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To want to see a female doctor?

(47 Posts)
pelagra Tue 16-Jun-20 06:30:03

I have a symptom that could indicate a gynae cancer. I also have PTSD from childhood sexual abuse and rape. I asked my GP to explain this in the referral, and she offered to ask for a female Gynae surgeon.
I got to the two week wait clinic to find my appointment was with a man, and panicked and ran. Now I feel like a total failure. I had done lots of planning and preparation to manage myself through the examination and tests, but I didn't even get near them. In the present climate I should be grateful to be seen at all, not be making a fuss about my preferences

OP’s posts: |
Yummymummy2020 Tue 16-Jun-20 06:37:50

You poor thing. Could you ring your gp and explain what happened when you arrived to get another referral as soon as possible?ideally you would have been seen there and then.The times are difficult in not as many staff are available, but in your circumstances if there is any female doctor at all that can look after you, you should be afforded the time with them. I’m sorry that happened, I’m sure someone female can see you on a different day or time, it’s so important that you get looked after. I think in circumstances like this it isn’t so much a preference as a need so don’t feel like you are being fussy or unreasonable. I really hope they can accommodate you with a lady doctor!

Yeahnahmum Tue 16-Jun-20 06:45:51

This is a hard one. Because what if a female gynea only is available months from now? Can you somehow see these tremendous hardships from the past seperate from this? As this maybe is a medical emergency. And this is not just some randomly selected bloke. But a well trained, highly educated man there for you to examen you and possible help you.

If not, then make it very clear to your gp that you simply cant/won't do this and see if there is anything else she can do.

I guess at times like these they might have just saw the request but thought : we are swamped enough as it is and we have no time for these 'I am a woman and I want a woman docter' requests. But it could just have been an error. Try to get it fixed. But if you cant please try to see the bigger picture and your health is paramount and most important

aurynne Tue 16-Jun-20 07:12:46

"This is a hard one. Because what if a female gynea only is available months from now?" --> then the OP should have been informed of this so she could make the decision herself, whether she chose to wait or to see the male Gynaecologist. Not that hard, really.

Tini17 Tue 16-Jun-20 07:18:40

You’ll may need to be re-referred. Speak to the booking clerk / medical secretary and explain and ask for a particular doctor if you can - they are generally fairly accommodating.
Have you checked / researched though that there is a female consultant / surgeon on staff? It’s not always the case. There will be a female chaperone in with a male doctor in any case - would that help a little?

WoollyMammouth Tue 16-Jun-20 07:19:54

I would ring the number on your letter and explain.

worstwitch18 Tue 16-Jun-20 07:21:20

YANBU in any sense of the word.

Is it possible for you to ring your GP and explain what happened?

CherryPavlova Tue 16-Jun-20 07:27:42

Firstly try and speak with the gynaecology secretaries who may be able to sort you another appointment. They are usually kind and will have dealt with similar many times. Go to PALS for support in asking, if necessary.

If it’s not possible then speak with your GP and ask for a re-referral. Most trusts have female gynaecologists but if not, be referred elsewhere.

hopeishere Tue 16-Jun-20 07:29:17

Could you go privately? Then you could pick a female. Although as a pp says there is a woman chaperone in the room.

okiedokieme Tue 16-Jun-20 07:47:31

Are you sure your actual appointment was with a man? Often the consultant running the clinic has other drs doing the exams.

pelagra Tue 16-Jun-20 07:51:43

It's not so much the practicalities. The GP's secretary has checked now, and confirmed that here are no females doing that service in our local hospital, so I've been referred to one much further away.
It's what it has done to my head. I knew I'd get a flare up of the PTSD after the appointment, but things are pretty bad now without even making it into the clinic. My past means that a doctor and a chaperone would be the worst possible combination. I'd be more comfortable with just one person, because my triggered fight or flight response sees that as an equal fight between them and me.
I genuinely want to know if I'm being unreasonable, because being furious with myself doesn't help. I fear the staff at the next hospital will see me as absurdly fussy, and won't hesitate to tell me so. I feel unreasonably demanding.

OP’s posts: |
Wasthatasnipe Tue 16-Jun-20 07:56:01

I really feel for you. I did exactly the same at a breast clinic earlier this year, and rebooked on the basis I would see a female doctor this time. And when I got female doctor. I freaked out again and they let me have the mammogram (with a female radiographer) and skip the examination. Obviously this isn't any use in your situation, but I just wanted to reassure you that your reaction was completely normal, and you should be met with nothing but empathy and understanding by the healthcare professionals. Good luck x

OverTheHandlebars Tue 16-Jun-20 08:00:34

You're not being at all unreasonable. You made a sensible, and very common, request in order to try and minimise the impact on your mental health. Please try and be kind to yourself. I can't imagine the other hospital will say anything. If your local hospital doesn't have any women available then I imagine they quite often get people being sent to them instead.

steff13 Tue 16-Jun-20 08:02:53

Would it make you more comfortable to take someone with you as a chaperone? Your mom or a sister or a close friend?

SteelyPanther Tue 16-Jun-20 08:13:07

You are not being unreasonable to request a female doctor. Many women request it due to religion/culture.

JustC Tue 16-Jun-20 08:37:07

YANBU to ask for a female dr for whatever reason you have, more so in your situation. However, it might mean a longer waiting time, depending on availabilities. Hope you get seen soon.

Heismyopendoor Tue 16-Jun-20 08:41:27

The staff at the next hospital will not tell you that. Please don’t worry. You are not demanding and your request is not unreasonable at all.

LouiseTrees Tue 16-Jun-20 08:42:24

Could you try counselling before your next appointment in order to ensure you manage through the one now set up with a woman?

Thisismytimetoshine Tue 16-Jun-20 08:46:23

Of course you're not unreasonable. In fact you shouldn't have to explain any "extenuating circumstances", it's a perfectly reasonable request that you're perfectly entitled to make.
Don't apologise for asking either.

Wolfiefan Tue 16-Jun-20 08:46:34

You are so completely and utterly NOT being unreasonable. You’re not making a “fuss” either. Not at all.
Is there anything you can do to help you through this? Have you had counselling? Is CBT or even something like mindfulness worth a try. (Sorry if that sounds patronising and like offering you a sticking plaster for a broken limb!)
But YANBU. Not at all. flowers

AnotherEmma Tue 16-Jun-20 08:47:16

YANBU at all.

Perhaps you could ask your GP to refer you for mental health treatment for your PTSD?

You could also try contacting Napac for advice and support.


caramac04 Tue 16-Jun-20 08:48:45

@Heismyopendoor is right. You won’t be judged and you are definitely not being unreasonable.
Please don’t be cross with yourself, it’s not your fault you reacted the way you did, it was a normal response to a threatening situation over which you had no control.
I hope you have a female friend or relative that can accompany you to your next appointment.

Haretodaygonetomorrow Tue 16-Jun-20 08:54:08

I had this situation with a hospital a few years ago. No female gynaes worked there apparently.

Same hospital a few years later, this time I saw a female doctor but the experience wasn’t good. She didn’t explain she would be doing an internal examination so it did affect me when I only expected an external/ visual. She didn’t talk to me and explain what she was doing as she did the examination either.

Just to warn you there will also be a chaperone but this is almost always a woman.

Sexnotgender Tue 16-Jun-20 08:56:14

YANBU at all. It’s awful they sent you to see a man without even informing you.

CherryPavlova Tue 16-Jun-20 08:57:15

Go to the more distant hospital. Ask your GP for a one off drug to relax you beforehand as it will make the process easier for everyone.

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