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Physician Gender

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I hear that women assigned to a male doctor can get changed to a female doc if they want. Does it work the other way around? If I (a guy) have been assigned to a female doctor as my primary physican at the VA hospital, and would feel more comfortable/prefer a male doctor..is there a rule/reg/letter..whatever that I can cite?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I don't know of a reg to cite, but you most certainly can change PCP's. They don't like to, and they will give you flak, but just don't accept no as an answer. I started out with a female FNP. She never remembered anything about me and my conditions, and spent the first ten minutes of every appointment refreshing her memory on me. She confused me with other vets several times, and then she lost my pain management agreement. That meant that I couldn't get prescribed strong enough pain meds. I called PC at the VAMC and raised hell. I told them I wanted a male DOCTOR, and that I wouldn't accept anything less than a full MD. They gave a fuss, but then the FNP mysteriously found the contract that I had turned into her a few weeks earlier, and the next thing I knew, the chief of PC was calling me to apologize and let me know he was changing me to a new MD. The new guy is awesome!

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I don't mean to sound rude....but can we request English-speaking docs? I seriously had one doc who had to have a nurse translate for him B) !

I'm on my 2nd PCP at Dayton and because of that they have told me that I'm "not allowed" to change to another PCP since I've already changed once (a Dayton VAMC rule). I so can't stand that place. B)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

You have every right to have a Doc that you can understand. I have had several female Docs at VA and so far I can say I prefer a woman over a male Doc in almost every case. For some reason the women that I have dealt with at VA seem more easy to communicate with. They actually listen to me and although I have had them say no I felt that it was a no that was justifiable to them and I am ok with that.

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As Pete has already pointed out - most female doctors are more attenative which provides a sense of more concern for the patient which equals a better relationship. However, we males, eventhough we talk a good talk are the same as females when it comes to very personal exams and feel very uncomfortable.......

And yes, as has been provided, no clinic/hospital, military, civilian or VA likes to make changes in the already over burdened systems but they will. Just make it a demand and stick to your guns.

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I myself prefer a female Dr over a male. Like others have said, they seem to care more or show empathy towards your needs better. Even when they do have to do physical exams, they seem to me anyway, to have a softer touch and for someone who is in pain all the time, this is very important for my anxiety disorder. I don't get as anxious before an exam like I do with a male Dr.

When my previous Psychiatrist went on maternaty leave, they were going to give me a male one and I made a written request on a form the clinics clerk gave me and they switched me to a female. I may have to do the same thing once they assign me to a new PCP, since my previous one quit the VA out of frustration over the way they forced other PCP Dr. for the psych clinic, leaving her as the only Dr available to treat the non Psychiactric medical needs of the patients assigned to the psych clinic. Now we have been assigned to another clinic, to Dr.'s who do not have the training nor experience to deal with patients who also have psychiatric problems as well as medical issues too.

I was hoping things were going to get better at my VA hospital, since they are always expanding and seamingly offering more services in house, but I am now finding out, they can't even staff the hospital with enough credential Dr's and now most Dr's you see are residents or student Dr's doing there final year rotational training in the different medical fields.

It would be nice to have a Dr who has more than a passing knowledge of your problems and not one who has to read your records every time before they see you.

Rockhound Rider B)

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As a female doctor told me years ago as she was extolling the virtues of the fairer sex as Dr.s, "and we have smaller fingers too". B)

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