I'm not sure there's really any group to put this in specifically but I'm curious enough that I'd like to ask this question.
Has anyone had to deal with a doctor that you are pretty sure does not like you?
With my insurance card in hand I was assigned to a surgeon, as in "in network". I've met with him twice in prepping for the big event. The problem is that I get this strong vibe that he does not like me.
I've done nothing to this guy. Nothing. I've been polite and respectful. I have asked a lot of questions but nothing excessive.
I felt this from the first appt. Initially I gave it no thought because I knew nothing about him. Later I met two people at work who'd had him for proceedures and they raved about him. Now, after my second and last pre-surgery appt, I'm more sure he's not wild about me. He barely even made eye contact with me. Again, if not for my co-workers saying what a great guy he was I'd put this off to his being a doctor who just thought a lot of himself. But since that appears to not be his typical way of being, this is starting to concern me.
I've never come up against this before. After this is all over, one way or the other, I'm very tempted to ask him if he thinks he knows me from somewhere. I've even wondered if he has me confused with someone else since I'm sure he meets tons of people in his work.
What do you think? Ever experienced this? Would it concern you or would you assume professionalism will rule the day and just ignore it?
And if this isn't a general health issue, please feel free to just close the thread.
What an awful way to feel when you are putting yourself in the hands of someone. I would do as you suggested. Make an appointment and ask him flat out if you have done something to offend him because you are getting the distinct feeling that he doesn't like you.
Tell him that if he is that uncomfortable with you, you would like a referral to another surgeon. I would also mention to him that you have co-workers who rave about him, so you wondered if this was the same doctor.
I certainly wouldn't go under the knife with someone who doesn't like me. I want to know that my doctor is in it for me 150%. I want someone who truly cares how I FEEL and how i will recover. I just don't think that professionalism will always rule out. I'd rather have some empathy to go with the professionalism...but that's just me. I need to be comfortable with the person who is cutting on me...
Your thoughts helped me. I am going to talk to him but I'm also going to further research the other in network surgeon who was suggested.
I really didn't want to change doctors. That will be very inconvenient. To stay in network, changing will be driving 90 minutes from my home. I was trying to avoid that but I think I need to at least make an appt. and meet the doctor who is an alternative.
I wanted to trust that his professionalism would win out but I have to agree that's just too big of a risk to take. It's much better to follow my instinct and be a bit inconvenienced that to have the added worry of "what if".
Last edited by resolution09; 10-09-2010 at 06:01 AM.
I would definitely seek out another surgeon! In my experience even the ones who seem generally concerned before surgery tend to change their attitude after when you go for follow up care. If you have concerns/problems afterward it seems it is never their fault and suddenly they have a huge attitude. So, I would never go into surgery with a doc that was acting this way even before the surgery was done.
I'm sure they are not all like this - could be just my experience with one that was way to full of herself and no matter what was going wrong with me after she refused to even look into things saying she did an excellent job and whatever was happening couldn't possibly be the result of HER work.
Well, I'm on the other side of the coin. Professionalism and expertise are far more important to me than any empathy a doctor may show. of course, it's nice if you can get both in one! But to me, I want to know that he knows what he is doing and has shown an aptitude for it. As an example, my uncle was an ortho surgeon in the town where I went to college. He was also the doctor for the football team (which won 2 national championships while I was there). I went to him for some fluid on my knee...and even though he was my uncle and had known me all my life, I was just a knee with fluid that had to be drained! After that, I understood all the stories the football players told me. But he was a darned good surgeon! We all said that.
Another example, the allergy doc i went to from the time I was 11 till he retired when I was late forties, was wonderful! Sweet, kind man that everyone loved. After he retired, I had a hard time finding a good allergy doc. Found some nice ones but after dealing with allergies all my life, I felt I knew more than they did. Finally found one who was very well thought of - all the docs at the medical school here went to him. First appointment I thought he was the most boring, distant person I had ever met. 15 years later, he's 65 and I am so worried he's going to retire! I LOVE HIM! I finally figured him out and we get along great now. And he's just as good a doc as everyone says.
I am found that surgeons are not usually warm and fuzzy, especially if they have a huge practice. If I believe they are really a good surgeon then I will put up with their attitude and then do my best to bring a little humanity into them. A surgeon I had, treated me like I didn't exist, but I was able to ask questions and receive answers. That was very important to me. When I said I had heard he was a race horse vet prior to being a surgeon, he then shared his love for it and why he loved working with humans. Totally shocked me that he had feelings.
I will dump a doctor very quickly, who won't explain what is wrong, procedures or have patience. I had a GI doctor who on my third visit to him walked in the room, looking at my chart, said his name and told me get on the table without even looking at me. So I said Hello, my name is Melanie, nice to see you again. It threw him for a loop. I told him the pains in my side were so bad, the nurse after hours told me to go to the ER. His response was if that was how I wanted to waste my day by hanging out at the ER when nothing was wrong except IBS and take drugs, I dumped him. I now have a different dr within my HMO, which does require a longer drive, but I ended up having surgery and she is decent and treats me with some respect. I think respect is the bottom line for me.
Thanks everyone. I've read all of your thoughts and I'm still considering. I have put it out to my friends and family that I am looking for a replacement and seeing if they come up with anyone they can strongly recommend. Even if I decide to change directions, I need a new person to move toward.
I didn't mention this but the reason I had to have a second appt. with this guy was because our first appt. was interrupted no less than 6 times. Phone calls, he actually texted someone from the seat in front of me and a couple of knocks on the door, the last of which he left the room and his nurse eventually came and had me leave. That was how the appt. ended! When they called and asked me to come back (he was intuitive enough to know it was a crappy visit) they said it HAD to be on a Thursday even though he also has office appts. on a Tuesday. I can't get Thursday off. I just can't. The first appt. was possible because I had the whole week off. And the woman said "well you should have told us that before you left from the first appt."
Huh? How was I to know he only saw future patients on Thursday?
If a patient was in trouble, I understand. Tell me that. uugg
The more I write this through the more I think I do need to first see if I can find another surgeon. I tend to turn everything inward in life but the more I think through this, maybe it's not just about him not seeming to want me as a patient. Maybe it's okay that I don't want him as my doctor either. Thanks all.
I think your sense of feeling disliked at the first appt was perhaps due to his distraction. He didn't have his mind focused on the business at hand, so you rightly felt ignored.
When you needed to reschedule the appt and they wouldn't give you any day but Thurs, you should have reminded them that you weren't a "new" patient... but that you were there once, even if the doctor was "absent". Not your fault it had to be rescheduled.
I personally would not give my business to an organization like that. When I don't get a feeling that my money is important to a business - (and a medical practice is a business no matter how you cut it) - I take it elsewhere.
Hope your surgery is elective and that you have a fair amount of time to wait for it.