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Doctor in trouble for calling patient obese - Article

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Old 08-24-2005, 12:36 PM   #1
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Post Doctor in trouble for calling patient obese - Article

Part of this really cheeses me. If a doctor cannot advise you on your health without you being "offended" what is next that they cannot talk about that might be offensive? The articles doesn't go into exactly what the doctor said, so maybe the problem was more lack of tact than anything. If that was the case, I'd understand her possibly being offended if he spoke to her in a derogatory manner. I wish the article went into this more.


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Old 08-24-2005, 01:15 PM   #2
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Dr. Terry Bennett says he tells obese patients their weight is bad for their health and their love lives
I think that last part might shed a bit of light of what he may have actually said. I seriously doubt that a medical board would recommend any kind of action based on a doctor just saying that someone is obese and needs to lose weight. I think if any medical doctor made an unsolicited recommendation regarding my love life in relation to my weight I might be mad enough to file a complaint (although I'd probably just tell him where to stick it).
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:34 PM   #3
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Julia, I agree that an unsolicited recommendation regarding my love life would be inappropriate. And I would be as vocal as you about it.

With that said, there has been a lot of attention paid to sexual dysfunction in women lately. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the patient were the one to broach the subject and wasn't happy with the suggestion that her weight, not hormone levels, may be the reason she's experiencing problems. Of course, we don't know exactly what was said or in what tone so I am just speculating. Still I would expect there to be more than just one complaining patient if he were that offensive a doctor.

Personally, I prefer a doctor that doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to my health. But, then again, I am really, really hard to offend!
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:11 PM   #4
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hmmm? I work in the medical community and deal with many docs. Some of them have a different *focus* (i'm being polite here) and simply put, just don't have social skills, it is a point they are now teaching in medical school....(learning to communicate with your patient on a personal level, being informative without being abrasive, etc.)

I utilize the OB/gyn department and made an appt. for a check-up and BC prescrip. The doctor was UNBELIEVABLY rude...and I'm not sensitive....first he asked me WHY I didn't just get an internal exam from my BF (who's a physician, but a completely different specialty...what am I supposed to do? ask him to do this on my kitchen table before dinner?). The exam was finished very quickly and I asked the OB/gyn to examine my breasts....he said "I did", I said, "no you didn't", he said "I did and you have very PINK nipples"...I took my scrip and left, only returning for a urine culture for UTI and some meds...never again. Sometimes the doctors are real jerks.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:21 PM   #5
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Now THAT comment (pink nipples) really was inappropriate. If he was like most power-mad idiots of his kind, you were probably half-naked at the time. Someone should sue him into civility. (Which would really help with the reno cost...)

As for the obesity comment from the other doctor, I think sometimes people are oversensitive about words that are an accurate clinical description. I know I was shaken when I realized my weight gain had moved into the "obese" category. I was appalled, because until then I was able to pretend I was just overweight. Again, we don't know the exact circumstances of the comment, but the doc may have been trying to shock her into action. (I'm not a member of the PC club.)
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:22 PM   #6
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Default Video now online, but I cannot hear it

There is a video of the doctor now on line talking about the situation. I don't have speakers at work. Has anyone listened to it and did it say anything new?

Did the doctor treat her tactlessly or was it like the other person in the article mentioned..that the woman didn't like the truth?
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:39 PM   #7
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I just listened to it. In a nutshell, he told her that statistically she would outlive her obese husband and would find herself in a huge pool of obese women all competing for men who prefer non-obese. She was 5'7" (5'6"?) and weighed 250, and had several weight-related illnesses. From the content, it sounds like he runs a weight-loss clinic. He did apologize once he found out she was miffed, to no avail. Maybe she caught the whiff of deep insurance pockets??? Maybe he thought she was going to walk out the door with her membership money in her pocket?
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:49 PM   #8
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wow-I might be miffed if my doc suggested I lose weight so I could more easily replace my soon-to-be-dead-husband. But to get so bent out of shape as to submit a formal complaint? I don't know---I think it kind of trivializes the more serious complaints that are likely out there. I mean-with all that's going on, this is the story that gets all over the media? Because we shouldn't be talking in direct terms about weight? It's not like he just zipped in and out of the office with a "You're fat. Lose weight." diagnosis. He talked to her about a serious condition which we all know is affecting many aspects of her life, not limited to health. She should get on this forum!
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:52 PM   #9
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Oh, and also--I AM going to get miffed if I find out that my spike in health insurance premiums had something to do with insurance paying out for people who are offended at the truth about themselves.

sorry--that's a little rant-y
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:55 PM   #10
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Did he say *Obese* or MORBIDLY OBESE......that is the common term cardiologists in my area use regularly to patients, they don't sugar-coat it...I've typed enough medical transcriptions to do a DX on myself.....(privately when they discuss the patients among themselves it is a whole different ball of wax, they are grossly insensitive, degrading and super-gossipy, at the time I just sat there and listened, because I was invisible anyway...., "I couldn't see where I was going(inserting guidewire during PTCA procedure) because she was so f*!@&.... fat, it took me 6 hours to finish and we had her taped up, but she had so much damn flesh.....) I often wondered what they said about me when I wasn't there......but it prompted me to NOT eat in the office so I guess it was a good thing.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:54 PM   #11
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I think it was obese. I'm not sure 250 lbs at 5'6" or 7" would be morbidly obese. She had already been to see him but just wasn't getting it. She had diabetes, acid reflux, and borderline HBP. Also, if he is a weight-loss doctor, I can't imagine what she was expecting. (Maybe: "You poor voluptuous darling. You look wonderful, but the world is cruel. Here's a magic pill. Keep overeating and underexercising, and the pounds will just melt away. Here's some more pills for all your illnesses. They're not your fault either. Have a Krispy Kreme....")

Years ago I dated a med student and shared an apt with another one, so I got used to the way they talk. It really doesn't bother me as long as they keep it amongst themselves, that is away from patients and their families. It seems to me most professions have a public face much different from the private one. IMHO, anyway.
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:13 PM   #12
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Default dr says you'r fat

How long has she been seeing this doctor? Had she told him in the past there were relationship problems because of the weight of the couple? Since we dont know any of the history, his comments about the love life may have been from past conversations that she is not mentioning to the state.
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:18 AM   #13
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I watched The View yesterday (I don't do that often ) They said the Dr. told her that only black men would want her. Now if that is the case, then something does need to happen to him. When I first heard the story, I was on his side, but that sounds beyond strange.
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Old 09-01-2005, 11:19 PM   #14
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sounds like a honest doctor, of course I have not been exposed to the full story you know any story sounds true until you hear the other side. However all doctors I know make money by keeping their patients sick not helping them get well. Could you imagine if everyone in this country would start eating correctly and exercising. Doctor visits would diminish sharply.
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Old 09-02-2005, 01:45 AM   #15
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I am in the medical field....I have worked with many doctors, surgeons, nurse practitioners etc etc etc..
What I have found is that almost all doctors over the age of 35 have very poor bedside manners...including during office visits.
I have no love loss for doctors and feel they often trivialize their patients problems and instead of leading them to a better understanding of how to change and improve their situations, they instead go for the easy "fix"...get the patients in....listen for as short a period as possible and get them out of the office or the hospital...
I would like to have more information about this particular situation before making a judgement however, as I have heard and seen many situations where the patients were totally inappropriate, or led the doctors to HAVE to be blunt as they argue or refuse to believe what is happening to them!
There are always two sides to each story...I wonder why she made the visit to his office? Was it for his weight loss practice, his medical practice, because she wanted weight loss advice etc etc etc..
Interesting...thank you for sharing the story!!!
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