Medical When a doctor runs over “no”... how to trust new doctors?

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I agreed to a needed surgical biopsy.

The surgeons recommended that while doing that they make more incisions and do other things.

The surgeons office and the hospital both said it was fine to do the biopsy and nothing else. They were just like, “since we are in there anyhow, we can do all this other stuff too.” I was clear. No. Only this 1 thing. Unless I’m dying, don’t do anything else. They said it was optional anyhow and normally if they were not doing anything else they would it’s just watch. The one thing I agreed to do is often done as an office procedure. The rest requires general anesthesia and more incisions.

The surgeon scheduled everything.

I tried to cancel the others. Not the biopsy, thinking this huge surgical clinic just didn’t schedule it right. But they won’t be canceling the others. I told them that I won’t be doing any of it them. They refuse to cancel them. They make no profit off this, my insurance is crap. I told them that’s on you to not cancel but you have my notice that I don’t consent and I’m not going to do this. I faxed a letter simply canceling everything.

The hospital called me and indicated that they have scheduled a tubal ligation.

Wrong procedure. Wrong body part. It’s near where the biopsy needs to be done but the wrong body part all the same.

This is not something the doctors office ever discussed doing and is not any of the 3 surgical procedures they said was scheduled.

It’s the wrong procedure. The surgeon’s office verbally agreed wrong procedure.

I told hospital there’s an error in scheduling, you have the wrong procedure scheduled. I told the surgeon the same and gave them a copy of what the hospital had scheduled, including hospital based pre op visits.

Surgeons office said AGAIN they understand I’m stating I’m canceling but they are not going to cancel yet until I have an appointment with the doctor to discuss my decision.

I said no.

I told them again, “do what you want, but I don’t need your permission to say no and not show up for surgery.”

Hospital called to set up pre admission testing. For the freaking tubal ligation. They confirmed also getting my letter. They stated they need surgeon to cancel it.

I told them AGAIN wrong procedure cancel everything please now. And stop calling me.

They still haven’t canceled.

Eventually the office manager called and tried to tell me they can do one and not the others. I said nope, cancel it all. I am way too nervous after it being this hard to correct a significant mistake and have “no” respected to let anyone come near me with knives. At all. Let alone near my reproductive body parts while I’m knocked out.

This is the only local clinic taking my insurance. I actually want to keep them for ease of access the imaging test to monitor, which does not involve risks. I kept that appointment. I can get the images with them and take them to my primary whom I trust. My primary is good with this.

The other option for the needed surgical biopsy is an hour away and I’ve got an appointment scheduled in two weeks there.

It’s ok...

Some clinics are good for some things and others can not go near me with scalpels.

...except now after scheduling the wrong procedure and still refusing to cancel by the hospital and clinic all I’m thinking is “NO ONE IS TOUCHING ME.”

No one. Anywhere.

I mean... wtf.
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A very informed decision and your rights. Maybe this all happened as it did so you wouldn't wake up from the biopsy to find you could no longer have children!!! Whether you want kids or not, there has been a huge mistake.

Very glad you said NO and that you are letting them sort it out. Not your problem, thank goodness!!


Yeah the old clinic was a mess. Never even apologized.

I don’t want anyone at the new clinic touching me. At all. I haven’t even been there. I get pissed just thinking about a new doctor doing anything because ugh. I’m so spooked by the cluster of issues with the old clinic. And the nasty hospital.

I think I have to just say to the new doc, look, I know it’s best for this biopsy to happen but uh... how do I trust you?!

I’m a bundle of nope.


Doctors are pretty notorious for using sharpies to write on their own bodies what’s supposed to be done in surgery. Like “Not This Arm” if they’re going in for shoulder surgery. (I thought everyone did this, until I grew up and was writing things on myself, notes to my surgeon, and was asked if I was a doc/nurse in recovery? Ummm,. No. Isn’t this just what you do? Nope. It’s what surgeons, who don’t trust anyone else as much as they trust themselves, do. And what surgical nurses do, because they work with surgeons. And anesthesiologists. Etc. ;) Well I was raised by a surgeon & surgical nurse, I thought it was just what you were supposed to do.)


Good docs are going to applaud your good judgement in canceling everything with the idiots, and coming to them... and will totally understand how extra nervous you are that they kept trying to get you to come in for a procedure you weren’t supposed to have.

Again, I happen to think Don’t f*cking touch me is a perfectly rational response to having just been dealing with idiots... and that one should never trust before verifying their medical team. Which you haven’t, yet. You haven’t even met them, much less worked with them. Trusting them sight unseen would seem nuts to me. But, again, I was raised by docs. They don’t trust anyone carte blanche.

Oh. Also? (Eventually, once you assess your team and find them trustworthy)... Feel free to write BIOPSY ONLY on yourself in sharpie. It may not be common practice, but it’s still good practice.
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I think your approach is pretty sensible: I’ll trust a doctor if they can demonstrate that they, and their clinic, are competent, and will take No for an answer.

Totally sensible.

To play devils advocate for just a moment: I’ve been in the situation a number of times where a doctor has refused to cancel appointments, or proceed with a particular treatment, until they’ve sat me down and talked me through everything. And sometimes ‘everything’ is treatment for conditions that I don’t want treated.

Doesn’t excuse the incompetence you experienced here, but

In an age where doctors are increasingly faced with patients who ‘know it all already’ because they spent some time on Google, I think it will (and should) become increasingly common for doctors to require a patient come in and sit their speech about why they disagree with the course or treatment we’ve asked for, or why they think something else/in addition might be more beneficial or important. Ie. doctor’s attitude is “This is the course I think is best for you, and I’m not gonna give you the treatment you want until we’ve talked it through...”

That’s not really what went on here. But it may explain the approach in at least some of those (bloody awful) communications you had with this clinic.

A lot of people these days go to the doctor and have what they need/want all planned out in advance. It is the doctor’s job to make sure that their patient is informed, even if the patient doesn’t particularly want to be informed, or may have been informed by another source.

But like I said, given the massive incompetence? I think I’d take exactly the same approach, and take my medical issues elsewhere!
Sounds like you have it under control JMH.

How to trust other doctors? Don't.. until the doctor you next see is completely clear about what you do consent to and yeah... if you still feel it necessary after consent forms have been signed, scribble it on yourself and take a photo.

Getting a tubal ligation mix-up is pretty serious. :wtf:


Again, I happen to think Don’t f*cking touch me is a perfectly rational response to having just been dealing with idiots... and that one should never trust before verifying their medical team.
I think you handled it perfectly. You stood your ground for what was right for YOU and you need to be applauded for it. You might think about calling the local medical director and forward this info to them -- because the next patient may not be as capable of standing up for themselves.

I wish I could say I was surprised but.... sigh

As for the new docs? I think you should give them a rundown of this experience and ask how they prevent situations like this from developing in the first place.


I’m meeting with the doctor of the clinic that screwed up scheduling the surgery today. I’m trying to keep any, “wtf is wrong with your clinic?! I said no!” stuff to myself. It’s not actually going to help me meet my goals to get into it again. They all know why the surgery was canceled. No one apologized. So be it.

All I want is for this clinic to keep doing the imaging so I don’t have to travel far every few weeks.

I’m going to simply tell her:

“Due to significant changes in the plan from (what we discussed) to sterilization procedures, without discussion or agreement from me, I am too uncomfortable with any surgical procedures here, and I only want to do the imaging here, which you all are great at doing.”

She may then go into how it was an error, and etc. but I actually doubt they will admit the error or anything reasonable. But if she does admit it was a mistake, ok...

I could explain that I repeatedly pointed out the error and I was repeatedly met wirh condescending resistance to correcting the error until I faxed multiple letters and asked for the office manager to fix it after 7 other people between the hospital and clinic refused or failed to fix it and that did not instill confidence.

Do I point this out? Will it help me get my needs met to do so? Probably not... or am I wrong on this?

I do have the ability to simply hear her out, and not get into it, and simply stay on the topic of “thanks for your input I’m only ok with imaging” and really focus on getting that scheduled and on the calendar.

I really shouldn’t even have to explain it, again, at this point.

The pissed off part of me wants to give them a letter in giant font that says “don’t sterilize me please” just because I’m still mad. It wouldn’t do any good. I just want them to not forget that they did this and it isn’t ok.

But they are never getting near me with any sharp objects or medications, so... what’s the point? There isn’t any risk of this happening again because I won’t risk it with them.


You’re fantastic, but after what’s happened, I can’t trust your staff.

IE What my answer would be when I am inevitably asked why XYZ. (I cancelled, don’t want the agreed upon procedure, etc.)

If it seems useful to expand, or I’m asked to expand? Some version of the below.

I can understand that clerical errors happen. What I can NOT understand is how person after person after person was not only not Yikes! We have you down for the wrong proceedure??? Let’s get that fixed! but continued to tell me I was wrong, this was the proceedure I was supposed to have, going to have, and they not only would not change it, and would not cancel it, but continued to insist I have it done??? I was telling them it was the wrong proceedure, and they kept telling me no it wasn’t. Yes. It was. I was shocked and appalled by the way your clerical staff treated me. You’re fantastic. Imaging staff has been fantastic. But my experience with the clerical staff has me convinced that no matter what WE, my DOCTOR and I decided upon, they would be scheduling the wrong surgeries and giving you the wrong information about what I was and was not consenting to. That’s simply unacceptable. Also somewhat terrifying.

(Hint: Don’t mention medical malpractice and lawsuits. He’ll see the barn sized door to that nightmare his team scheduling a patient for the wrong surgery would drop kick him through.)
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