Awful Doctor Experience

My family and I just relocated back in September and I just had my first appointment with a new rheumatologist. It was the most awful experience I have had at a doctor appointment ever. I am currently in my 2nd trimester of pregnancy and my doctors wanted me to find a rheumatologist because I am still having symptoms.

...when I met with this doctor I feel like nothing was accomplished. He was very short with me and would harshly ask questions and interrupt me so that I could not answer, and when I did not answer his questions he would get very rude and treat me as if I was an idiot. He wrote down a lot of things and the only thing he confirmed was that I had iritis. Without even asking about pain or stiffness or anything he wrote down that I had NO arthritis.

...if that was not bad enough when he was checking my range of motion he could not keep his comments to himself. He was so rude and called me "a big one"...I thought i had just misheard him, but then when I sat down he said, "I would not gain anymore weight if I were you," as he looked me head to toe with an disgusted look on his face...

...I started bawling my eyes out in his office, which I partially attribute to pregnancy hormones. I try not to be so sensitive to comments on my body, but I expect my doctors to be the most supportive and UNDERSTANDING of my condition since most people do not.

...I have had severe pain since I was about 10 years old. It has greatly impacted my life physically. It has been a big part of the reason I am overweight. When it hurts to move it is hard to exercise. I am trying to make a change now, but I need the support and knowledge of those around me to help. Degrading comments do not help :(

...and just to throw this in..I'm pregnant...I have to gain SOME weight. :)

Still in search of a good rheumatologist...

I’m so sorry you had that experience! I have a relatively new family doctor. He decided I didn’t need pain meds when he first met me (after being on them for years with my previous doctor). He said i just needed to lose weight too but at least he wasn’t rude about it. After working on losing weight and being down 13lbs, on my next appointment he was like a completely different doctor! Now he thinks I need a DMARD and is referring me to the rhuematologist. I don’t know what to make of him. It’s very hard to exercise with bad joints. Even walking can be challenging. But it’s like they just don’t get it! In my mind you think they’d work to get the arthritis under control in order to get us moving. I hope you find a good rhuematologist who is a little more understanding.

OMG!!! You should find another rheumatologist asap. That doctor shouldn't be practicing medicine!!! He is an idiot!!! Maybe you aren't aware, but iritis is a common problem caused by Psoriatic Arthritis and is even used as a diagnostic symptom of PsA. The fact that you have iritis is a big clue that you most likely do have PsA.

Please refuse to see him again and find someone knowledgeable and compassionate.

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I am never stepping foot in that office again! I agree completely. He talked like my last doctor was the idiot for "diagnosing" me so early on such little symptoms. And then he tried to tell me there are other things that could cause the iritis like STDs...he just said it so accusingly like that was more likely the cause than anything else! I just feel if he took the time to get to know me as a patient he might have a little more insight like my last doctor. I had a ton of blood test done. All those things were tested to make sure. My last doctor was not an idiot. And he didn't make me feel like I wasn't worth a dime. I am definitely still looking for one. I know there are compassionate doctors out there, i just have to find one.

I'm so sorry that happened to you. I have had similar experiences with MDs over the years. It always catches me off guard; like you, I never expect that from anyone who is supposed to be educated about arthritis. I have left offices in tears, sometimes after speaking my piece and sometimes with my tail between my legs. Bottom line is, it should never happen. Find a doctor who knows how to practice medicine.

I remember going to Cleveland Clinic shortly after I was first diagnosed with PsA. I was young and frightened, and looking not only for answers, but for help to accept what was happening to me. One of the rheumy docs there asked me why I had made the appointment. I told him I had arthritis. "Really?" he said, "I don't see any arthritis." He was so smug and condescending. Had a similar experience with one at the WVU med center, only she was worse. I was older and knew I didn't have to take her attitude. I told her she should be ashamed of herself. She laughed in my face and walked out of the room. Then, to add insult to injury she sent the nurse back to me with a Vioxx paperweight (oh goodie! lol) and told the nurse to tell me it was to cheer me up. OMG. lol I about put the paperweight through the window. lol When I got home, I wrote a letter to her, and calmly and rationally told her why her behavior was inappropriate. I copied it to the hospital administrator. Now that I am older, I probably wouldn't waste my time. They are never going to get it.

You are in special need right now trying to deal with your arthritis while you are pregnant. You must have a thousand questions about how to deal with your PsA while you are expecting.

Gloria is so right: iritis/uveitis often is a complication of psoriasis/PsA. This doctor should have picked up on that. Shame on him for making an already lousy situation seem worse. Throw this guy out of your care program. The first rule of medicine is, "First, do no harm."

Hope you are feeling better by now and good luck finding a new doc with some sense! Let us know.

what a jerk! i am sooo glad you are going to find someone else to go to. no one deserves to be treated like that. I'd be sure to get online at several places like google,, ratemymd, etc.. and leave your experience. That way others won't have to go through what you did. I hope you find a good one soon!

I am sorry to hear that it did not go so well, but, I totally understand how you feel. It can be frustrating, and hurtful at times. The big question here is, if you can communicate with this doctor, some have very bad client manners, and nothing we can really do about that, but communication and understanding are the number one things you need for your benefit. If you did not like this doctor or the experience then I would try to find someone else. It's important that you be able to express your worries, pain, and any questions you may have, if you walked out of there feeling worse, then I think you need to discuss this with your Regular Doctor. Express how he made you feel, and what was said, and request to see someone else. It is a frustrating cycle, but you are the one that is important in this situation. You need to have confidence in your doctor, I think it is essential to feel understood and respected. We already deal with enough ignorence from people who do not understand this illness, so we at least want understanding from our doctors, even if we do not like what they will sometimes tell us, when told with respect and understanding, we are more open to question ourselves and want to help ourselves in a positive way.

...and I still remember the day my doc asked me''why are you limping? when I entered his office!! Didn't know whetherb to laugh, cry, bust him in the chops... I reminded him that I had PSA which he had sent me for tests for, referred me to specialists, xrays, scripts etc etc. Admittedly I hadn't seen him for 6 weeks but really, you'd think if they can't remember you they would at least take a couple of minutes to read their last lot of notes...

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I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience! Nothing is harder when you're suffering and go for help to get belittled. I had a similar experience last year when I went for a second opinion. At that point I had been diagnosed with sacroilitis, fibromyalgia and possibly PsA. The jerk I went to see told me that despite typical PsA patterns of pain, Psoriasis for 7 years, and months and months of high sed ratess that there was no sign of PsA! I started to cry as I told my story and he became obsessed with me being depressed. Well, no sh*t Sherlock! You try living through my last year and a half and dealing with rude doctors!

Keep looking for a new rheumo. It took me a while to find one that I liked, spends time with me, takes my phone calls, gives me hugs on bad days, you name it. I cannot imagine dealing with this while facing pregnancy challenges. Just try to take it day by day and enjoy what you can about the pregnancy. Sooner than it seems you will have a newborn which is the biggest blessing in the world, and your body will be yours again. Then hopefully you can get on the road to feeling better.

Best of luck,


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thank you all so much for your stories and support. It really means so much!

Stupidity lives in all places and at all levels of education. Find another doctor who has the capacity to be a partner with you on this journey. Do not allow this shallow man’s words to define who you are. Take what you can use out of this contact if anything and leave the rest at his feet. You don't have to carry any of his false impressions or interpretations with you. Like the others I am sorry that you had to have this experience, dealing with disease is hard enough without ignorance and prejudice getting in the way. Gods speed in finding a good doctor. If you provide your general location I'm sure some good soul who lives in the same general area will point you towards someone who will rate way better than this past experience.

I am so sorry to hear that! What a jerk! Definitely time to find another doc! I am so lucky to have found a wonderful rheumatologist on the first try! I know exactly what you mean about exercise. My husband keeps telling me that I would feel better if I would try exercising. Yeah! Well, I'd love to give that a try, but I can barely walk sometimes and I have to walk down stairs one at a time. What kind of exercise would you like me to do?! I used to love yoga, but since my flare my joints are too stiff for most yoga positions. It becomes a vicious cycle because then you gain weight and the weight is not good for your joints either. Ugh! Now that I'm done ranting....has your OBGYN offered anything to help?

PJ, I hope your appointment goes well on Monday. I live in Atlanta and actually love my rheumatologist, so if you don't feel good about the doc you see let me know and I can give you the name of mine. I think it is so important to connect to your doc so that you can communicate easily, feel understood, and get what you need.

PJ said:

I am new to this board and so sorry you had to experience that treatment. (((Hugs))) I have my first appointment with a rheumatologist on Monday and am very nervous.

Hi there,

So sorry to hear what happened to you at this vulnerable time. Doctors can be SUCH jerks. I had a terrible experience with a rheum I went to for a second opinion once. Despite obvious signs, he told me I had NO inflammatory arthritis and completely focused on the fact that I was tearful and therefore depressed. Forget him/her? Find someone else.

I can tell you that you do not actually have to gain weight to have a healthy baby. Forget about weight right now. Just focus on your health and having a healthy baby. If you eat well and take prenatal vitamins, the baby will get what it needs, even if you end up losing weight. I am not trying to be unkind and am overweight and totally understand your plight. Just saying its easy to gain weight during pregnancy and very hard to lose it. I gained 65 lbs with my first it took me 3 years to lose it.

Wishing you the best for a healthy and (somewhat) enoyable pregnancy, finding a new doc, and getting settled in your new home.

PS I'm sorry I just realized that this is an older post, and I already replied a while back. SORRY! How are you feeling now? How far along are you? Have you found a new doc? I have to hand it to you having a baby while dealing with PsA. I think I would have LOST MY MARBLES!!!

Hi, I see this is a post from a bit back, but felt the need to comment. I am soooo sorry that your doc was a jerk like that! I too, am a fluffy girl life long. After talking with a sales rep that comes in to my job, I feared going to rheumatology b/c of my size. The stories that he told me of how rude she is about his weight (I wouldn't consider him heavy!) had me down right horrified!

My rheum. is awesome! She is very caring, patient, and understanding. She has NEVER said anything about my weight. I don't know if my saving grace has been the fact that I have had P.P. since childhood, but she never factored that in.

I totally understand your dilemma about size vs exercising with pain. I do not have the accomodations myself, but I do find that water aerobics and swimming is the best! The no impact is amazing with aching joints!

I wouldn't except such behavior from a doctor, after all, he is your employee. In a restaurant if you don't like the food, you tell the manager and they take care of the bill...........just sayin. ;o)

Best of luck to you with your pregnancy, PA, and your doctor adventure. I hope things are going better now than they were when you wrote this post!

this doctor sounded like a moron, i find my doctor useless as he seems clueless about PA, my rhuematologist is a good guy but i can't really get any onfo out of him i'e what exercise's can i do or are good for me etc, but i hope you are now good and well, take care

I wish I could find a good doctor. If anyone has a good doctor in the Md/De area, I would love to know. I used to go to Hopkins for another autoimmune disease (now in remission) but my doctor has left for Massachusetts and the one in his place is HORRIBLE. My family physician (a P.A.) does not think I have PsA, even though I have psoriasis and multiple site tendinitis. All blood work is normal. He said I have no arthritic joints except for OA. My P.A. said there is no such thing as tendinitis in PsA. <sigh> He wanted to put me on prednisone for the tendon inflammation, but I didn't want to because my last bout with autoimmune disease took a year to diagnose due to being on prednisone to control my flares. My P.A. told me to call a rheumatologist since I think it's PsA. (he's washed his hands of me). So I called all over Baltimore and the first appt. I can get is June 14. Meanwhile, I hurt so much. THEN, to top it off, I got a call from my pharmacy that my prescription was ready. What prescription? I went and sure enough, my P.A. had called in a script for prednisone-40 mg a day for just one week, no refill. Are you kidding? That's a large dose with no weaning down! What is he thinking? Even when I had necrotic ulcers all over my legs from vasculitis I was only on 30 mg to control flares. I am just hurting all the time and so frustrated.

WOW! I am just reading your post. I cannot believe the lack of good care these days. I am so sorry you had such a bad experience. I too had a bad Rheumatologist and for years just took his word that I was "fine" and that my symptoms were more in my "head". I finally got to the point of crying in his office because the pain was so bad I wasn't sleeping at night. I ended up going to Northwestern Hospital which is associated with Northwestern University here in Chicago. I cannot tell you the difference. I have a team of doctors that are caring, willing to listen, and try different things to help me get relief. I've had a few good months, but the pain is back. I have an appointment soon so I know that this is something I can talk to them about. Not sure where you live, but do you have a hospital associated with a University? I find that these teaching hospitals are really great. Good luck to you and congratulations on your baby.


Hi Suzanne, just saw you post and am sorry to see that you are having pain. I hope you get some answers during your appointment and feel better soon!