The last time I saw my doctor / I like your productPosted: March 22, 2014 Filed under: Testosterone | Tags: doctors, gender identity, genderqueer, hormone replacement therapy, lgbt, lgbtq, medical treatment, non-binary, queer, testosterone, trans, transgender 7 Comments
I went to my doctor’s office one last time a few weeks ago, to get another prescription for testosterone. During this past year of seeing him multiple times (in the beginning, it was so many times), our values and expectations were not at all lining up. My goals and values include communication, follow-through, trust, and respect. As far as I could gather, his values involved maximizing appointment frequency ($$$$$), minimizing face-time, being the expert, and using aggression to barrel through mistakes.
Because of all these clashes, I got myself a new doctor for a couple of months from now. Plus, I have a plan B if that doesn’t pan out. I feel a huge amount of relief to never have to see my previous doctor again! Here is an anecdote from that last visit:
I called on a Friday to ask if I could come in and pick up a prescription the following week. (Because testosterone is a controlled substance, I can never get refills or prescriptions faxed to pharmacies, apparently? So even though I only need to see the doctor / get blood work every 6 months, I have to go every 3 months just to get a new script.) The receptionist asked when I’d want to make the appointment, and I had to repeatedly be clear this is not an appt. I am not due for an appointment at this time. I told her I’d like to come in Thursday to just pick up a prescription. I asked, “Should I call ahead that morning to make sure?” “Yes, that would be good.”
I called Thursday morning to ask if the script was ready. She replied that oh, no it’s still in his messages box. She told me he’d do it once I arrived at the office. I said OK. Once I got there, I waited a while to speak with the receptionist. She and a patient were in the middle of an argument about outstanding bills.
The woman asked how had she been able to see the doctor without paying? There has never been a time he has seen her unless she pays first. This is why she’s not able to see him right now – she hasn’t paid first. So how could she have a debt if he won’t ever see her before she pays? She asked the receptionist to ask him, since she can’t go ask because he won’t talk to her unless she’s paid, at any point in time. She can never talk to him. There was a question about the dates of these alleged appointments, and the receptionist just kept replying that she does not know anything because she’s not the billing department. This circular back-and-forth was making me feel dizzy (I was rooting for her in this standoff, anyway). There were other nonsensical details, but I can’t recall everything. I was focused on myself and getting out as quickly as possible.
The woman stepped aside to call the billing department, so I approached the receptionist just to be like, “Hey, remember me? I’m here now.” Haha. I sat back down and waited for a while. The doctor brushed past the entrance to the waiting room and mumbled my name (maybe?) and for me to step into room 4. My heart started racing. I knew I was about to be bullied into an appointment, and I was prepping to fight back.
I stood up and tentatively walked toward the corridor (because I wasn’t even sure he had been addressing me!) He came back through and directed me to a room. I said, “OK, just to be clear, this is not an appointment. I am just here for the prescription.” “I know, but we have to get you a new blood work form, so it is [an appointment.]” He essentially yelled this as he rushed down the hall to his office. I stood in the room to wait for him, but did not sit down or take off my coat. Once he came in, I asserted, “I had my blood work done in December. So it is not due, and I do not need an appointment at this time.”
He replied, “Oh, it was December? I thought it was June. OK then, you’re right. Well, take this form anyway since I already filled it out. What prescription do you need?”
“The Androgel rep is here right now. Go ahead and go back to the waiting room and tell him how much you like it.”
I went back out to wait for him to get me my prescription. A young man in a suit and black wool pea coat, with a briefcase, sat kiddie-corner to me. I thought to myself, Oh, what the hell? I like his product 100X more than I’ve liked anything else I’ve ever been prescribed. I guess I’ll tell him…
“Hey, I like your product,” I said, nodding my chin his way.
“Oh, you like it? Great. It’s a good product.”
I sat there feeling smug and tough, for some reason. I guess because everything was feeling increasingly surreal, and instead of shutting-down to it, I participated in the absurdity.
The doctor finally came out and gave me my prescription. He said, “Did you tell him how much you like it?”
And then I finally got to walk out the door.
He probably over bills and bilks Medicare. Hope they catch him and that your new doc is better.
Yeah, a part of me wonders if there’s something more I should do. Like is there a “better business bureau” for doctors? Not sure if I wanna go that far…
Good luck with your new doctor. That guy sounds like he’s a doctor for all of the wrong reasons.
definitely. I wonder if he started out his career with better intentions and became more jaded over time, or if he’s always been this way… If it’s just about being rich, do not pursue this profession!
What a farce. I hope that your new doctor works out better. There really are some extraordinary ones out there, but they take some work to find.
it’ll be worth the work to find a good one. do you like the one you go to now?
After some bad experiences about 10 years ago, I have put a lot of work into finding doctors that I trust.
My new doctor is extraordinary. My spouse has significant chronic health problems, and Dr. R. treats her with great care, thoroughness, and respect. I feel very lucky to have found such a great doctor. My old doctor was equally awesome. He starts at a hospital in Manhattan next month, if you are in that area.