to think the doctor was inappropriate?(121 Posts)
Last Wednesday my DD (aged 13) had a dr appointment. She had to take her top off for the dr, and the dr said "you're a big girl aren't you?"
My DD is a size 10 so she's not overweight. She is also around 5ft 5, so hardly tall/big.
I can only really assume that she was referring to her chest. She is definitely bigger than most girls her age and it does make her self conscious. Surely that would be a rather inappropriate comment for a dr to make?
It has just occurred to me, and I'm probably wrong, but it wouldn't seem to be a massively inappropriate comment to make if the consultation was say about getting breathless/ chest pains running up stairs.
ie that the presenting complaint was directly related to the "you're a big girl" comment.
I think it is worth bringing this up with the practice. Better that the Doctor is told that making unnecessary comments is inappropriate now when it was something relatively minor than waiting until the doctor manages to fit both her feet in her mouth and leaves someone far more vulnerable far more upset.
So what are you going to do about it ?
The dr lives close by to us, and she has a daughter either the same age or one year younger. My DD walks by her house everyday for school. Both our daughters went to the same brownies. So I'm sure the Dr knows who my DD is.
I was there when the comment was said! so to everyone saying my dd misunderstood you are wrong. Even if I hadn't been there I should just assume she was mistaken?? Why? Because she's just a child and therefore wrong?
The comment was made straight after dd removed her top and was sat down in jeans and her bra.
Get away with what though? Making an innocent comment that has been misinterpreted? Making an off the cuff comment and kicking herself because it sounded unintentionally bad? Who's never thought 'oh dear that didn't come right'.
And that is how these people get away with it.
OP's DD is likely to more upset if a big fuss is made. The expression big girl has several possible interpretations, some completely innocent. It's not worth the shot of complaining IMO.
I certainly wouldn't be "leaving it" how very dare she make inappropriate comments to a young person like that. Some GP's have appalling people skills and need training, without people complaining this will not be highlighted.
Big girl could just mean brave for being sensible in what many girls her age would find an awkward situation. This is what the doctor will say she meant if you complain. I would leave it and reassure your daughter this is all she meant.
I think it's an inappropriate comment but I'm not sure it's worth complaining about. Also, if you weren't there to hear the context of the comment, or the actually wording, it may be that your daughter misconstrued what was said, or heard something different to what the doctor was saying.
Incidentally, I was 5'8" and size 10 when I was 13 - and I'm the same 23 years & 2 children later! Some girls just mature into women earlier than others.
Male or female, that is totally inappropriate and unnecessary. If anyone had said that to me at 13 I simply wouldn't have been able to let go of it.
"Any person who is sitting there semi clothed in an embarassing situation should not have comments made on their physicality unless it is medically necessary"
I think the GP was probably being friendly and jovial. But she should know that a 13 year old will not be likely to take it this way
I don't know what the GP was referring to. My guess would be that she was referring to general size.
Actually, the fact that we are having to guess what she meant (and some of the guesses aren't too flattering), means that it was a thoughtless throwaway comment. This isn't an 8 year old boy. It's a 13 year old girl
socharlotte - I think saying something to your own child is very different from a stranger in a position of authority, when the girl has her clothes off in a vulnerable position. Your use of the word "breakdown" to refer to perfectly normal adolescent sensitivity suggests maybe you need to put a bit more thought in
'Obviously the GP was talking about her bust size '
what rubbish. I am always telling my DDs , they are 'big girls' now and I definitely don't mean 'booby'.When I am doing my coaching classes , I put the secondary aged kids in a group, which everyone (parents, coaches,kids)o refers to as the 'big girls' .Nobody has have complained or had a breakdown at this.
Obviously the GP was talking about her bust size - "big girl" is the rather unpleasant, knowing "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" euphemism people use when talking about a well-developed teenager. I can't believe people are seriously suggesting the GP was referring to the girl's height or weight.
The comment was clearly inappropriate and the sort of thing (I hope) that a male GP wouldn't dare to say these days. The only possible excuse is if she was making a friendly, jokey comment to put the OP's DD at ease, but I don't think it's reasonable for a medical person to comment on a person's body shape at all.
Was the GP short? Maybe she only said it at examination time because its the first time GP got out of her chair and stood next to her, maybe GP was shorter than DD and knowing her age from records, said it. She might have used the word 'big' if GP has younger DC, my DC are younger and in this house we generally so bigger/smaller as DC don't have much concept of taller/shorter.
Might all just be a big misunderstanding, and if DD came home and said that, I'd assume it was and move on.
Formal complaints seem totally OTT.
'That can't possibly be the UK average though is it? It's the world average surely.
I'm 5ft 1 and by the summer term of last year (when most of our Y8s had turned 13) there were 3 girls out of 24ish who were smaller than me (and one of those was still 12)'
Exactly. By the end of Y6, there are usually several girls taller than me.
socharlotte, 5' 5" size 10 and with a developed, not fat body is perfectly average round here. Must be all the good food, clean living and healthy exercise.
VERY inappropiate, I would have been even more mad if it had been a male Doctor but still it's wrong and thank God it didn't give your Daughter a complex.
Sorry but I am with Squeaky - I think it maybe a bit inapperopriate but you are blowing it right out of proportion.
I would also feel a prat when I went in all guns blazing and the doctor explained what it was she said and is more than likely that your daughter was nervous and misheard or got the wrong end of the stick.
Sometimes the whole ' we are all different and at different points in your life people will think you are bigger than you should be, smaller than you should be, in their opinion nice/not nice, pretty/not pretty etc, but we all have differing opinions and you shouldn't make then the be all and end all of how you feel about yourself' conversarion comes in handy and does more for our kids than going in to anialate anyone who dares say anything that may have beeen offended by.
And coming from someone who had an eating disorder, it would take a little more than this and be better for you to work on her self conficdence than try and sheild her from stuff.
Fair enough she isn't talking about weight - otherwise she would have delivered a lecture on healthy eating and handed over a diet sheet.
Squeaky, why does the dr even NEED to make an observation as to the size of her bust, even if it was a factual statement? Seriously, if my male or female dr said that to me, I would be thinking "wtf". It doesn't actually matter if the op's daughter is, in fact "big", what matters is, is that it shouldn't even be a talking point. Unless she was there for breast reduction.
5'5" for a 13 year old seems pretty average to me. My dd is 12 and 5'8", although she is tall it is commented on all the time, but generally only when people first meet her or when they find out she is younger than they expect. It woudl seem a pretty strange thing to comment on half way through an appointment.
From the context I think the OP is right and the comment was on her dd's breasts, and I agree it was inappropriate. I think it is worth raising it with the practice.
I would be fuming and certainly make a complaint, teens are self concious enough without a thoughtless doctor making comment. It does not matter if she is a little taller than average or a bigger size than average (not that she is by the sound of it) it still should not have been said.
Even if a patient is so overweight there health is being affected there are ways of discussing it and that isn't it.
That can't possibly be the UK average though is it? It's the world average surely.
I'm 5ft 1 and by the summer term of last year (when most of our Y8s had turned 13) there were 3 girls out of 24ish who were smaller than me (and one of those was still 12)
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.