Yesterday I received a letter that my GYN has retired. I’d only been seeing her a few years, but really liked her. She was a good listener, and believed me the first time when I told her where to find my cervix. That sounds like a simple thing, but a lot of doctors don’t. Exploring with a speculum hurts.
She was about fifteen years older than me, maybe, and nothing surprised her. The two doctors who are taking over her practice look younger than me. Judging by their photos, they are both in their thirties.
I’m not opposed to young doctors on principle, but I have not had good luck with doctors younger than myself. The last time I tried that, I ended up with lots of extra tests and appointments because the young doctor didn’t think anything I described or she felt seemed “normal.” No, not normal for someone under 30 who has never had a baby, but for a woman in her forties, yes, it can be. Sorry, things get messy and lumpy. All sorts of things.
It ended badly, when she sought the opinion of an older doctor in the practice, who ended up telling her loudly in the hall that NO, you should not keep calling a patient back to re-check her breasts when multiple mammograms and ultrasounds showed NOTHING. That SCARES patients.
I was glad I wasn’t the one who had to yell at her.
It’s not just the gynecologists and GPs.
The last time I was at the dentist he was trying to talk me into capping a wisdom tooth that does not hurt because he saw craze lines on the x-ray. At my age, he thought, I should take preventative measures. I thought I was politely declining treatment I did not yet need, and he angrily began telling me that I was foolish to dismiss the advice of an expert who had been practicing dentistry for six years.
Six whole years! How dare I!
After he left, I asked the hygienist if he was always that aggressive. She whispered, “No, I’ve never seen him that angry before.”
Maybe his student loans were stressing him out.
I’m only 45. I wasn’t expecting this for another decade. Where have all the older doctors gone?