Some Doctors Make It Hard To Be Healthy

I think everyone would agree that I’m a very healthy person. Not just with fitness and physical exercise, but with overall health. My mom died in 1997, after a five-year battle with ovarian cancer, so I’ve been having my ovaries checked ever since. Yeah, that long. I also get what’s called a CA125 blood draw annually, (to see if there’s any change from year to year), I’ve had the BRCA1 testing done (to check if I have the genetic markers for ovarian cancer and I don’t!), get yearly ultrasounds (to see those puppies directly), and I’ve had several breast exams well before the age of 40 since I’m not yet 40! I make every possible effort to be healthy, and let me tell you, it’s a pain in the ass.


Now that I’m fairly positive none of my male cousins are continuing to read this, or any male for that matter, I can get down to brass tacks with just us women.

Last week I went in for a regularly scheduled gynecologist appointment. I think we can all agree they’re not pleasant, but if you have the right doctor, they’re not bad. I had an amazing doctor for years and then, just before I became pregnant with the twins, she got very sick and left the practice. Since then, I’ve been on a revolving doctor schedule (within the same practice) with varying degrees of satisfaction. It was this office I was going to, to see the doctor who delivered my boys five years ago, and who I’ve seen ever since.

Of course, I waited in the lobby. You always have to wait. After about 10 minutes I was called in for the nurse to take my vitals and run down the usual list of questions — do you smoke? No. Do you drink? Hell yes. Do any of these 110 diseases run in your family? No, except my “family history” (that’s what they call it) of my mother dying from cancer, if you want to count that?

However, on this day, as the nurse started to ask me the usual questions, I noticed she was whispering. I looked at her like “why the hell are you whispering?” and she actually told me that she was trying to overhear the phone conversation my doctor was having in his office. Say what?

So yeah, she carried on in a whisper and without paying much attention to anything I was saying or doing, intent on listening in on the doctor. I could have told her I thought I was growing a penis, and she probably would have just politely nodded.

Sounds good!

Sounds good!


After 10 minutes of that ridiculousness, I was swooped into the exam room to start what I refer to as “the great wait.” You strip naked, put on a gown that has a lovely opening in the back, and plant yourself on the exam table with those stirrups staring you down as if to say “you know what’s coming!” Ugh. It’s so awful.

So I waited. And waited. And waited. I sat there like a moron for 45 minutes! I was *this close* to walking out into the hall, ass out, and yelling “Is there a doctor available to look at my vagina?” The only thing stopping me was, I was pretty sure if I pulled that stunt, I would have to then find another doctor and I don’t have time for that, which was why I was so frustrated in the first place.


I was hoping, at this point, that the nurse had the goods on the doctor, his phone conversation was over, and he would find 10 minutes in his schedule to stick some metal objects in me and poke around.

He opened the door and started with…

“So, why are you here?” I honestly haven’t a clue.

That was followed by five solid minutes on his computer “inputting data,” only to ask me how old my youngest child is. You delivered my TWINS 5 years ago you asshole! Is there any actual data on that screen about me? I’ve only been coming here since I was 17.

And it went on like that for pretty much the whole visit, which lasted a whopping 8 minutes.

And no, I did not scream obscenities at him with my mouth, just my eyes. I think he heard me.


Who is this genius Dr. Frederick and when can I see her?

There’s more.

As I went to the desk to check out and schedule all my various appointments, I was told they were using a new blood lab, as I was handed a list of all the locations of this new lab. Now, I live several towns away from where the doctor’s office is. None of the locations of this new lab were convenient to where I live, so I said I would continue to use the old one. Upon hearing this, Sally Spy-A-Lot (the nurse) whipped around to go ask the doctor if this was allowed. She returned to say the doctor wanted to know if there was a location of the new lab near the old one! My response? That is a stupid question.

And I left.

I was there for an hour and fifteen minutes. I spent eight minutes with an actual doctor, who acted as though he didn’t even know me.

Every single day of my life I worry that I’m going to leave my kids without a mom. I’m terrified of becoming sick because I saw how my mother deteriorated, became a different person because of cancer, and ultimately left a huge gaping hole in our entire family that we grieve over and over again.

I do everything in my control to avoid getting sick – way beyond all that I do in doctor’s offices, blood labs and boob clinics. All I ask is for some professionalism. Some compassion. Some respect. And at the very least, knowing who the hell I am when I’ve been a patient for over 20 years.

Shame on you doctor and Sally Spy-A-Lot. People are coming to you, trying to do the right thing, trying to be healthy. What are you doing for them?


What’s your doctor like? Am I the only one with these issues?

What do you do to stay healthy, beyond exercising?




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  1. I think it’s time to switch. I know it’s a pain in the ass but your health is way more important than the inconvenience. I’m glad you wrote this because it just reminded me to schedule my date with the sturrups. I was considering switching because a) I feel he is just going through the motions during my visit and b) he is a obstetrician and I have had to reschedule because he delivering a baby and I so don’t need that service anymore.
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…Reebok Fall Fitness Giveaway!My Profile

    1. I absolutely have to switch. Luckily, because of this post, a lot of my friends are reaching out with names of doctors who they LOVE. I can’t wait to request my records and send them a copy of this post as my “reason why.” Thanks Kris and good luck finding a new one yourself!

  2. Well, I am pretty sure you read my post on Adrenal Fatigue and 6 years of doctors telling me I was fine. Chalking up all my symptoms to being a “tired mom.” AND the cardiologist who made me grab his belly fat for “demonstrative purposes.” I am going the Naturopath route. I take my health very seriously and believe in the body’s natural ability to heal under most circumstances. Finding the right Doctor is really a priority for me. MY OB is fabulous. And the Naturopath sends me to an MD and then interprets all my labs.
    Tara Newman recently posted…5 Ways to Stop Negative Thoughts in Their TracksMy Profile

    1. Yes I absolutely did and I was completely horrified! I definitely need to switch and may check out a few neuropaths in my area, as another friend suggested that as well. Thank you Tara!

    • Jess on September 10, 2014 at 7:19 AM
    • Reply

    I was waiting for this one! I couldn’t agree more, going to the doctors is so nerve wracking in the first place, and it blows me away that so many of them don’t conduct themselves with basic courtesy and compassion and try to make you feel more comfortable!

    1. Sorry you had the back luck to talk to me right AFTER that appointment!! It’s so frustrating but, because of this post, I’ve already got some great recommendations from friends. Thanks Jess! 🙂

  3. You just made me so glad that I found my OB-Gyn right before I got pregnant with Emma, because the doctor I was using as a referral from a friend before this was absolutely awful and actually told me during a chemical pregnancy, it is “a loss” over the phone while I on break from teaching for a period during the day. Right after, he said this he hung up and that was the end of the phone call. He never said he was sorry nor gave nay inkling he cared. Thankfully, I found my now doctor from another recommendation and he is truly one in a million. If you lived closer would totally refer you to him, because you would never be treated this way by him, NEVER! Seriously, I am just so sorry you had to be put through this for an appointment and definitely not right at all.
    Janine Huldie recently posted…More Firsts & Wonderful Wednesday Blog HopMy Profile

    1. Oh Janine that is awful! I’m so glad you were able to find a better/new one before you got pregnant with Emma. I will definitely be switching and, maybe I should bring this with me as a “warning!” hahaha

  4. Oh wow. I can’t believe you have been dealing with this treatment for so long. Especially when it comes to something so incredibly important. You gyno is one of those people you should feel most comfortable with. Is there anyway you can do a solo practice rather than a group? I tried a group obstetrics firm and it was by far the coldest and most uncomfortable place ever. I actually ended up going back to my old guy. (I quit him because he was too far, turns out he was totally worth the extra travel). I know it’s hard to start over but trust me when I say there is better care out there! Your situation isn’t casual so traveling a few more miles may be worth it. I am livid that the doc asked you how old is your youngest child and that the nurse TOLD you she’s busy eavesdropping. Completely bananas. I hope you look into it because it is so important. Sorry sissy but if you can travel to Spain you can travel for your health!! And that is wrapped in LOVE.
    Nellie recently posted…Weekly Wednesday Workout: Lunge JumpsMy Profile

    1. This was the first time something like this happened. I definitely would not have put up with this for any amount of time!! That’s part of why it’s so weird?? The last time I was there (probably a year and a half) he asked me how the twins were. Very weird and cold and horrible. I’m absolutely getting a new doctor ASAP. I’ve gotten quite a few referrals already from close friends. Thanks Nellie!

  5. Oh my gosh, what an experience!!! So sorry you had to go through that……although that is bad (or good) timing, as I am actually looking at scheduling an appointment for this right now to check out why the heck I have amenorrhea when I am doing everything right. Now you have made me scared…..haha! That is nuts, and yes, I could not agree more that the simple task of a doctor remembering a few simple things about you (Let alone if they delivered your children!!!!!) is important. I am so thankful I have a doctor who is a close friend of mine to ask. I think i take that for granted!
    Tina Muir recently posted…International Chocolate Day GIVEAWAY with Balance BarMy Profile

    1. Don’t take it for granted!! And, definitely make that appointment as you know amenorrhea is nothing to fool with. I also feel that, as athletes, we need a doctor who understands that aspect as well! Good luck and I’m sure everything will be just fine!

    • Tina on September 10, 2014 at 8:15 AM
    • Reply

    60 minutes. Naked. Left. Never went back…

    1. BRAVO!

    • Susan on September 10, 2014 at 8:16 AM
    • Reply

    Hi! Love your blog. So sorry you had a terrible time. Sally Spy-a lot was NOT a nurse though. I’m a “real” registered nurse and had to go through a hell of a lot of school to get there. Sally was most likely a medical assistant, which you can be after like 6 months of trade school. It drives a me CRAZY when they call themselves nurses. And when the doctor calls them nurses. I’m an ICU nurse. Neither I or any of my coworkers would “spy” on a private doctor convo or treat a patient so unprofessionally. If I were you, I would complain to their office manager. Whenever I’ve had a problem with my doctors office, that was the most effective route. Thanks and please forgive me for being Sally stuck-up-real-nurse.

    1. Hahaha! No apology necessary – I should be the one apologizing. I really just assumed she was a nurse and obviously, I shouldn’t have. I have a HUGE respect for nurses and my dealings with them are usually always positive. I think I’m going to send them this post when I ask for all my records to be transferred to my NEW doctor! Thank you so much for commenting and setting the record straight!!!

    • Tina on September 10, 2014 at 8:16 AM
    • Reply

    A full hour. Naked. Left. Never went back.

      • Tina on September 10, 2014 at 8:21 AM
      • Reply

      Either 60 minutes doesn’t equal an hour or my phone wasn’t working…

      1. It’s all good Tina. I’ve got nothing but love for you 🙂

  6. Wow, just wow. As someone who works in the healthcare profession this is absolutely unacceptable. I go above and beyond for my patients and expect the same thing in return. Unfortunately with insurance and billing and coding it’s all about making money and the bedside manner has gone out the window. I haven’t had an experience like this and I hope I never do. Honestly, I would talk to the office manager about that. You need to feel confident in the people who are taking care of you. Of course, it’s hard to remember every single person that walks in their door, and yes, time is limited, but seriously…open the chart before you walk in the door and at least make your patient THINK you remember who they are. Uggh, this enfuriates me.
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Wonder Mom Wednesday: Ways to involve the kids in exerciseMy Profile

    1. That’s what I’m saying!!! This was the FIRST time since the delivery of my boys that this happened. So weird and just kills me. I’m going to send this post to the office manager when I request all my files to be transferred to my new doctor. Thanks Sue and I KNOW you’re an amazing nurse and your patents are lucky to have you 🙂

  7. Ugh. Customer service has left the building in healthcare. It really sucks that you had an experience like that and the reality is–it’s very common. And I see my senior citizen parents being completely overrun by this kind of treatment; really terrible!

    I recently learned at my healthy running seminar that only about 30% of doctors even keep up with the latest research. Another disheartening fact!
    misszippy recently posted…The deception workoutMy Profile

    1. Oh good Lord! That is just awful but I’m sure 100% true.

    • Kim on September 10, 2014 at 3:57 PM
    • Reply

    I would be pissed, too!!
    My DR is always at least an hour (usually over 1.5 hours) late BUT I stay with her because when i do see her she is 100% focused on me. We chat for a bit before any type of exam – she always listens to my questions (I usually have a list on my phone) and she gives me input/options for all of the things I bring up. I also love her nurse.
    And, when I need to get in for some other issue I really like all 3 of the nurse practitioners in the practice. So I try to schedule appointments when I don’t have anything else lined up, take my Nook and just enjoy some quiet reading time.
    Kim recently posted…Trying to Put an End to the Self DoubtMy Profile

    1. The things we do for good doctors!!! I would have no issue doing this either, IF I was happy with the service. Good for you Kim.

    • Dana on September 10, 2014 at 4:06 PM
    • Reply

    Don’t go back to that doctor – you deserve better. Every woman does. I love my gyn, although I do have to wait up to 30 minutes sometimes. But when she comes in, she’s fully present and with me for as long as I need. I know that’s why I wait, because she takes that time with each patient.

    I just glanced at Kim’s comment above mine – we’re on the same page! It may be worth it to wait for a doctor you love, but for your dud? No way.
    Dana recently posted…My Love List for SeptemberMy Profile

    1. Exactly!!!

  8. I live in France and it is soooo different. I call my doctor on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Get an appointment for the next morning at 8:30 a.m. I walk in and its him alone and I wait less than 5 minutes. In France, even if there are more and more doctors offices sharing a receptionist, there are no nurses in a doctor’s office. You see the doctor only. The doctor is always the one that comes and gets you and the only one you see.And it costs 20 bucks !
    Its the same for my generalist, dermatologist, gyn, eye doctor, osteopath….
    France can be criticized for a lot of things but the medical profession is generally speaking, extremely professional.
    So sorry you had a crappy experience. I would write a letter explaining the experience, and never go back.
    Karen – Fit in France recently posted…La Parisienne 2014 raceMy Profile

    1. That’s it – I’m moving to France! Seriously, that is amazing and the way it should be. I’m glad you have such excellent care there.

  9. Ugh this is awful-DEFINITELY find a new doctor esp since you have issues you need to be extra screened for. It’s bad enough you have to be in that uncomfortable, vulnerable paper gown but waiting an hour?!?! and dealing with rude people at the office is crazy.
    Lauren recently posted…The Road to Chicago-Marathon Training Weeks 8-10My Profile

    1. Totally crazy! I’m sure, because of this post, I’ll find a really good one… Thanks Lauren!

  10. Oh Allie, that is horrible! I just had my annual exam with my gyno last week. He wasn’t my usual doc in the practice but he ended up delivering my twins. He is the best doctor I’ve ever seen. When he comes into the room, he actually talks to me about things other than health topics. He remembers things from my delivery and that I run. We talked about how he wants to run a half marathon. Totally weird when he’s sitting across the room from me and I’m sitting in a Johnnie but he puts me at ease at an awkward time. I think it’s time for a new doc…there are some good ones out there!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started RunningMy Profile

    1. It’s absolutely time! I USED to get service like that and I’m not sure what changed, but I’m not going to wait and find out… Thanks Angela!

  11. Bizarre and.. I might find a new doctor if this happened to me.
    I cracked up at the thought of what you wanted to yell into the hallway! Oh, if only.
    In the last year my practice has switched locations. I haven’t been to the new one yet. I’m hoping they’re pulling it together well. They’ve been great with both of my babies. Sadly, one of them passed away from a brain tumor and that really bummed me out.
    Tamara recently posted…A Completely Tearful and Not Completely Wordless Wednesday: Kindergarten.My Profile

    1. Oh that’s awful Tamara. I never found out what happened to my original gyn, the one who “got sick” but I loved her, and had a really special relationship with her. I hope all is well in your new location! I’m sure it will be…

  12. yes the health care system is SO FRUSTRATING!! I have a post about my recent visit which…well yes I thought we were speaking two different languages. i think it’s part of why I love eastern medicine they always take time to pay attention
    Amanda – RunToThefinish recently posted…Food Intolerances in Athletes – Understanding the Performance ImpactMy Profile

    1. Oh I’ll have to read that one! Sorry we’re having the same issue…:-(

  13. Oh wow, what the hell?
    I like my current OB-GYN. He remembers my history, my last delivery etc, and he always cares (at least he appears to). We do have to wait ages to see him, but that’s the way the system here works (don’t ask, it’s complicated).
    I think maybe it’s time for you to switch docs!
    Alison recently posted…Through The Lens Thursday #37: BlackMy Profile

    1. It absolutely is! I’m so glad you have a good one with those babies on the way!!!

    • Rosie on September 11, 2014 at 12:30 AM
    • Reply

    About 10 yrs ago went for my annual and got the first appointment of the day. The nurse who checked me in even made a point to say I was the first and I should be in and out. So after I put on the extra large napkin and waited and waited. 30 min passed. I was too far from the station to poke my head out so I called the office on my cell phone and told them if there was a problem or had I just been forgotten. They apparently never mentioned to the Dr. I was there. Never went back.

    1. OMG!!! That is ridiculous!!! There are just too many stories like this. I hope you found a new and better doctor.

  14. Holy—-! That’s absurd. I just had to switch gynos bc my health insurance changed and of course my old one didnt accept it and its annoying, but my experience with my new one was still more friendly and calming than yours. I had to wait (i think thats a universal rule) but your doc should know you a bit better (especially with all the info RIGHT THERE). i think it might be time to find a new practice…
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness recently posted…If Socrates Had Been a Food Blogger (TOL)My Profile

    1. It absolutely is! Luckily I have a bunch of new ones to check out, thanks to this post!

  15. That is terrible. I’ve had many instances where I’ve had to wait, but never a doctor experience like this. I can’t stand when they can’t take the time to review your chart a little bit ahead and at least pretend they know who you are. My dentist is the best. Right from the very start, he made an effort to know stuff about my kids and I, and always talks sports when they come in. Of course it probably helps that his daughters are big time into sports too, but it makes me feel comfortable with him.
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Anchorage Travel: 7 Must See Places to VisitMy Profile

    • Carla on September 11, 2014 at 7:47 PM
    • Reply

    This is just horrible! First of all the nurse, unless she’s schtooping the doctor I have no idea why she had to hang on his every word and know what’s going on with him. In my head I would be asking her if she was. Not sure if I would have the nerve to verbalize it.

    The doctor, I have no words. I have not had my annual exam and am late for it. I’m going to make my appointment with my very awesome doctor and be thankful that he would never treat me like that. Except the waiting thing, that’s a given.

    I would maybe give that office one more try (since you had a good experience up until that point) and if it was still bad, it’s time to cut your losses and find some people with a little compassion. So sorry you had to go through this.

    1. I highly doubt there’s anything sexual going on between them, just based on looks, however this is a very odd office!! Thanks Carla 🙂

  16. Thank you for this post, Allie! What they did to you in that office is totally unprofessional and inappropriate, and it is sadly too common that people have similar experiences with their doctors. I wish you the best of luck in your search for a new doctor!
    Lex @ Flecksoflex recently posted…Workout Wednesdays: What’s Your Favorite Sport?My Profile

    1. Thank you! I’m pretty sure I can find a better one then this…the bar has been placed pretty low.

  17. That sounds so frustrating! I had a very negative doctor experience with one particular doctor, and after a few visits I realized WHY am I still coming to her?! Switching was as easy as picking up the phone and making an appointment elsewhere, then a quick change with the insurance company.

    The blood lab thing is more complicated, as what chain I go to is directly related to my insurance. And they apparently don’t have accurate allergy testing and such, so we have to pay out of pocket for that at a better lab.
    Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?! recently posted…Friday Five: Five Blogs to LoveMy Profile

    1. It’s pretty sad that SO many women can relate to this but, it helps to know that it’s not me, it’s THEM! I will definitely be making a change. Thanks!!

  18. Oh my gosh! I can’t even believe you had that experience! That is ridiculous! I actually really like my ob/gyn. She just brought another doctor on in August and either one of them could be there on D day and I like them both. I have to say its one of the only doctors (besides my derm) that I really like. I think your experience happens way too frequently to patients. I just can’t believe that nurse! What a creep!

    The last bad experience I had was at my 32 week ultrasound. I waited 12 weeks to see the baby. Twelve long weeks where he has grown exponentially and taken on an actual resemblance of a real baby. Unfortunately my husband had to be out of the county and couldn’t make it but I promised to show him all the cute photos of little Baby B, including the 3D one, which I LOVE! Except when I got the appointment I had mean Russian technician instead of nice Jersey technician. My ultrasound lasted 10 minutes where she took measurements and photos of the kidneys, stomach, head (you know all the stuff you can totally tell what they are and are excited to see…). Then she was like ok we’re done. I asked politely if I could have some photos printed to show my husband but she refused saying she couldn’t get a good enough view of his face and that she would print the photos of the ones she took (yes because every mother is dying to have a photo of their child’s kidneys). I left the office in tears because while she does this every single day this is my baby and this is the first and only time I will have this experience with this baby. I felt robbed not having one of the cute ultrasound photos that are plastered all over the office!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…My Pregnancy EssentialsMy Profile

    1. You were robbed!!! That is really awful Britt and I’m so sorry you had that experience. I had some tough visits when I was pregnant with the boys (since I had ultrasounds all.the.time) and you would think those technicians would have a freakin’ clue about how many hormones are raging through our bodies at that time! Don’t they know how fragile new moms-to-be are? Sheesh!!!

  19. So I was reading today’s post and clicked on the link to this post. I am a family medicine nurse practitioner who offers GYN care in addition to my other services. On behalf of my profession, I apologize for your terrible experience. If one of my medical assistants acted that way, I would have them fired. I so glad you went back and had a great experience with your new provider. Unfortunately, many patients have one bad experience and it turns them away for a long time, if not forever. Given your family history, I’m very proud of you for getting back out there. I train nurse practitioner and medical students and always emphasize to them how important it is that patients have trust in them and be made to feel at ease and given 100% attention at all times. Reading others’ posts reminds me I need to double up on that part of the education. As far as the wait times, I again apologize on behalf of my profession but unfortunately most major health systems place “profit over patients” and are forcing providers to see more patients in less time. We good ones are worth the wait.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this. I really appreciate your sentiment and you truly sound like someone who CARES and are doing what you should in your field. THANK YOU for emphasizing care and trust – two things that should be of the utmost importance when it comes to your doctor.

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