys (they were 6 weeks early).

  15. By poppy fields on February 26, 2009

    I have been seeing the same gynecologist for 6 years, but on the advice of a friend and my generalist, I went to see the bigwig at the big city hospital.
    I hated the whole experience: the wait, the person, the place…it just really felt wrong.
    The next week, I rescheduled the exact same appointment with my good old obgyn…she took me the same day. I didn’t tell her that I’d “betrayed” her, but I will never listen to anyone else again concerning this subject.

  16. By TheFeministBreeder on February 26, 2009

    Oh let’s see… less than savory experiences…. oh, how about being cut open and having my baby extracted and not being able to see him for many hours after his birth all because my doctor didn’t believe that my body knew how to give birth…. OR the second time when he practically tied me down and tried to force me to let him cut my second baby out of me, and threatened/ridiculed/insulted me until I started threatening him with phone calls to lawyers so he’d leave me alone and let me push my baby out.

    Funny thing is… he’s a “great, amazing, genius” doctor… and they’re really all the same.

    Get yourself a midwife and call it a day.

  17. By La Petite Belle on May 08, 2009

    I also used a midwife. I had an awesome experience with them.

  18. By Rebecca on June 09, 2009

    I know you posted this a while back and I’m sure you’ve found someone who’s perfect for you now, but for anyone else who might read this, I’m also hugely in favor of finding a midwife.  I switched at 28 weeks from an OB practice due to the lack of concern for me as a person—I was just a number, another cow for them to herd through.  With my midwife, she got to know me as a person and was always respectful of my choices and wishes.

    I’m so glad I made that decision to switch.  Under the circumstances (very long labor with back labor caused by baby’s posterior position until halfway through pushing), I could not have had a successful vaginal birth with an OB, all of whom (by training and definition) are surgery-minded.  My midwife let me labor without unnecessary intervention and helped me work with my body to deliver my baby.  Note I didn’t say no interventions—I had pitocin, but I knew that when she recommended it, that was truly the best course of action to help me avoid a c-section, not her trying to hurry things along so she could get home in time for dinner.

    The point is, ladies, go with your gut and find someone who will trust you and your body to do what it was made to do!

  19. By on July 01, 2009

    I am having an issue with my OB. I just started seeing her with this pregnancy because we are new to the area, but in each of our appointments I felt like she was rushing through things. My first child was 6 weeks premature, so she mentioned the possibility of progesterone therapy 9 (weekly injections.) I said I wanted to look into it a bit more, so she gave me some info and said we could talk about it at my next visit. I did extensive research in the literature (I have a PhD and am practiced in conducting literature reviews and evaluations) and found that according to the clinical data the progesterone would not make any difference given the gestation of my previous pregnancy. At our next visit, she asked if I had thought about the progesterone and I replied that I had reviewed a lot of information and did not think it would work for me. I also said that I could explain my reasons if she’d like. She said she would like to have me consult with a maternal-fetal specialist regarding the progesterone therapy. I went to this consultation (which cost me $200) and the specialist told me exactly what I had concluded, even citing the same papers that I had read. Shortly thereafter, I had the 20-week ultrasound, and a couple of days later visited the obstetrician’s office for some suspicious discharge. My OB was not in that day, so I saw another doctor, who diagnosed a mild yeast infection. At the end of the exam, he said, that the ultrasound report was in and that everything looked good except that there was slight urine back-up around the kidneys and the radiologist recommended a follow-up. He said not to worry, it was probably nothing and that my OB would schedule a follow-up ultrasound during our appointment next month. When I got home I looked up “urine back-up fetal kidneys” and found a lot of horrifying information. Based on everything I read, follow-up in these cases is usually done within a couple of weeks. I e-mailed my OB (their practice encourages this form of communication through a closed e-mail system) asking if I could get a copy of the report. She wrote back that day and said she would call the office and let them know I was coming to pick it up. I picked it up and saw that the radiologist had recommended repeat, short interval follow up at about 10 days. I wrote again to my OB, quoting the report and asking if we could start setting this up, because several days had already passed. She wrote back the next day (a Tuesday), saying that she would not be in the office until Thursday, so she would contact me then, after she had seen the report. I waited Thursday and Friday, trying to be patient, but heard nothing. Sunday marked 10th day after the original ultrasound. Early Monday afternoon, I wrote again, asking if she had reviewed the report. It is now Wednesday afternoon and I have heard nothing. It is now nearly two weeks since the original ultrasound and I have been quite distressed and actually cry a couple of times a day when I think about this potential problem that is probably nothing.

  20. By on July 19, 2009

    Back in my day, doctors were GODS. No so these days! Trust your gut, literally. Shop around. The GP who delivered my first son believed a newborn shouldn’t be circumcised until three weeks after birth. So, naturally, we believed him. What did we know!? Right…..three weeks after his birth, we took him into the doctor’s office and it was a NIGHTMARE. Listen to your gut-feeling. If it doesn’t feel right for you, it isn’t. This is the same doctor that told me (this is the truth) that I had an “infucktion” when I went in with what ended up being my first yeast infection—


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