The Right Doctor is Hard to Find


I think my OB wants to break up with me. In fact, I’m pretty sure that during my last appointment with her, she asked me to switch to another physician within her practice as she slathered goo on my abdomen.

She came highly recommended by a new acquaintance, and though there weren’t fireworks the first time we met, it wasn’t bad, either. I didn’t appreciate her opinion that nothing could be done to limit vaginal tearing (insert cringe) during delivery or that she asked very little about my background. But I liked her intelligence and spunk, and felt she was the kind of person who would go to bat for me if, say, the words “C Section” came up during my 15th hour of labor like they did last time.

Though she accused me of being late at my next appointment (I wasn’t), I remained optimistic about our being a good team. But when I told her I had chosen to forego sequential screening, I saw the beginnings of a storm cloud gather over her head. I brushed it aside, put on a smile, and did what any good patient would do: ask more questions. I told her I’d discuss it again with my husband, and contact her staff if I changed my mind. I never changed my mind, so I never called. No biggie.

Or so I thought. At my 16-week appointment, the first thing she said to me was, “So you didn’t do the prenatal testing.” I tried to read her tone as concerned rather than accusatory, but she couldn’t get over it, talking of nothing else during our four minutes together. At my request, she said she’d draft up the paperwork for my second chance at screening, but that she “knew I wasn’t going to use it.” I left my third appointment feeling discouraged and deflated, if not a little defensive.

This is one of those times where I think it would be appropriate to say: It’s not me, it’s you. I give you every opportunity to like me, but you see me as obstinate (ignorant?) and complicated (irresponsible?). If sequential screening is a prerequisite for being your patient, just say so.

Is there an appropriate arena for leaving feedback for a doctor? My real concern now is that if I switch to another doctor within her practice, there’s a possibility she will be the on-call doc the night I go into labor. Not the worst thing in the world, but it could add a little discomfort to the already uncomfortable.

How do you go about choosing a doctor in a new, unfamiliar place? Are there online resources that you trust?

Image via Cafe Press

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