My experience with doctors this pregnancy have been both a disappointment and a satisfaction. Weird right? Let me explain.
When I first found out I was pregnant of course I called my OB-GYN to inform him and we set an appointment for the upcoming saturday. I’ve been seeing that OB-GYN since I was 16, he knows all my GYN history, he is the family OB-GYN, so I was pretty comfortable and felt safe going to him.
However during that first appointment, I found it weird that he was more focusing on the negative aspects of pregnancy. He was not confident at all, kept on repeating that it was very early, that most of the time people dont go over the 1st semester, and a bunch of other negative statistics. What bothered me the most was his nonchalance . He really didn’t seem to care. One of the things that pissed me off during that appointment is when i asked for prenatals, he said there was no point of taking them yet because there was a big chance for the pregnancy to end on its own “according to the statistics”.
No need to tell you how embarrassed and pissed I was! My husband was super mad and the 1st thing he told me when we got in the car was “you are changing doctor, I dont like this guy”. I said no, tried to find excuses for the doctor( cuz i knew him all my life),but the next 2 appointments were even worse. So I had taken another appointment with homeboy but I also agreed to see another doctor to calm my husband down. Deep inside I also knew i had to change doctor, just did not want to admit it!
My visit to the new doctor was what I expected my 1st prenatal visit to be. Both my husband and I were satisfied of her approach, the way she spoke to us, her recommendations. It was a different world! However, because I am stubborn, and wanted to give the 1st doctor another chance, I still planned on going to his appointment 2 days later. But when I called his office because a of a document, I found out he had traveled and my appointment canceled!
Of course my husband and friends who were aware of the situation didnt spare me the ” I told you so!”. At this point I had given up with him completely. I went on to follow up with the new doctor and all has been beautiful.
If i tell you its a month later that I received a text from homeboy telling me ” hey its Dr X, Im sorry you have not heard from me, I was traveling. Just letting you know I’m back!” The nerves!!! What if i had an emergency? Haiti is a country with very precarious healthcare! What if i did not find another doctor and was stuck locked at home ?
I’m sharing this story especially for my Haitian residents who have personal relationships with their doctors for many reasons, but mostly because in Haiti everyone knows everyone!
- It’s ok to seek for a second medical opinion even if you are related/friends with your doctor!
- It’s ok for you not to like your doctor’s methods even if you are related/friends with your doctor!
- Regarding your medical care (anything related to you really!) you should not feel guilty for putting yourself first and not caring for others feelings (yes I’m saying it!)
- Just because you know a healthcare provider personally doesn’t mean you should choose this person as your provider!
- Just because you know a doctor doesn’t make everything he/she does right
- It’s ok to change doctor if you want to! And you dont owe your former doctor any explanation!
We are our best advocates, so we need to advocate for ourselves! Our Haitian culture have us accept everything and shut up about them no matter how wrong they are! The Haitian mentality have us close our eyes when people we know do things they should not be doing! That is wrong and is not serving us at all! We are looking away from so many wrong doings in our society already, lets not look away when our health and safety is at stake! Please!
All this had me thinking, if malpractice was a thing in Haiti, how many cases we would see per months? Per year? How many of this cases would involved people who knew their Dr’s on a personal level? What if we could sue haitian Doctors? I’m not saying all Doctors are bad, but im sure others have experienced unacceptable behaviors from their doctors more often than we think!
Just think about it! And if you find some odd behavior from your doctor, I guess you know what to do!
Anpil Lanmou pou nou!