Thursday, August 6, 2009

Drama at the Dr.'s Office

My foot has still been bothering me. I went out for a run for the first time in over a week on Tuesday, and sure enough, it started hurting again. So, I bit the bullet and made an appointment at my regular doctor's office with the nurse practitioner.

The only problem was the appointment was for 8 pm, and if I needed an x-ray I was going to have to go back another time. So, following the advice of my husband, I decided to call over to North Medical Center, a doc-in-the-box, move-em-in-move-em-out, kind of a place that I used to go to about 5 years ago. (I should say that the reason I quit going there was because I really felt the care was impersonal and at times sub-standard--something I should have kept in mind.) They have x-ray facilities right there that are open, so I figured it would save time and having the boys along, to do it all on Tuesday evening, if I, in fact, needed an x-ray. They were able to get me in right away, so off I went.

My appointment ended up being with a physician's assistant, which I have no problem with. The nurse called me in and took my history, blah, blah, blah... Then the PA came in, and I gave the story to him as well. He takes like a 5 second look at my foot, hardly feeling it at all. He quickly determines that I need a bone scan to rule out a stress fracture (they don't show up on regular x-rays...who knew?), but that it is most likely plantar fasciitis. (Neither are great, but I will take the PF over the stress fracture, because at least it wouldn't bench me for the rest of the season.)

After his super-quick semi-diagnosis, he then proceeded to lecture me for the next 10 minutes on how I'm "running my body into the ground," and how "unhealthy" it is to run this many miles. He also said "I don't mean to sound sexist, but a woman's body is just not made for this kind of abuse." He did all of this with a smug smile and a knowing nod of the head. It was almost like he was telling me to quit smoking, instead of telling me to quit doing quite possibly, the most healthy thing I could be doing for myself.

I was furious, but I really have difficulties a) stating what I think in my head to a doctor or anyone that should traditionally be respected, and b) coming up with anything smart enough to express how I really feel when I am so mad. After listening and not saying anything (there was no way I was going to agree with him), I finally said, "Well, I guess you are entitled to your own opinion." Lame, I know, but I just couldn't come up with anything!! He just gave a little chuckle and shook his head like I was the stupidest girl he has ever seen. At one point he also said to me, "Don't get me wrong, you look's just not good for you!"


I finally said, "So are you going to schedule that bone scan, or do I need to do that?", and basically the appointment was done. I kind of wish I had a re-do, so I could tell him in my most dignified way how utterly offended I was by his sexist "treatment", if you can even call it that.

I think my anger is finally spent from the incident. I have since found an orthopedic doctor who specializes in treating injuries of recreational athletes. He has completed multiple Ironman races, and I have a feeling he is not going to tell me my body wasn't made to do this kind of training.

Anyway, I invite everyone to give me your very best come-back for the most awful medical provider ever known to the history of athletic women.


  1. holy cr*p. "well after giving birth twice, I felt triathalons gave me a new challenge." what a JERK!

  2. WOW. Can I send him a link to my blog...and to Jamie Donaldsons...and Bree Wee's...and Chrisy Wellingtons? I can go on and on and on here.

    Distance makes us strong.


  3. How about this: "would you prefer I were pregnant and barefoot?" or "What exactly is the anatomical difference between men and women that dictates a man’s body IS cut out for strenuous endurance running, yet a woman’s body isn’t? Conventional wisdom states that women’s bodies ARE built for endurance – could you clarify this for me?” UGH I could go on and on - this kind of stuff gets me riled up. He probably has the same condescending tone with everyone.

    Oh I know, here's what you say next time "I guess what you're trying to say is that you've given up on your goals and dreams, so you'd like to rob me of mine as well"

    It all a matter of feeding his ego - you are an athlete & thats intimidating to him, so he needed to cut you down. its like he hasn't emotionally graduated from 7th grade.

  4. "Well, actually Pam Reed won overall in Badwater in 2002 and 2003. Overall - that's BOTH men and women. Badwater, if you don't know Doc, is only a very prestigious ultra-distance event. At 48 she finished 7th overall this last time. In fact, if you read her book it gives quite a few references to reasons why women are better equipt than men for ultra-distance sport."

    Sorry you had such a bad experience with your doctor. I'm sure he was a surgeon too. Man they are cocky bastards! LOL.

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  6. Tell him, "I bet it's still good enough to do this"...and then kick him in the...anywhere (preferably the crotch, since that is unique to his manhood).

    "Yep! Looks like it still works. Should I just stick to that instead?"

  7. ((Kelly))- first of all- I'm sorry that your foot is still hurting you. Secondly....I'm sorry that you had to deal with that practitioner. I don't know....I am not really quick with comebacks. The only thing that even entered my mind as I read your post was "Gosh he's an idiot". Not exactly a slam. I think you handled the situation rather beautifully to tell you the truth. True to your faith and the reality is that you probably couldn't convince someone so opinionated as this practitioner anyway. I hope your orthopedic dr. figures out what is wrong soon. Christine

  8. OMG, Kelly. I would write up a report of the incident as well as the nods and looks that he gave you. He needs to be reprimanded. This is unprofessional in every way. He could have said, "well take it easy for a few weeks." This may be why he is working at a doc-in-the box place! I am furious for you. Furthermore, send him a link to your blog and say..."Eat this."

  9. Uggh. Glad that you found someone else! Hope your foot feels better soon!

  10. Thanks, guys!!! My foot is actually feeling a bit better. I haven't run in a few days, so I'll be headed out tomorrow. Thanks so much for your support and the awesome comebacks for the stupidest man alive!

    sidenote: I have decided to write a letter of complaint the the administrator of the office. I have been told that this will go in the offender's file, which is probably chock-full already!

  11. Bedside manner must be covered in the last two years of med school....quitter

  12. Seriously???....I dont mean to be rude, but maybe your not meant to be a Dr. ummm PA.

    Whenever someone says "I dont mean to sound...." you know that what is coming is going to be exactly that. So if you hear that statement stop em short, practice it with your friends or family a couple times, just cut em off and say "then dont say whatever your planning on saying."


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