Second-class citizen


I went to a doctor appointment this morning. In particular, it was a gyno appointment. I've wanted to find a new gynecologist for a while now, but waiting two months for an appointment with ANY of the gynecologists at the same medical facility as my primary-care doctor wasn't particularly an option. I've been having pains in one of my breasts, pains which have become so bad that, well, I was willing to take an appointment on a day the doctor was on-call.

I arrived pretty much on time, maybe a minute late or so (as Kris says, within acceptable parameters), checked in, paid my copay, then waited. And waited. And waited. Before I started waiting, I was told the doctor, though on-call, wasn't actually called in, so would be in "any minute now." I didn't mind waiting, though, as I had brought plenty of activities (read: my computer, the power supply to said computer, and a cellphone with a bluetooth-enabled modem), and was content to sit and work.

The doctor showed up about 35 minutes late, and I was called into the back, to sit on a cold table in the always fashionable, front opening, blue paper gown. Brrrrrr.... five minutes in the gown, freezing my ass.


When the doctor came in, she asked me what my concerns were. I explained the throbbing pain in my breast, and my concern about an inconsistent menstruation a few months ago. I wanted to ask her how the negative PAP smear from last September was followed by a positive PAP smear from a different doctor and different lab, and how about talking to me?

Instead, I listened to her tell me, "Well, you know, sometimes you have pain. It's a fact of life."

I looked at her dumbfounded. I couldn't think of a single thing to say. I wish I had thought to mention that, oh, hey, pain is the body's way of SAYING SOMETHING'S WRONG, and that maybe I should, oh, CHECK IT OUT?

Instead, I waited as she did the usual breast exam. She did a few other checks, but was quite distracted and not very helpful. She handed me a paper for a mammogram and an ultrasound. When I asked for a breast MRI instead of a mammogram, she asked me why. When I explained both my age, the density of my breasts, the risks of excessive radiation exposure from too many mammograms before 40, and just the plain, freakin' pain of the thing, she told me, no, the mammogram was the best option. Once again, she dismissed my concerns, pretty much without listening to me.

From start to finish in the appointment was fewer than ten minutes.

I've been trying to figure out exactly why I'm so annoyed with this doctor. I have a good relationship with my primary care doctor, so why do I fail so badly with this doctor?

I think the reason I can't deal with this doctor is because she treats me like a second class citizen. Every yearly example, we have the same conversation:

"What birth control do you use?"


"Do you want to get pregnant?"


"What would you do if you get pregnant?"

"Have the kid."

"But you don't want children?"


Every time, EVERY TIME, we have this conversation. You'd think after eight years, she'd figure out that I don't want kids.

Well, I think that she finally has figured it out. And, in the figuring it out, decided that I wasn't worth her time. She's probably thrilled by the idea of having children, and helping other women have children. Given that I don't want them, she's given up on me, and deals with me only when she has to, and as little as possible at that.

I guess, for some women who have kids, women without kids are second class citizens.

Time for a new gynecologist.

I'm open to suggestions. My only requirement is that she respect my decision not to have children.