It’s an awkward topic, I know. But I am so filled with love for her that I just have to share my thoughts. To me, she represents the ideal of what a doctor can be, and that’s pretty important. Especially because, for us women, our gynecologist is the doctor we see most in our lives. She is with us for the most important moments (the birth of our children), and looks out for us in ways we prefer not to think about too much.
Here’s why I love my gynecologist:
We talk. I don’t just talk to her, but she talks to me, too. We share personal information—like our kids’ potty-training issues—and, well, lots of other stuff. My doctor seems genuinely interested in me and my health, and listens to my often bizarre and controversial thoughts and questions. Really listens. Without judgment.
She makes me cry. I can tell my doc things that I would never tell anyone else (and that means all of you, too!). And the fact that she listens to me without judgment makes me tear up. If I am feeling overwhelmed with life, I’m not afraid to say it. And she sympathizes with me. She knows it’s not her job to fix it, but she listens anyway.
She makes me laugh. My second-favorite moment from the birth of my third child—which my doc performed as a C-section when she was eight months pregnant herself—was when she shouted out “can somebody get me a stool?!” Doc was too short and too pregnant to get a good grip on my baby Lucia. My favorite memory was when everyone broke into song, singing “Santa Lucia” as my daughter was being pulled out of me. Everyone sounded horribly out of tune but totally joyful, including me.
I make her laugh. Laughing is an important part of making awkward situations (one word: stirrups) less awkward. The fact that my doctor tells me she thinks I’m funny makes my day, and takes my mind off other things. You ladies know what I’m talking about.
She’s skeptical of the pharmaceutical solutions. This is big. My doctor doesn’t push pills on me, and in fact knows I’d rather avoid them and respects that. She asks me my opinion on what I’ve read and seen and doesn’t do that doctor “pooh-pooh, you don’t know what you are talking about” thing that I have seen lots of doctors do—or worse, the blank stare that says, “I have no idea of what you are talking about and frankly don’t care to know.”
And now I know you are dying to know who my doctor is, so you can have her as your doctor too. Sorry, I’m not telling, or I’ll never get an appointment with her again. It’s already hard enough to get one!
The reason I’m sharing is because I hope that one day every woman can have a doctor like mine. After all, gynecologists touch us quite a bit—physically and emotionally. It’s a pretty darn personal relationship, and it should be a good one. I think of all the women around the world who don’t have a doctor they can turn to, or who are afraid or ashamed to speak openly about their health issues, and I feel especially blessed. I just wish there were more doctors like her, so more women could feel as good as I do about going to their gynecologist.
Maybe one day. My doctor might be cynical about that. But I’m optimistic.
Ask your gyno if she has a good female gyno friend in Pittsburgh. I’m in need of someone like her 🙂
Getting caught at your most vulnerable with a total jerk gyno is the worst. I had to shop around before I found one that told me she understood my body, didn’t dismiss me, and took the time to talk.
My doctor & I have been personal friends for 23 years. We even drink beer together on holidays. I wouldn’t trade him for the world. Oh, and he does all my gynecological exams up until there is a problem. He’s a DO and doesn’t get heavily into things that require specialists. He even personally stood in when I had a lumpectomy several years back. You don’t find many of these kinds of doctors these days, so if you do, hang on tight and hope they don’t retire before you are gone. LOL
Thank you so much for this post, Maria! If you’ve ever met someone with whom you have an immediate emotional intimacy, you’ll understand how lucky I have felt finding my gyn/midwife. She is not only an incredibly talented medical professional, but a Superwoman if ever there was. Three cheers for the amazing women and men who do this job and manage to do it so well, we’re willing to yell it from the rooftops!
Sadly, I’ve never met a GYN who could hold a candle to yours, and way too many who shouldn’t be allowed to practice, but I feel very blessed to have my midwife, who fortunately has been able to take care of my issues. I second your wish that all women could have a caring, knowledgeable health care professional who listens and learns as well as cares and teaches.
I got ya! Mine is the same way. She have a great sense of humor, knowledgable, kind, no non-sense when it comes to her patient’s health, puts you on the best program to increase you health and well-being, asks you pertinent questions concerning your health and gives good sound medical and other advice. I totally understand the “stirrup” issue. I had a male GYN for years and didn’t mind for a while. The older I got, the more I felt that this wasn’t normal for me and that men really don’t understand a lot of women’s issues, when it comes to certain areas of our bodies, and sometimes don’t seem to care. When I moved to DE, I wanted to find a good woman OB/GYN. Lucky me, I happened to have a woman I became friendly with in the vicinity who went to one whom she had been with for a while and loved. Unfortunately she had to leave the GYN because she developed breast cancer, but now she is mine and I love her too!