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uncommon to request to see a female consultant?

(30 Posts)
lynn1 Wed 30-Mar-11 17:32:51

At UCH for a consultant appt the other day (17 wks) and requested a female consultant. I was told previous week that this was no issue, just to make the request when I arrived to check in. So I did, and the woman at the registry acted as if they'd never gotten that request in the history of the hospital. She said none were there and it was going to be "a bit of a problem." Then just looked at me as if she expected me to change my mind.
I completely wasted a trip there due to being told there would be a female consultant and there wasn't.
Anyone ever made this request or am I totally out of the ordinary?

nervatious Wed 30-Mar-11 17:43:44

sorry to be thick but why do you want a female consultant?

nailak Wed 30-Mar-11 17:46:51

i think it is quite unusual tbh

Leilababyno1 Wed 30-Mar-11 17:51:14

I don't see why it should be a problem...there potentially could be lots of reasons why someone like yourself might want to be seen by a female consultant. Religion, past trauma involving abuse etc...

Just ignore the narrow-minded receptionists and go above them.

I hope you get somewhere soon, the NHS can be a bit slow sometimes..wink

Best wishes..smile

Leilababyno1 Wed 30-Mar-11 17:53:15

I don't know about UCH...but for what it's worth, I happen to be registered with a female consultant who is brilliant, but that's at Kingston Hospital- where I know there are a couple..

lynn1 Wed 30-Mar-11 17:55:20

Personal choice. I've never had a male doctor (with the exception of an allergy specialist) because I've always lived where there were many excellent female doctors near by and I felt completely comfortable with them. Of course, that was in the U.S. so quite different obviously.
Here, I just didn't realize it was an outlandish request or that there wasn't much of a choice. At this point, I'm not comfortable with a male doctor discussing female/ pregnancy issues. Personal preference really.

lynn1 Wed 30-Mar-11 17:56:10

leilababyno1: thanks for this info. If it continues to be a major issue, I guess I can indeed look into other hospitals. Appreciated.

llareggub Wed 30-Mar-11 17:57:10

But what if there wasn't a female consultant to see?

expatinscotland Wed 30-Mar-11 18:00:03

It will depend on availability.

Thing is, with the NHS, if you run into a problem during labour, you will have to see whoever's available.

So if you're keen on it's always being a female, I suggest you pay to go private right now.

Sparklies Wed 30-Mar-11 18:01:00

I have yet to see a male consultant with this pregnancy, and I've seen about seven or eight different female ones at Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich. The head of the team is male but I've never actually seen him. Never seen so many female consultants in my life as before now all I ever saw were male ones everywhere else.

It's not an unreasonable request at all and they really should do their best to accommodate you or tell you if they can't so you can go elsewhere. You have the right to choose your hospital subject to how full they are and sometimes there are PCT-related bureaucratic issues, but usually you can get where you want.

expatinscotland Wed 30-Mar-11 18:01:35

Unless you have a medical problem, too, you'll be delivered by midwives, not consultants.

lynn1 Wed 30-Mar-11 18:03:51

I'll be delivered by consultant due to a c/s which is why they scheduled me for an appt with one the other day, in addition to the midwife appts.
Good to know other hospitals may have more available. Will check into this asap. Thanks all for your input.

Leilababyno1 Wed 30-Mar-11 18:03:53

It's going to be different in The States, as I am assuming you were under a private insurance policy.

If you are going private in the UK you can choose your Obstetric Consultant?! Or are you NHS? In which case it will be more tricky to 'choose' your consultant, unless you have a serious reason stating why you are not comfortable with a male doctor..

nervatious Wed 30-Mar-11 18:05:58

Good point about paying, in the US you have to pay, no? Going private would give you the option to indulge your preferences but I don't think it's something the NHS will go out of their way to accommodate. You can have/request a female chaperone but consultants are a bit specialist just to keep a few of either sex around in case one has an unacceptable gender.

haudyerwheesht Wed 30-Mar-11 18:09:36

I think its pretty unusual tbh unless there are 'issues'. It would be a bit odd if you refused to see a female consultant too for no real reason imo.

lynn1 Wed 30-Mar-11 18:09:38

In the US, yes, you pay part of the costs (portion your employer doesn't cover) for an overall insurance plan, so therefore you don't pay each time when you see a dr.
I'd have thought there were lots of female consultants here though. Also I thought there were women who requested this based on religious beliefs (some Muslims, I think- could be mistaken though) so I figured it was a common requst in London.

lynn1 Wed 30-Mar-11 18:11:22

Yes, again, didn't want them to really go out of their way. Just thought it was normal and I'd read that on the NHS you can always request female (and again, called the hospital ahead of time to ask about this.) But if it there aren't any females, then there just aren't, so I'll deal with it.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 30-Mar-11 18:11:53

Yes there will be women who don't want to be examined by male medical staff (for religious reasons or because of trauma they've suffered in the past). But I'd say they're a minority. Which isn't to say their needs shouldn't be met btw.

It sounds like the receptionist was rather insensitive.

I think it's a shame to miss an appointment on the basis of a preference rather than a need however.

nervatious Wed 30-Mar-11 18:18:25

Muslim women can be seen by male doctors, and will be, but only if there is no female doctor available and there is a chaperone there as well. (the preference goes: Female muslim doctor, female doctor, male muslim doctor, male doctor) I can't imagine therefore that they would refuse the appointment altogether if it's important.

Leilababyno1 Wed 30-Mar-11 18:24:48

nervatious- I am sure Lynn1 isn't saying that should would refuse an appointment with a male doctor if it was very important...but she is early on in her pregnancy and simply arranging a booking appointment to discuss her elective c-section. There is nothing wrong with someone requesting a female consultant, and most trusts will do their upmost to accomodate this request...It sounds like she got a stroppy receptionist to be honest!

lynn1 Wed 30-Mar-11 18:29:05

Leilababyno1: exactly. After all, I had a midwife appt within 2 days of the scheduled consultant appt, so all the basics had been recently covered and bp/ urine tests were fine. If it's important, of course I will see a male consultant.
And part of my posting here was in fact to find out if it was an uncommon request, which from the responses I see that it kind of is.
Either way, the receptionist didn't know my background and was incredibly insensitive & even a bit rude about it. I wasn't sure why. I didn't get mad at her at all just asked if I could re schedule and if it was possible to see a female.

smokinaces Wed 30-Mar-11 18:48:36

At my hospital, all the consultants are on their website - and you can request which one you see. there are 4 gynea/obs ones here, 1 of which is female. I always request the same male I have seen for the last 10 years in pregnancy, before and after and have never been told it is a problem. (wierdly I prefer male doctors!!) The NHS runs the "Choices" scheme, where you can pick your hospital (and to a degree the doctor) you want your care to be under.

nervatious Wed 30-Mar-11 18:58:18

Many receptionists are extremely rude, especially doctors ones ime but wouldn't want to generalise as many members of the public are extremely rude also. No need for it though, she was just picking on you cos you weren't rude probly

vj32 Wed 30-Mar-11 19:20:43

I think the mistake was with whoever told you that you could just ask to see a female on the day. Consultant apts where I am have to be booked by a central system weeks in advance so the receptionist was probably annoyed that an appointment was being wasted. I went for a scan at the hospital and a consultant list was running nearly 2 hours behind schedule - I was lucky when I went it was only 30mins behind. Obviously the receptionist shouldn't have been rude to you though.

firstsupermum Wed 30-Mar-11 20:44:18

i request all the time femal doctor, some time i find it hard but i insist for one, as i dont like to be checked by a male, thats your right, they can force you to have a male, specialy if you request it a lot time a head.

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