General Question

preggers's avatar

Should I find a new Obgyn?

Asked by preggers (293points) April 16th, 2009

During my first appointment, the nurse practitioner reassures me that the doctor is very good. She has been practicing for 20+ years and has delivered hundreds of babies. Sounds great and I’m happy with my decision.

Three appointments later (and 14 weeks into my pregnancy), I still haven’t met the doctor. Not even a cursory hello. It seems rather impersonal, but I’m not sure what to expect. Is this normal?

During my first ultrasound (scheduled off-site), they seem surprised that I didn’t already have a vaginal ultrasound earlier. They tell me my doctor usually performs this in the office.

I ask the nurse practitioner at my next appointment. She says that is how they always do it. And that they do not have the facilities to perform ultrasounds on site. Does that mean that my doctor will never be present at any of my ultrasounds?

While using their restroom, I notice a sign over the sink. It’s a note saying that the sink was broken. This was left by Maintenance—in 2006. This seems trivial. But gets me wondering. Can the poor maintenance of a facility affect or reflect the quality of care? (My actual delivery would be at another hospital.)

Then earlier this week I get a call that I have to redo my Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam because they fucked up and used an expired culture.

Now I’m thinking about finding a new Obgyn. I know either way, I have to redo my tests. I’m not trying to avoid the discomfort. I’m concerned because they seem incompetent.

Am I over-reacting? Does a minor incompetence imply general incompetence? Is a supposedly good (but seemingly impersonal) doctor more important than her staff (or facility)?

What should my expectations be?
Should I expect to meet my doctor before my second trimester?
Should I expect my doctor to have preformed a vaginal ultrasound?
Should I expect my doctor to have the facilities to perform vaginal ultrasounds on site?
Should I expect my doctor to be present during any of my ultrasounds?
Should I expect a certain level of upkeep of their facilities?
Should I expect the occasional mistake?

Should I find a new Obgyn?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

Darwin's avatar

Since your relationship with your OB/GYN will be very important when you get to the point of giving birth I think you need to find an OB/GYN who is willing to develop one with you. I don’t care how good a doctor is, if you don’t know him you cannot trust the choices he offers you.

I must admit, I have never had a problem with my Pap smear, and in general, when other medical personnel are surprised that my doctor hasn’t done something (or has done something unusual) it is typically a sign that the doctor is not one I can trust to do everything right. Since you are trusting your reproductive life, your baby’s life, and possibly your own life to this person you should be comfortable with what they do and how they do it.

I would say it is time to go find another OB/GYN, one who doesn’t raise these questions. After all, while birth is a natural process, it can also be a risky one, and you want to have confidence in your doctor making the best choices for you and with you.


Should I expect to meet my doctor before my second trimester? Yes, I have always met my OB/GYN even before attempting to become pregnant. In fact, my OB/GYN is always the one who actually does the Pap smear and pelvic exam.

Should I expect my doctor to have preformed a vaginal ultrasound? Yes. It is no big deal to do and gives a lot of information to you. It is also consider standard care these days.

Should I expect my doctor to have the facilities to perform vaginal ultrasounds on site? Not necessarily. However, there should be some convenient place for you to have it done and the results sent to the doctor.

Should I expect my doctor to be present during any of my ultrasounds? Not necessarily during the ultrasound, but your doctor should explain the results to you in person.

Should I expect a certain level of upkeep of their facilities? Unless you are going to a free clinic things should work and be clean. And in a doctor’s office certainly at least the sink shouldn’t be broken. Hand washing is important to good health!

Should I expect the occasional mistake? Mistakes do happen, but it sounds as if this is one of a number of oddities with this particular practice.

asmonet's avatar

I cannot imagine going through nine months of pregnancy and then giving birth to a baby with a doctor I was not immediately at ease with.

As you probably know, preggers, I have never been pregnant and don’t intend to become pregnant anytime soon, but still. :)

preggers's avatar

@Darwin Thanks for taking the time to answer all of my questions specifically. It’s very much appreciated. My gut agrees with all of your answers. But I had no idea what to expect and hearing them from someone with experience is entirely reassuring.

@asmonet Agreed. Ideally, I’d feel immediately at ease. But I think my hormones are making me really sensitive to everything and it seems like a good idea to run things by some sane (read: not pregnant) people. :P

asmonet's avatar

Heh, I hear ya.

To be honest though, that I think could work in your favor, making you more sensitive to those around you, their motives and abilities. I would try to use it to my advantage. If someone could put a woman in that state at ease. They could deliver hell spawn.

Not that your child is hell spawn.


MissAusten's avatar

I’ve had three kids, and in every case I’d see the doctor at the majority of my check-ups. Sometimes I’d see the nurse practitioner. What I found was that if I had to reschedule an appointment, the doctor was usually already booked and I’d see the nurse.

As for the vaginal ultrasound, the only time I had one was when I thought I may be having a problem with the pregnancy. Of course, that was ten years ago with my first pregnancy.

Also with my first pregnancy, I switched OBGYNs. The office was very clean and had ultrasound facilities on-site. However, the staff was rude and pushy. I never met the doctor. The office I swtiched to didn’t have ultrasounds right there, and the building had been converted from an old house. Not as fancy-looking, but clean and functional. The staff was incredible, and the doctor was wonderful. If you are at all having doubts about this doctor, you should switch. Ask friends for suggestions, or even call your regular practitioner to ask who he or she would suggest.

It’s important that when you find yourself on the delivery table you know and trust the person between your knees.

basp's avatar

If you aren’t comfortable with the situation, look for another doctor.
I think you have some very valid reasons to feel uncomfortable.

lisaj89's avatar

I would definitely find a new doctor if I were you!
You may try to find a small practice so you can have a closer relationship with the doctor. I don’t care how busy the place is, your doctor should talk to you whenever you go, in my opinion. I guess I’m lucky that my doctor just started his practice so he doesn’t have many clients just yet, which enables him spend time with each patient. Maybe you should set up an appointment to speak with a new OB/GYN in order to get to know them and find out what they can offer. You can ask them questions about what procedures they are able to perform in the office as opposed to going off site. Although the practice I visit is new, they still have an ultrasound machine. I find it odd that an OB/GYN’s office wouldn’t have one. I had to have several procedures done including vaginal ultrasound as well as hysterocope and never had to leave the office.
You can also check out the appearance of the office. You definitely want to choose a place that is relaxing and clean. The sink not working since 2006 is unacceptable!!!
Best of luck to you in doctor hunting!

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther