Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seriously? Seriously.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I'm having trouble with my pediatrician. At E's one year checkup, as she was getting closer to the diaper area, I started saying "E is uncircumcised. Everything I've read says that the foreskin should NOT be retracted until the child does it himself...." and I was cut off there, because that's when SHE RETRACTED HIS FORESKIN. I was speechless. She said "Yep! You're absolutely right, you don't need to be doing anything. His retracts pretty easily anyway, so he's fine."

What?! WHAT?!

Unfortunately, I'm not a very feisty person. I should have yelled at her to get her hands off of my son, and I probably would have had E shown any signs of discomfort. But he really didn't seem to notice at all... and I was really just stunned.

I got home and started asking on Twitter, and people were telling me to report the incident to the state licensing board. I did, and this is the response I recieved -

Ms. D:
I am an investigations supervisor with the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL).  I have reviewed your complaint regarding Dr. S.  While it is regrettable that Dr. S did not comply with you request (knowingly or unknowingly), the issue does not rise to a standard that would allow for a licensing action.  DOPL must show that a licensee has engaged in "gross misconduct" in order to seek a licensing sanction.  Also I spoke with our in-house medical person and they advised that to the best of their knowledge it is good practice to check the foreskin and in no way is it detrimental to the child.  However your complaint is important to us and will be kept in our files.

Larry Gooch
Investigations Supervisor, DOPL

Okay, so it doesn't allow for licensing action. I don't want her to lose her license to practice medicine - she's a good doctor other than this. 

But really? It may be good practice to "check" the foreskin, but retract it? It exposed the glans, although not ALL the way (I think - E's is the only uncircumcised penis I have experience with, and obviously I've never pulled the foreskin all the way back! I've never pulled on it at all....). I'm not sure what to think of this. Is this man wrong? Do I write him back and ask if by checking the foreskin he means to pull it back and expose the glans? Or do I just leave it alone and find a new doctor? 

Sigh. I'm so glad it didn't hurt him. If it had, I would be so much more upset than I already am. I'm annoyed. But if she had hurt my baby?! I'd be out for blood. 


  1. soooo uhh... what was the point of them responding to you!? gosh. how frustrating. sorry.

  2. When Diego was 2 months old, the doctor did the same thing while I was saying Not to. They are all ignorant. Lucky for E, he is about that age where his foreskin is moveable and no pain is caused when its retracted. My poor baby boy had his forced and he cried. I will never forgive myself for not smacking that doctor in the fucking face. Excuse my language lol.

    I reported it too and pretty much got the same letter. Its frustrating. I feel for you :[

  3. I know absolutely nothing about this topic, but think that if the dr. did that despite your request, that's pretty disrespectful. I would find a new doctor if that is an option, one that honors your decisions and listens.

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  5. I've kinda noticed pediatricians don't pay much attention to parents. I love my peds, but they've never asked if I wanted a vaccine for my child, they just DO it. Not that I don't want the vaccine, but it would be nice if someone asked before sticking my kids with needles... Also, they always give me crap for not giving my babies vitamin d supplements when they're breastfeeding but with sufficient sunlight they aren't necessary!