Fat and Doctors over at Feministe

Kactus at Feministe has blogged about her trepidation about going to see her doctor.

I’ve spent the last few days in a state of increasing agitation over the prospect of seeing my new doctor. You know how it is when you are fat, female, and (past) 40–the doc is very often Not Your Friend.

Fortunately, her experience was a positive one.

However in the comments a medical student and medical school professor have asked how people would like to be treated by their doctors:

As a med student, I’m really interested in what people like and don’t like in their doctors.

Lets say your doing something that’s unhealthy (say… smoking a pack a day)… would you want your doctor to try and give you options to quit? Would you prefer he kept his distance?

I’ve posted my 2 cents in the comments, but…

It sounds like a job for the Fatosphere!


7 Responses to “Fat and Doctors over at Feministe”

  1. 1 Rachel Saturday, 22 December 2007 at 12:03 am

    One of the problems I see here is that the great bulk of medical research being conducted on disease and illness is initiated by the pharmaceutical companies. Shannon Brownlee, who wrote Overtreated, claims we spend less than one-tenth of 1 percent to researching what actually works. Also, national policies and legislation are subject to influence by lobbyists who can profit from, say, making obesity into a disease.

    This is the information that is thus filtered into medical schools and this is why doctors and med students like the one in the commentary are indoctrinated to believe fat is evil and a health risk.


  2. 2 cynth Saturday, 22 December 2007 at 12:45 am

    I agree, it does sound like a job for the Fatosphere. Thanks for blogging about it, I’d of missed it otherwise.

  3. 3 southdream Sunday, 23 December 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Way long ago I was in a study to help medical students develop a good bed-side manor (in the 1970s). I had a stroke want I was 17 (’72) so there have always been some serious health issues with me.

    In my opinion, a doctor should always give good advice to the patient but leave it up to the patient to take it or leave it. The doctor shouldn’t get bent out of shape if the patient decided not to heed the advice and, instead, be patient with the patient and try again later.

  4. 4 Fatadelic Monday, 24 December 2007 at 12:39 am

    Great advice, Southdream. Doctors sometimes believe in their own omnipotence, I think. And you are right, the best doctors lay out the options and let the patient decide.

  5. 5 Doctors Directory Tuesday, 25 December 2007 at 12:44 pm

    thats really bad… if you are not taking care of your health then how can you expect the doctor not to be harsh on you … its simply tough to imagine .. and if he is then its your own benefit!

  6. 6 Fatadelic Tuesday, 25 December 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Doctors Directory, the point is that making assumptions about a person’s heath based on their size or weight alone and without other empirical evidence is bigoted. It also alienates the person you (presumably) are trying to provide medical care for. Read the thread and comments I link to before commenting further.

    By the way… I’ve let two of your comments pass through the moderation queue, despite your bigoted comments. Here is your warning: Civil discussion is welcome. Ignorance, bigotry or ‘blaming and shaming’ is not. Not even if you think it i ‘for our own good’> Three strikes and you’re out. My blog, my rules.

  7. 7 justafatgirl Wednesday, 26 December 2007 at 4:34 am

    I had a doctor once who was very blaming, and it did alienate me, he blamed my Asthma on me being fat, and not on the second-hand smoke I am around constantly and have been around all of my life, or the fact that COPD and other lung problems run in the family…

    But I did appreciate his advice.

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