Sometimes I Think My Gynecologist Isn’t Listening

Apologies in advance if this is TMI (too much information) but I’m going to get into something rather personal that happened to me in the past few days. But it’s my blog, so if you don’t like it well, then stuff it!

So I’ve been commuting to and from my gyno over the past several weeks to deal with some foul fallopian fungus that I will not go into any further details on (and you’ll thank me for that, believe me!). My doctor has been my doctor for the past 10 years. We have a good relationship. For the most part. I go in for my yearly checkup and pap smear, and she tells me all is well. I won’t say who she is, but will suffice it to say that she expensive, and is considered one of the top gynos in Boston.

But one day back in February, I got the feeling that my doc was giving me the brush off. This was when I first noticed my symptoms and was prattling on about every single thought, feeling, and whim that accompanied my ordeal. My doctor, her head down as she took notes, seemed to go through long periods of writing, and long periods of just sitting there nodding her head.

Was she really listening to me? I mean really? I know that doctors are super busy, have hundreds or thousands of patients to keep track of, but dammit if I’m paying $150 a visit after my copay, I expect her to know every detail!

I developed this sneaking suspicion that she was not really listening to all of the details that were coming forth from my mouth — I have this theory about female gynecologists and how they can sometimes come off as less caring than male gynos. But that’s a story for another day…

So anyway I devised a plan to test her to see if she really was listening. On my next visit when she asked how I was doing, I specifically told her a sentence that I had planned before hand to see if she would be able to regurgitate it later. I told her that after coming home from a company party I felt the urge to urinate, but when I went to the bathroom, nothing came out! Strange! That was my sentence and that’s what I told her. I slipped in this mundane detail among all of the other mundane details I was prattling about on that day. And later i wanted to see if she could recall what happened at a later time.

So the next day, I gave her office a call and asked to speak with her. She of course was busy so they had her call me back. Which like in an hour later (don’t you hate how all doctors seem to make you wait for everything?).  She asked me what I wanted and I told her that I felt like she had not been listening to me lately. My doctor (who I will keep unnamed) responded that she listens to all of her patients. So as a test, I asked her what happened after I came home from work and felt the urge to urinate — to see if she had recalled that mundane detail. The doctor told me to hold on, and for a few moments it seemed as though the might be checking her notes. Gotcha! I thought to myself. There was no way my doctor was listening to that detail, let alone have it in her notes.

After a few minutes, the doc came back on the phone and to my surprise she responded that according to her notes, I had the urge to urinate but when I went to the bathroom nothing came out! I was floored! “H-how did you do that?” I asked her. It seemed like she indeed had been listening and recorded every single detail of what came out of my mouth! “Simple” she responded, I use a medical transcription service to record every single detail that comes out of your mouth in case I ever need to go back over the information or miss something. It’s how we doctors stay thorough. I felt like she was giving me a smug smile on the other end of the phone.

We ended up talking about transcription and such, and she told me the company she uses which is Perfect Transcription.  After several minutes of amicable chit chat, and profuse apologizing on my part, we hung up.

So that’s my story. I learned that my doctor is very thorough and even though she might not recall off hand every single detail that comes up during my visit, she has detailed recordings of everything that comes out of my mouth! So ya learn something new every day!