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Dr - dodgy behaviour - what do you think?

(40 Posts)
sunsetpark Mon 26-Nov-12 14:01:39

I just want to write this down and get some other people's persepective on this. Hope this is the right place. Chat seemed too light for this.

So I'm in the Drs with 20 mo with bad cough who is having chest listened to by Dr. He is grumbling and turning into my shoulder as he doesn't like the feeling of the stethoscope on her back/chest. Dr's manner very chatty and bright.

Dr scoots his chair really close so that my knee is right between his legs, immediatley I feel slightly uncomfortable. He reaches across me and the back of his forearm briefly brushes side of my breast closest to DS twice. Nb I have various winter layers on. This is all in the course of having a good listen to his chest so feels like Dr is just getting on with what he has to do.

But at the time I am finding myself having to lean back because I'm feeling he is just too close. Even leaning my head back slightly away from him. It was all happening v quickly and I was so focussed on getting DS sorted and getting it over with I am not really 'registering' what is going on - if that makes sense. I couldnt tell at the time whether it was just what he had to do to check slightly wriggly DS or something more dodgy. If he'd had openly groped me it would have been easy to react and I would've pushed him away and shouted.

Leave DRs and can't get it out of my head, ring DH immediately to tell him.

Do you think that it was dodgy or was it an accident?

I'm thinking of writing annonymous letter to practice explaining that i felt he got too close and made me feel v uncomfortable and that he might need some further training around safeguarding patients whatever it's called etc

Don't want to put my name on it. Sounds stupid but I just don't, but feel as if I don't say anything then I would feel terrible if something more serious happened to someone else.

Part of me can't shake feeling that this is a fuss about nothing and I'm just over reacting - other part thinks red flags went up in the back of my mind and the fact I had to actively lean away from him is just plain odd.

Anyone else had anything similar? This has never happened to me before so wonder if Im over thinking it?

SweetSeraphim Mon 26-Nov-12 14:03:31

I think you're over thinking it.

Leverette Mon 26-Nov-12 14:03:38

Sounds normal to me BUT he should receive feedback explaining that he should have explained that he was going to have to come very close to examine your baby.

sunsetpark Mon 26-Nov-12 14:03:53

doesn't like the feeling of stethoscope on *his back/chest (have 2 DD's!)

sunsetpark Mon 26-Nov-12 14:05:01

good to get some perspective, i would've thought that a professional in that sort of role would be more aware of people's personal boundaries?

Possibly is nothing, but the fact that it made you feel uncomfortable should be acknowledged.

CailinDana Mon 26-Nov-12 14:07:25

IME you know yourself when someone is stepping over the line. There is a subtle but very clear difference between accidentally brushing off someone and deliberately coming too close. It sounds like he either has personal space issues (rare but does happen - I have a friend who you actually have to push away at times as he has no sense of space at all) or he was deliberately getting his kicks from brushing against you.

Did he apologise for crowding you, or suggest you hold your DS a different way? In similar situations with my DS, even with female doctors, I've found them very reluctant to get too close, just out of politeness really, and will suggest you put your baby on your shoulder or lie them on the couch.

sunsetpark Mon 26-Nov-12 14:08:27

I've been to Drs so many times in my life and never left feeling this weirded out. That's what's raising red flags in my mind.

TheDreadedFoosa Mon 26-Nov-12 14:08:32

I dont think anyone can tell you how to feel.

I read it and am struggling to see how hes been dodgy.

But you were there, not me. Write a letter if you want to, you are within your rights to raise concerns. Personally i wouldnt, it could have a devestating effect on someone who has (to my mind) very probably done nothing wrong.

Leverette Mon 26-Nov-12 14:08:45

As a HCP myself it is very easy to get tunnel vision and focus on the task that needs to be done...I'm sure he would be mortified to realise he had caused you such discomfort. I'd consider speaking to the practice manager asking him/her to feed back to the GP asking for better communication in future.

sunsetpark Mon 26-Nov-12 14:14:32

Yes, I can see it's hard to get across in writing.

Main thing is I have never had problem with any Dr before and had some pretty intrusive treatment at points in my life but this just left me feeling uneasy. I wonder if it were 'tunnel vision' about checking DS over?

Might just write and suggest that the Dr considers patient boundaries a bit more in future. It wasn't me who was being examined!

lookingfoxy Mon 26-Nov-12 14:16:11

In my experience if your holding your child and the doctor needs to examine them then they do really need to get close to you, i've had my knee between docs legs before and ds stuck in the middle also, hands brushing as im holding and doc examining.

I did find it a bit 'strange' to start with as im not a touchy feely person by any accounts and don't like being in close proximity to anyone but a few.
But it really is just one of those things i've had to get used to over the years with having a child, its not limited to certain doctors, they're all the same, they just want to properly examine the child.

I do understand if your anything like me why it seems a bit 'strange' to you, but they're really just doing their job IMO.

sunsetpark Mon 26-Nov-12 14:21:16

Yes, I have two other kids so am more than used to taking them in for things. Good to get your responses. Possibly I have just been unlucky and that the guy was not really thinking through what he was doing.

Other half of me thinking that this is how these buggers get away with shit like this and if I don't say something - someone else might get worse treatment. Feeling v. torn.

I would put it away for now, and request that you see a different doctor next time. If that can't be avoided then you will have to make sure you keep your distance next time - from that you'll be able to gauge whether it was accidental (which it sounds like to me), or whether you feel it was inappropriate.

Ginandtonicandamassageplease Mon 26-Nov-12 17:26:53

Sounds like you are over analysing to me. Think very carefully - that sort of complaint could ruin his career for nothing. On the other hand ... Very tricky. Sorry. I'm no help!

Iggly Mon 26-Nov-12 17:37:23

Have you seen this dr before?

I find my docs all get very close to me when they're examining the DCs in my lap - cant be helped. But I've never been weirded out by it.

ErikNorseman Mon 26-Nov-12 18:38:48

It really doesn't sound like he was copping an opportunistic feel to me. Plenty of people have set off my personal space buzzer unintentionally as they have poor awareness. Of course I could b wrong, I wasn't there.

secretcurry Mon 26-Nov-12 21:43:16

Sorry, I think you are over thinking it too- it's very difficult to examine a child who is pulling away from you and you do need to get close and focus on what you are doing. You are relying on the parent to support you in this and it can be quite tricky. The fact that you don't want to put your name to it speaks volumes imo.

WipsGlitter Mon 26-Nov-12 21:47:14

I've also had dr get v v close when examining DS but its cause they're wriggling and we are both holding tight to the so brushing / touching hands too.

beeny Mon 26-Nov-12 21:47:17

I dont think you are overthinking it.

quietlysuggests Mon 26-Nov-12 21:59:51

My GP always pulls his chair very very close to wriggly toddler on my lap. I feel weird sometimes as otherwise he is so formal but it is def part of needing to get close to listen to child's chest.

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Nov-12 22:32:37

But the thing is with those saying she's overthinking it, is that she was there and we weren't. She felt he wasn't respecting her boundaries, that he didn't need to be that close.

He should have said something like, "You'll have to excuse me here, but I can't hear it unless I'm in this position." To just sit that closely and brush against you is obviously going to lead to problems.

Glimmerberry Mon 26-Nov-12 23:24:56

How odd. You sound a little bit like you're trying to convince yourself something happened just because it wasn't quite what you expected.

Put yourself in the Drs shoes. 10 mins to examine a child, to rule out all those scary potential diagnoses, knowing the child is a bit reluctant and might start crying any minute (rendering any attempt to listen to the chest pointless), and the huge consequences associated with not getting it right (cos not getting it right with children is always more worrying somehow)...wouldn't you get stuck in there, focus in the task in hand and make sure you're close enough to get it done right, the first time?

Don't write and cause this doctor the significant stress that will be associated with all that you're implying unless your instincts are clearly telling you something was amiss. I can't imagine how awful it would be to have your normal actions misconstrued in this way.

I think you really need to ask yourself if this felt odd simply because it wasn't what you expected or if you have really been violated in some way -something about the way you have posted your account and your feelings seems to suggest the latter is unlikely.

Apologies if I'm misunderstanding -you really will gave to go on your own instincts here. I suppose I'm one of those people that if I have to ask myself if I'm offended then I'm not offended IYSWIM.

Pollykitten Mon 26-Nov-12 23:29:32

Agree with Glimmerberry - it doesn't sound as if he was focussed on you at all and perhaps there other, legitimate, reasons why you may have felt uncomfortable, but perhaps he wasn't it.

mirry2 Mon 26-Nov-12 23:37:59

Sunsetpark I don't think you were overthinking and if you found it uncomfortable he was definitely invading your personal space if nothing else. I have had one or two similar experiences when you don't know if you are imagining it or not. No doubt you will need to see him again at some point so maybe the best thing to do is to wriok out how to handle any 'close encounters' in future. For example you could say that you would prefer your child to lie on the couch or get you dc used to the stethescope by practicing with a pretend one. I think you can get toy ones.

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