I used to trust doctors. Until I started doing things like researching on the internet and watching shows like Mystery Diagnosis. Now, I feel that the profession is just like any other--filled with the good, the bad, and the completely incompetent.
Having my son come early left me without a pediatrician lined up for his care. I hastily agreed to see one that came very highly recommended by a family member. Let's just say it was not love at first sight. That first meeting was rather disappointing. I was in my hospital room when he came to see me. I had no questions for him other than his opinion on vaccinations. I really wanted to feel him out on this issue having just done a bunch of research myself. He told me, "I hope you haven't read The Vaccine Book." Really?! He went on, "I just skimmed through it, but it's not a good book." I questioned him about the studies citied in the book. "All those are bad studies," he said. Really? All of them? I'm so sure he actually went out and read every single one, especially since he admitted to not even reading the book itself. Red flag, right there. However, he was very kind and I got the feeling he was a very gentle and caring physician. And, he is. He is just not right for our family.
Throughout the last 15 months we have had various differences of opinion. On certain issues I remained silent, such as co-sleeping, but on others I couldn't help but to speak out. We disagreed about many things, including vaccinations, iron supplementation in an exclusively breastfed baby, and most recently, the care of a natural (uncircumcised) penis. There was never a raised voice or angry tone, just uncomfortable conversation and a general feeling of conflict.
At our last visit, we argued about at what average age a boy's foreskin will naturally become retractable. Predictably, neither side budged. This was brought up after he held my son's penis and manipulated the foreskin so he could see the urethra and size of the foreskin opening. He did not tell me he was going to do this, and he did not offer any explanation as to why it was medically relevant. Everything I have read about the foreskin has told me that this is completely unnecessary. Of course, he wouldn't listen to me as I tried to explain to him my reason for concern. He tried to tell me that it was necessary to wash the end of the glans, and when I told him I did not believe that was true, he then thought I was somehow talking about lifting the penis to clean between it and the scrotum. Really, I don't know how he could have thought that's what I meant. Conversations like that always happened. Either he didn't like what I was saying and tried to twist my words, or truly believed I was that dumb. I never felt like he even listened to anything I said, or gave me any credibility whatsoever as a rational, educated adult.
After this visit I was determined that I could somehow educate him with the knowledge that I have on the subject. I also wanted to validate my argument. I dropped off an envelope with information about the average age of natural foreskin separation along with a letter which stated he was not to touch my son's penis without my permission. Two weeks later I received a certified letter stating that he was terminating our physician-patient relationship.
I had never been anything but kind to this man, and I feel that he just did not want to enter into any kind of discussion. All I ever wanted to do was to have a rational, meaningful conversation. I felt like he wanted nothing to do with any opinion that wasn't his and didn't respect me enough to even listen.