Dear Dr. Pride:

When I came to you, scared, alone, young, pregnant, and you told me I might have cancer, I did not expect you to hug me or hold my hand or even to provide any emotional support whatsoever. I didn’t expect you to sit with me all day and answer all my questions. I wasn’t looking to be coddled.

I did, however, expect you to be human.

So when I asked you, “What about the baby?”

And you answered, “What are you doing having sex so young anyway?”

I was stunned.

You proceeded to preach to me about how teenagers shouldn’t be having sex without being prepared to deal with the consequences.

At the time, I said nothing, but the tears fell from my eyes.

You couldn’t even find your soul then and said, “There’s no reason to be crying. You got yourself into this.”

First, I know that teenagers shouldn’t have sex if they aren’t prepared to deal with the consequences. I was. I planned to have the baby. I did have the baby. She’s a healthy adult now, thank you very much.

And as for getting myself into it, I’m not sure how I caused myself to have cancer. It wasn’t cervical cancer caused by HPV that is being so advertised today, but rather a type of cancer I could not have caused myself to have at the age of 16.

So was it your belief that I had cancer because I had sex? Is that the message you tried to implant in my brain?

When the nurse came in after you had left and asked me what was wrong, I will never forget how she mumbled under her breath, “That bastard.”

If not for that nurse, I might have continued seeing you. I might have let you continue to berate me.

I’m grateful she was there, and she directed me to a new doctor.

Not that it matters to you, Dr. Pride, but I am now cancer free, and have been for years. My daughter, the child you didn’t want me to have, is a happy and healthy adult in college.

But when I came to you, I was scared, lonely, and had questions. You treated me like I was nothing, beneath you, not worthy of your time.

I remember something on an episode of the Golden Girls that Dorothy said that I think sums up how I feel perfectly: “One day [sic], you’re going to be sick and afraid, and when that day comes… as angry as I was, as angry as I am and as angry as I always will be, I still wish you a better doctor than you were to me.”

Not A Kid Anymore

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18 Responses to “Dear Dr. Pride:”

  1. Some doctors are real bastards. MY childhood PhD Prick was Dr. Watson, who accused me of malingering to avoid school when I was hospitalized for abdominal pain.

    Even after they found a bleeding ulcer in my duodenum the size of a quarter, he still tried to make it look like I purposefully maimed myself to avoid going to school!

    Oh, well, I guess he just didn’t like kids. Too many doctors come off like arrogant pricks anyway, like their profession somehow exalts them above nobody’s like us.
    As bad as the experience sucked for you, I know it has only made you tougher and smarter than men like him; for as ‘smart’ as some ‘professionals’ are, they really don’t have a damn clue about anything!

  2. Linda St.Cyr says:

    My situation was different but similar… I’m glad you got another doctor, are cancer free and have a beautiful daughter!

  3. Angel says:

    The only doctor that’s allowed to be a jerk is Dr. House…lol.

    I’m sorry you had to go through that. Doctors should offer support, especially to the very young with serious problems.

    I’m glad you found another doctor and everything worked out.

  4. I remember that episode of The Golden Girls well. Sorry you went through that, but I’m glad you’re still around to write this letter, and that your daughter is doing well!

  5. Windowshopping says:

    It’s amazing to me that someone who is supposed to be in a “caring” profession can lack all compassion and can be so completely judgmental. Academically, we set the standards so that only the “best and brightest” can become medical doctors. How is it that we somehow fail to set elementary standards or perform testing to see if, psychologically, they have even the barest minimums required to interface with patients. In many cases, patients are dealing with loss and grief, with uncertainty and states of “groundlessness”.

    I believe that often, despite our doctors, we manage to find healing. I am grateful that after your experience with Dr. Pride, and because if it, you found a compassionate, dedicated person to become your doctor and help you through the birthing and healing processes.

  6. amy says:

    had a dr. pride of my own with awful bedisde manners who said”this baby does not appear to be alive ; to my 15 yr old daughter while glancing at her ultrasound…

  7. Oh boy, this one has tears welling in my eyes. A bastard indeed. Thank goodness for that angel of a nurse. Well written letter, and very moving.

  8. It is a real shame that there are doctors out there that are like this. I’m very sorry you had to go through that, but I’m very happy that are better and that your daughter is alive and well too.

  9. Rissa says:

    So happy you found a better doctor. What a jerk!

  10. Cathy Doheny says:

    Great letter! So sorry you went through that, but am glad to hear that you and your daughter are well! Unfortunately, I have encountered many Dr. Pride’s. I often feel that I am just on an assembly line. It’s ridiculous!

  11. Gillian says:

    Sadly you are not alone in this experience and worse yet, despite the so called enlightened times we live in, this still happens. My daughter, at not quite 16, lost a baby last year and I will never forget the nurse’s surprise at my daughter’s tears and obvious pain. “Oh, you wanted it then?” was her comment. I will not repeat what I wanted to say (but didn’t due to not wanting to upset my daughter further).

    I am so glad you pulled through and live a good life and brought up your daughter to be everything Dr Moron would have denied her.

  12. Borgieskid says:

    Thank God that nurse directed you to another doctor. If any doctor ever treats you this way, run… do not walk.. to another doctor. If doctors were just taught human compassion, I think there would be fewer malpractice suits too. I’m so glad you and your daughter are doing good now. In spite of that doctor.

  13. A's Mom says:

    I lost my first baby and was treated this way. I asked what was going to happen to my baby that died and he said the lab had the ‘specimen’ and they would take care of it. I know it was a little girl, but he wouldn’t confirm it. I had saw her as tiny as she was…but he proceeded to lecture me the same way as the girl in this story. I was 18, on my own, and paying my own bill, but he didn’t care about the fact that I was responsible, it was the fact that I was unmarried and I didn’t save myself for marriage.

    Instead of going home to rest, my mother went to her parents house for hours to talk about it. I love my mother, but that was pretty callous, considering I was in so much pain before she was born and still achy and hurting afterward and torn up inside. I often wonder if people ever care about others or just themselves…

  14. Cat says:

    This letter touched me as I have had my own horrible doctor experience that resulted in the death of my baby daughter from forceps injuries seventeen years ago.

    I certainly learned about how doctors protect themselves and how this kind of thing happens more often than we’d like to think.

    I feel for you and am glad you were able to overcome the experience and be that much stronger. So wonderful to hear about your daughter too!

  15. heather shockney says:

    Wow is all I can say. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel and heartless.

  16. mark says:

    I want to say – thank you for this!

  17. Brenda says:

    Have we all had a McPrick for a doctor? I had a similar experience with a doctor when I was a pregnant teen, he proceeded to try to scare me into an abortion! 22 years later my daughter is wonderful and I did not experience one of the horrible things he said I would during delivery!

  18. Loki Morgan says:

    Wow. I can’t think of any other words than just wow..

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