putting on my ranty pants

What is it, exactly, about my lack of desire to force human beings out through my vagina that makes me less worthy of receiving medical care than the next woman?

I am looking for a family doctor. The clinic is finally catching on to my game of “only coming by when I need prescriptions”, and as I clearly look like some sort of drug-abusing psychopath with a lot of free time on my hands, they’re doling out my anti-crazy pills in one-month prescriptions. This is a huge pain in the ass; one that can supposedly be resolved by getting myself a family doctor who can monitor my extensive drug use (and probably keep me from experimenting with my dosage which is apparently frowned upon for some fascist reason).

You may not know this because I am very keen on privacy and anonymity, but I am female. As such, I would prefer a female doctor – not because I think men don’t know anything about vaginas, but because the male doctors I’ve had in the past are less inclined to take my word for it that my girl parts need inspection immediately so please break out the damn speculum already and I will drop trou. They usually send me off to get blood tests and x-rays and ultrasounds and psychological examinations before giving me an internal exam, which just seems like they’re wasting time and avoiding the issue at hand (ie: my vagina). The female doctors I’ve had are less squeamish about slipping on the latex and getting to know my uterus on a first-name basis. I don’t LIKE going to the doctor – trust me, if I’m in there and saying “I think I broke my vagina”, you better believe there’s something wrong down there.

So, I’ve been shopping around for a new physician. I looked online and found a BC site that will give you a list of doctors accepting patients based on your location. Sweet! I picked a name at random, and started calling.

Every single female doctor’s office I called is accepting new patients .. if you’re full of baby, trying to make baby, thinking about having baby, have already had baby, or ARE baby.

Fuck you guys.

Do you get kickbacks from diaper companies for every squalling infant you bring into the world? Are you in some sort of competition? Do you run on energy absorbed from the glow of pregnant women? Are you a maiesiophiliac? Why are breeders any more deserving of quality health care than those who do not want children?

FUCK you guys.

I’m so pissed off about this. I really want to know why preference is given to breeders, to the point where it is impossible for those who have made the choice not to reproduce are having trouble finding a physician. I know I’m not the first person who’s run into this problem, which is just disgusting.

I have an appointment this afternoon to meet a potential new doctor. It’s a male doctor. I’m not thrilled about this, and if I’m still feeling pissy this afternoon, I may just confront the office and find out why the esteemed Dr. Heather wouldn’t see me unless I said I was thinking about signing up for 18 years of servitude. I loathe discrimination in any form, and I’m definitely feeling it here.

Angry Kimli is a force to be reckoned with (in my own head).

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21 thoughts on “putting on my ranty pants

  1. I hear you, sistah.

    Fortunately, I have an excellent female physician. Unfortunately, I pay for the honour of seeing her. Last year, I joined a private healthcare centre for various reasons, and so far, I’m loving it.

    However, I did have an equally excellent doctor in Deep Cove, but I refuse to drive there from New West. I can DM you her name if you want.

  2. I’ve told you about the time my nobabypill-giving nurse said “You want kids? No? Because you have really good blood pressure, and that’s good when you’re trying to get pregnant,” right?

    I stared at her and said “Really? I thought that was just a good thing IN GENERAL.” Because I am not my fucking uterus. I am an actual person, with my own right to health.

  3. I’ve been on that same site and called all those same numbers. “Yes, she is accepting new patients, but only if they are pregnant. Are you pregnant?” “No, trying to prevent it.” “Hmm, sorry.” It’s a real pain in the ass and so goddamn frustrating. It’s the ONE thing I knew I would have the most trouble with when I moved here from Calgary and my ridiculously good doctor there. Bah!

  4. What the hell is wrong with medical care around here? I don’t have a GP, but at least the clinic I’ve been going to since I was all homeless and shit is still fine with doling out the prescriptions in bulk. On the other hand, they mostly treat HIV and hepatitis patients and IV drug users, which is fine, but assume that I’m subject to similar issues, which is not. So they always want to talk about my presumptive IV drug use and give me tips for harm reduction. (“You can talk to us about it. We won’t judge you.” UM.)

    I had some incredibly troubling CNS problems recently, which have largely resolved, I’m happy to say. But the first step in dealing with that was managing to get an appointment at the clinic I usually go to — they had a cancellation, so I didn’t need to wait 5 weeks this time.

    The doctor’s response upon observing my symptoms: “Hmm, yeah… that could be a lot of things.” I was hoping for a referral to a neurologist. He was hoping I could come back in a month if it was worse.

    Actually, if I have a problem that requires any urgency at all, I go to the hospital and flop around pathetically until I can see someone. So I did. And this time? Appointments with two different specialists the following day. Frankly, even if I had a GP, I wouldn’t have that kind of turnaround, but it sure would be nice to have a regular doctor.

  5. Ugh what is wrong with those doctors?! I have a similar problem. I want to find out why my uterus DOESN’T work properly. I may want kids,maybe…someday. As of right now my girlie bits forget to work for six months at a time. When I try to see a doctor they refer me to a fertility clinic. When I go there they tell me Unless you are trying to get pregnant get the fuck out. If I lie and say I am trying they tell me they won’t help me unless I’m married. WHAT THE FUCK!? Your morals have no place near my uterus. If I got pregnant out of wedlock would you tell me to have an abortion? NO, because that is wrong… but if I actually want to have a kid out of wedlock and ask for help you tell me no…because that is wrong? I hate people.

  6. Simple answer is : “family” doctors, aka GPs make much more stable money off of actual families. Pregnant women need lots of chargeable visits that don’t require a lot of work on the GPs part. Same with kids. Single adult people move, leave, don’t come very often, are a lot of paperwork and questions and time and diagnostic effort without any extra income.

    • Seems like an outdated approach to me – if I found a good female doctor who was willing to take on new patients regardless of their uterine status, I would be telling all my friends faster than you could spit. None of us have complicated issues, are not going anywhere any time soon, would love a permanent doctor to see when necessary instead of going to a walk-in clinic, and DO see a doctor regularly.

      Besides, this doesn’t address the whole “why are males accepting new patients but females aren’t” issue.

  7. We have had the same issues trying to find a Pediatrician for the older two Pyle children. No one would take them unless they were newborns. So now that the youngest arrived my older children are accepted into the new pediatrician simply because they took in the newborn. It is a stupid system all around.

  8. the way my cousin explained it (he’s an ER doc and prof at a nearby med school ) there a a lot of factors coming together. it’s the combination of Boyd’s financial stability theory (above) coupled with an expectation of work-life balance that the new physicians have that wasn’t there in older docs. mix in the potential for the younger female docs to consider beginning families themselves while at the same time building a practice and he says it all comes together as you’ve experienced.

  9. I find this entire thing appalling.

    I have been trying to get pregnant with every man I’ve slept with, and haven’t succeeded. I’ve even been whoring myself around town, pretty constantly since the age of 17, and have made my way through a sizable chunk of the cock-bearing populace.

    Of course I don’t actually have a vagina, so I couldn’t care less whether it’s a male or female doctor handing me my crab shampoo and antibiotics…

  10. I really have no statistical basis for my theories here, but this is what I think is ultimately going on…

    One of the major advances in health medicine in the last 100 years that has increased the average lifespan and reduced infant mortality is the focus on pregnant/soon to be pregnant women. On average, it is incredibly less risky to give birth/be born these days then it was 50 to 100 years ago. I imagine that one of the major focuses of medical schools these days, that train GPs, is a focus on maternal and infant health. This approach is ultimately good for the country and population as a whole as it promotes healthier children (and mothers) that would put less strain on the healthcare system as a whole.

    I believe there is also a correlation between female doctors going into GP practices and their wanting to be involved in the pre-natal and birthing process. Most of the female doctors I have run into are very interested in this part of the field and thus actively seek out new patients based on the fact they are interested in becoming pregnant or are pregnant now.

    I would be interested to see if there are any government rules that say that GPs must actively accept pregnant or soon to be pregnant individuals over the general population.

  11. An interim solution: I recommend the Kensington walk-in clinic in Burnaby (if you have a car). They do good care for Rx and stitches, and they also make referrals to specialists without hesitation.

    I’m lucky enough to see a male/female married couple as my GP’s. I see Dr. Albert Lui when I need normal stuff, and Dr. Charlene Lui when I need my girly parts inspected. (Burnaby)

  12. It’s not just pregnancy… the list of docs taking new patients in Calgary also has docs who only want diabetics or other specific conditions that they are interested in. I got lucky and had a doc come through my office for some legal advice and although he wasn’t officially taking new patients, he agreed to take me on since he was happy with the legal advice. I wanted a female doc but figured I couldn’t be picky.

    But then it turned out that my doc only works 4 days a week and the doc who fills in for him on Fridays is a woman! So if it’s a general health thing I can book with regular doc, if it’s a female issue I book for a Friday and I’ll see the fill-in lady. So… maybe you can find a male doc in a clinic with women, and once you are a patient of the clinic, they might let you see one of the other doctors?

    But I agree it’s unfair and maybe even a human rights violation, just as you can’t discriminate against someone for being pregnant, you shouldn’t be able to discriminate for not being pregnant.

  13. We somehow got the best doctor in the world by complete fluke upon moving here, and now I live life in fear that he’ll go away at some point. This is the man who called *me* after finding out I’d been in the hospital and had broken my leg, requiring that I come in just so he could follow-up with my ongoing care and actually listens and treats me like he cares. Damn.

    I always had female doctors because I thought that made more sense with my female bits until the clinic I went to in Edmonton mixed up my appointment and there was only a male doctor to see me. He was – next to my current male doctor – the most attentive doctor I’d ever seen, and paid much more attention to my concerns than any female had. Score!

    So – I wish you luck with your male doctor visit. You can try calling ours, Dr. Mario Baff 604 739 4373 – in the chance that he has an opening. Maybe try telling them you were referred by another patient? Beg?

    Best of luck!

  14. Huh. I too have had difficulty finding a female doc in Vancouver (one was willing to put me on her 2 year long wait list…. uh… thanks?). I haven’t had the pregnant/non problem, which is good because I’m also on Team No Babies and hearing that kind of discrimination would probably make my head explode.

    Seriously though, I didn’t realize doctors could pick and choose their patients, I thought since we have a public medical system, they had to take anyone? How is that not how it is? Someone should call the BC Medical organization thingie and ask them if this discrimination is allowed, if so, WHY. Because its dumb.

    Related – used to drive me crazy that my previous medical insurance would not cover birth control prescriptions. Seriously, what’s going to cost them more money, birth control or a pregnancy + baby?

  15. I read a fascinating article (no link, sorry!) about male gynecologist always having open appointments because most women prefer to discuss their vagina problems with somebody who actually has one. You can call a male gyno and be in that afternoon, but a woman may have a months long wait, if she’s accepting new patients at all. I’ve found that very true. I will not see a man for anything unless I HAVE to. I’ve had several male doctors because women nearby were not accepting patients.

    I’m in the US and think it’s kind of weird that your public health care system allows that kind of discrimination. I’m firmly Team No Babies, so if I ever move to Canada, I may well have your problem finding a doctor. That’s pretty crazy!

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