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Author Topic: Does a doctor have a right to do this to me?
bigfarty
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I saw a gynecologist a while back and he gave me some antibiotic and it didnt work so I called to ask for a refill. He told me that he told all the gynecoligists in the practice not to see me unless I got a psychological evaluation because I was nervous during my visit and I asked him if he could look at my clitoris only and I didnt want him to touch my vagina. I had clitoral pain so since the pain was on the outside I just asked that he didnt touch me. Can a doctor share my personal information with other doctors?
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bigfarty
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Should I tell someone what he did? Is it illegal?
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KittenGoddess
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As to whether it was illegal, that may depend on the HIPPA disclosure you signed when you were there. HIPPA protects your information, but providers are generally allowed to disclose/share your information with others who are providing you with care. Usually this includes nurses, medical assistants, and/or other physicians within their practice who are/could be providing you with care. (In other words, usually when you sign the privacy forms, it is for the practice...not for an individual care provider and only that person.)

Regardless, it sounds like this is not a provider you want to see again. His statements to you were not terribly professional or caring in nature. I would not see this person again.

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Sarah Liz

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bigfarty
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I feel so ashamed because he was supposed to be a top gynecoligist and he has good reviews. I dont know whats wrong with me [Frown] and what I did to deserve this kind of treatment.
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KittenGoddess
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Please don't feel ashamed. Even doctors with really great skills, who are well rated by all kinds of folks, won't be perfect fits with everyone.

In the gyn practice I use right now, I did not like the first doc I saw at all. "Everybody" told me he was just great, terrific bedside manner...but I was completely not impressed. His nurse held my hand the entire time during my first pap there and kept patting me and calling me "honey," all because my heart rate was high during the early part of the exam. (I get nervous sometimes too!) I was there for a preconception visit and they told me about my cycle as if I hadn't been having periods for years and knew nothing about my body...in spite of the fact that I *said* I was charting my fertility. Um, yeah thanks, but no thanks. I know plenty of folks who are happy with the care they get from him, but it just wasn't a good situation for me as an individual.

So being at the top of a field doesn't actually make you great at dealing with patients. Based on what you've said here, you did nothing wrong. It is perfectly reasonable to ask a care provider questions about an exam. There's nothing wrong with being nervous, most people are.

This just honestly sounds like a provider who's got cruddy bedside manner and is not a good fit for what you need. You are absolutely right, you deserved better care than what you received. If he was concerned about your anxiety, he should have asked YOU about that or tried to help you rather than threatening you with witholding care.

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Sarah Liz

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bigfarty
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Thanks [Smile] . I told my mom about it and she said she would take me to see my family doctor instead. I saw him for something else and he seemed way nicer and hes cheaper.
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KittenGoddess
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Your family doc absolutely may be a good place to start! For most things, your PCP (primary care provider) is a really good line of defense. If it is something beyond their expertise, they can often help by referring you out to someone who not only has good skills but may be a good match for you.

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Sarah Liz

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bigfarty
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I still kind of feel like I should talk to someone because when I saw him. I told his nurse I had never had sex and she was like "OK were going to give you a pap smear". I told my moms friend about it one time and she said that they cant give you a pap smear if your a virgin. He never gave it to me but I don't think the nurse didn't really know what she was talking about and that's dangerous.
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KittenGoddess
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Your mom's friend isn't exactly right. Many care providers may choose not to do pap smears with women who are not sexually active unless they have other reason to feel like it would be necessary (other risk factors for cervical cancer, etc.). A pap is a specific kind of test where they collect cells from the cervix. Usually, in those cases where someone is not yet sexually active a bimanual exam and/or visual exam is sufficient. If an a woman still has a partially intact/intact corona (hymen), a provider may choose not to do a pap or may use smaller instruments if a pap test is necessary. So if what your mom's friend says is that they "can't," then that's not strictly true. It's more of an issue of choosing not to and/or feeling it may be unnecessary and it's not true for all providers.

[ 04-05-2011, 09:23 AM: Message edited by: KittenGoddess ]

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Sarah Liz

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bigfarty
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So in the end I called the doctor back and he denied everything and banned me from ever coming back to his clinic. Well I guess its for the best he was mean anyway
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bigfarty
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Will this banment affect me if I go to another clinic?
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Heather
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It really should not (and that can be a serious civil rights issue if so).

I do, though, want to manage your expectations a bit.

For sure, your boundaries matter, but there are also always going to be some things doctors need to do in order to do their job and serve you well. For instance, if you think, or they do, you may have a genital infection, they will need to do more with a genital exam than just look at your clitoris, which often won't give them the information they need.

With something like clitoral pain, they will also probably need to do more than just look at your clitoris, since that pain can come from things and places besides just your external clitoris. And looking, not touching, isn't really going to work for a doctor to be able to figure out what's going on.

In other words, if you see another doctor, they're not going to be able to help you and do their job to find out what is wrong by only looking at your external clitoris. If you want to find out why you're having this pain and get treated for whatever it is, you're going to need to accept they need to do more than just a visual exam.

So, what you might just want to do is figure out what you need in order to be comfortable with an exam, and then communicate that to healthcare providers, rather than basically asking them for help, but then creating limits that don't allow for them to give you that help. Know what I mean?

[ 04-08-2011, 11:06 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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bigfarty
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Why didnt he just explain the procedure to me in the first place? I didnt know that.she was like you need a psychological evaluation and that I was the only one out of his MANY patients that dont want to be touched. I cant even explain to you how horribly I was talked to and treated! He was hostile about it to the point were he was like screaming at me! and from the tone he was speaking he was like DONT YOU HAVE A PARTNER? HOW ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE SEX WHEN YOUR LIKE THAT? It was in an aggressive manner! I just started crying because this has NEVER happend to me before from a medical facility! and I was always really nice to them.
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Heather
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Please don't yell at me: I didn't do any of this to you, okay?

I'm not saying this doctor's bedside manner didn't suck, because it very much sounds like it did. And by all means, good patient care requires explaining a procedure to a patient in advance and as you go.

I said what I did because of what you originally asked and because of fears about your vulva you have talked about before so that you know that when you see the next provider, they will also not be likely to honor a request to only look at your genitals if you want them to diagnose what's going on with you. In other words, for any healthcare provider to do their job with an issue like this, they are going to need to touch you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bigfarty
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I wasnt yelling at you at all! I was capitilizing to tell you how he yelled at ME. Sorry if it came of that way. It was unintentional
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Heather
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Ah, I'm sorry, I misunderstood.

But yes, yet again, that was an extremely unprofessional and inappropriate way for that doctor to treat you. You do know you have the option of filing a complaint with the medical board, right? I do think it'd be warranted.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bigfarty
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i was trying to accurately describe the situation. Im not upset at all with you
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bigfarty
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Really? I'll look into that thanks for your help
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Heather
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Absolutely.

If you need help finding out how to do that, if you can just tell me what country/state you're in, I can find you the link for your area's board. or, you can just use Google on your own to find that.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bigfarty
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I am from the U.S. and I live in Miami, Fl. Thank you that would help me. If I do this can he sue me or something like that?
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Heather
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Not unless you're reporting anything that didn't actually happen (in which case yes, he could sue you for slander), no.

Whether or not the board takes action, and what action they take, is on the board, and their reponsibility, not yours, so he can't hold you responsible for that.

Here's all the info on filing a complaint with the board for your state: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/enforcement/enforce_howto.htm

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bigfarty
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thanks so much! No it actually DID happen much to my own disbelief. But Im just really glad that there is something I can do about it. I will definitely look into it
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Heather
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There very much is something you can do. You also always have the option of talking to a lawyer yourself about any kind of possible medical malpractice if you like. If you don't have that kind of income, this is something Legal Aid can do.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bigfarty
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Thank you so much! I finally decided to just let it go because if I have to go to court and stuff I simply dont have the time or money and I dont want a complicated legal battle. Hes a popular doctor anyway and I doubt anyone would believe me over him. Im just going to try to forget about it. It just sucks that people can be so unfair and get away with it. thinking back there were alot of shady things about the way they treated me so the best I can do is try to move on. Anyway thanks!
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Heather
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This is really up to you, but filing that report is not going to result in incurring you any fees. If that report was something that got taken to court, if anything, you'd be called as a witness, which does not cost you anything.

So, this is your call, but this doesn't have to end without that doctor being held responsible in some way if that's not how you want it to end.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bigfarty
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Thanks alot. I know this is an old post but I decided to just let it go because all the things he did are categorized as bad bedside manner and you cant file a complaint about that according to my state. On the bright side I saw my family doctor and he said i DIDNT have an infection and the pain wasnt really coming from my clitoris he said I have residue in my urethra and since they are close thats why i feel it in my clitoris. He just told me to drink cranberry juice everyday which Im going to start to do to see if it helps. Thank you so much for your help and encouragement
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