Time for a new doctor.

Sorcha writes:

I’ve been seeing the same doctor since before my son (age 12) was born. Over that time, I’ve gained about 60 pounds. I’ve varied a bit here and there, but generally I’m now around 245, 5’8″.

It took me a while to realize just how fat-phobic she is – or maybe it took me accepting myself to realize it. Regardless, for the past few years everything that’s wrong with me, she puts down to my weight. Diabetes? My weight – even though it runs in my family and I was already hypoglycemic when my weight was “healthy.” Plantar fasciitis? My weight, even though I’ve had ankle and foot problems most of my life.

The kicker, though, and the one that has me looking for a better doctor, is that she told me if I lost weight my depression would go away. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, clinical depression, and OCD when I was a teenager (and a size 10). The first time I tried to kill myself, I was eleven. She knows my mental health history, and yet, she still said it. I was dumbfounded, but I’m actually glad she did. That was the wakeup call I needed to realize that it was time I found a new doctor.

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  1. Meems

     /  August 4, 2009

    Definitely time for a new doctor!

    As a side note, hypoglycemia is actually no longer associated with a higher risk for diabetes. Of course, the family history is…

  2. Definitely time for a new doctor. And if you’re feeling feisty, setting up an appointment with the present one for a debriefing when you collect your chart!

  3. Definitely time for a new doctor. Because it’s so difficult to stand up to doctors and tell them they’re doing stuff wrong (because of the inherent power differential), especially with a doctor who has been fat-shaming you for years, I suggest putting your criticism in writing. I’ve also had depression for many years, and I know it often gets in the way of “feeling feisty.”

    And who knows? There might be some advantage to having a permanent record of the criticism. If she works for a clinic or group practice, you can send her boss a copy.

  4. Definitely time for a new doctor if she’s so blinded by her fat-hating that she’s not bothering to look at your records at all. And I second the motion to put your reason for dropping her into writing and make sure the clinic administrator gets a copy. Clinicians who can’t be bothered to review patient records before shooting off their mouths are clinicians who are doing sloppy work.

  5. Holy crap that’s awful. Compare that with my awesome doctor (I am “death-fat” and have bipolar disorder):
    Doc: So how is the new medication working for you.
    Me: I feel actually really good! But I’m worried about the weight I’ve gained since I started taking it.
    Doc: I really don’t see your weight as a concern right now. Our main goal is to get your moods under control, and it looks like we’re winning. If you’re still worried about the weight in a few months, we can talk then.

    I think he said something like, worrying about weight gain from this medication is like worrying about the chemicals in fire extinguishers – while your hair is on fire. I love my doctor and feel he’s worth his weight in gold, but at the same time it makes me really angry that all doctors don’t have that basic good sense and compassion.


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