lorelei633 (lorelei633) wrote in bad_service,

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ruminations on WCS (White Coat Syndrome)

I have a little time to kill so I thought I'd share a few thoughts on the subject of doctors. I've had some great experiences with doctors in my time, so believe me, I am not knocking the entire medical profession.

I do tend to notice that some doctors seem to suffer from what I call White Coat Syndrome, the symptoms of which seem to include intermittent deafness and a tendency to regard anyone else in the room who isn't wearing a white lab coat as unreliable at best and at worst, a blithering idiot. And then, some doctors are just strange. Very strange.

There was the gynecologist I went to on a friend's recommendation and who, once I was in a rather...vulnerable position, proceeded to interrogate me about whether or not I believed in Jesus and did I "testify". I don't normally, no, but I can testify to this: when there are a lot of sharp metal instruments in close proximity to my cervix, it tends to make me reluctant to express a dissenting opinion. I just nodded a lot and then got the hell out of there.

I went to a new doctor recently (a G.P. or "family doctor", not an ob/gyn) for a check-up. Since I'd never been there before, we had to go through all of my medical history. I sat there on the table and gave him the rundown of all the illnesses and surgeries I've had. He listened intently and scribbled some notes as I talked.

I don't want to inflict a lot of icky medical TMI on you but for the story to make sense, I must mention that I had major surgery in 2003 to remove a tumor from my chest. I was in intensive care for a while and it was a long recovery, but it sure could have been worse. Fortunately for me, it was a fibroid tumor and not cancerous.

So I'm sitting there telling him about the tumor I had removed from my chest and he looks up at me with a straight face and asks, "Are you sure it wasn't your uterus?"

Excuse me?

Did you just say am I sure it wasn't my uterus?

Well, gee Doc, let me see. Considering the procedure was performed by a thoracic surgeon, and considering they had to deflate one of my lungs to do it, and considering I have a nice big scar that's nowhere near that part of my body, I guess I'd have to say that yes, I'm pretty goddamned sure it wasn't my uterus.

I just gaped at him in amazement and he went all sheepish and said "Well, it's unusual to find that type of tumor in the chest." No shit, Sherlock. I knew that and I didn't even go to medical school.
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