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Should I Change Doctors?

I know this probably comes down to my comfort level, but I recently moved states and had to get a new primary care physician. My husband and I are hoping to get pregnant this year, so I went to a new doctor for a check-up and to be established as a new patient. I liked her, but when we were talking about trying to get pregnant this year she made a comment that was surprising at the time and then troubling later.

During our conversation, she mentioned that my health insurance for university faculty offered a discount in premiums for getting a set of general tests done (for cholesterol and such). She said obviously because of my age those weren't big concerns anyway but worth it for the discount.

So far so good.

But then she said that because I was a woman who'd told her I wanted to get pregnant, she would "never tell a woman who said she wanted to get pregnant that she had high cholesterol, because those drugs are baby mutators. I never do anything that would hurt a baby. I'd sooner let you have a heart attack than hurt baby."

I guess I looked a little surprised because she added "Because you're a consenting adult." As if that was perfectly reasonable. I am pretty young and relatively shy so at the time my reaction was just to say "Well I would hope to make dietary changes before major medication to solve that kind of problem anyway."

But in retrospect it's made me really uncomfortable. It seemed like it could have been partially just intended to somehow reassure me that any tests wouldn't be a concern, but the idea that as my doctor she would even imply that she might withhold information about my health to preserve an as of yet not conceived or very early pregnancy was disturbing.

My husband and I want a child, very much so, but even if I am considered extremely healthy the comment made me wonder if I should stay with a doctor that makes that kind of comment. I don't know if I'm justified in feeling like a doctor should privilege my health over a baby that hasn't been conceived yet or even when I'm pregnant. I would want to know if my health was at risk so I could take steps to stay as healthy as possible. It scared me a little bit.

One of my friends suggested I was having a knee-jerk reaction and that it didn't mean anything, and that if I'm not willing to value the baby over me I shouldn't be thinking about getting pregnant. But it's not so much the "I want to make sure I live no matter what" but the "I want to know what's going on" part.

Is it considered okay for doctors to withhold that kind of information? Would it be unreasonable for me to switch to a different doctor because of the comment?

1 Responses
144586 tn?1284669764
I would absolutely positively get another physician. Besides being inappropriate, her comments are medically unsubstantiated. Do a google search for the magazine "Scientific American" and "Cholesterol". They had an extremely informative series of articles on cholesterol. As for taking "medication" such as Lipitor, there are many reasons not to.
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