An xoJane author who goes by the pen name "Lola Jane" has recounted the harrowing true story of how she got a formal rejection letter from her gynecologist over her conduct during an appointment. In her article, she describes tense interactions she had with both the receptionist and OB/GYN, as well as a pointed letter she sent after the encounter. Whether you sympathize with her or with the doctor will say more about you than it does about the story.
It started when Jane was asked by a receptionist to fill out the standard forms before her appointment. She refused to specify her marital status or whether she uses a car seatbelt, because she felt those were private issues not relevant to her care (seatbelt use is deeply personal). When the receptionist asked her about the blank spaces on her form, she stated that she wasn't going to fill them in. Once she was admitted to the examination room, she complained that the robe she was provided didn't fit her, but was told that was the only size. But it wasn't until the doctor came in that things got really tense.
Jane's gynecologist conducted her exam, and then started to walk out of the room. Jane stopped her, asking if she was going to test her for STDs. When the doctor explained that they stopped automatically testing at 26, Jane (who is 28) asked for the tests. A similar exchange happened about a blood test. The doctor gave Jane the tests without complaint, and then the appointment was done.
But later, the blogger was still angry about how she had been treated. She sent her doctor a letter to express her feelings. In her article she describes it as "tongue-in-cheek," but it's possible that tone was lost in the reading. You can decide for yourself:
Thank you for the delightful Pap smear. Even though you don’t have a single gown in your office that in any way clasps in the front, I will still be back again next year.
I am concerned however, that you in no way mentioned STIs or sexual health during my exam. I was touched that you asked me both my marital status and if I wear a seatbelt, but nothing was mentioned about sex, the fact that people have it, or that one can get diseases from it.
When I brought up testing, you said that you stopped automatically asking women after age 26. Had I known that if I had just held out I would completely bypass the risk of AIDs, I may have just waited until 27 before becoming sexually active.
You also didn’t explain that an exam does not cover all STIs and that I may want to consider a blood test to ensure I’m covering all of my bases, but luckily, as a presumably celibate or disease-immune woman of 28 I don’t have to worry about such issues.
After my strongly worded letter, I hope you reconsider these practices.
A few days later, Jane received a letter from the doctor's office. Although it was very cordially worded, it was, in effect, a "dear Jane." Via X.O. Jane:
I advise you not to let the door hit you on your way out.
I am writing to inform you that I will no longer be available to provide you with medical care. Termination of care will go into effect 30 days from receipt of this letter. If you need emergency gynecologic care during this 30-day period, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
I advise you to seek medical attention from another physician...
Enclosed is an authorization form to release a copy of your medical records to the physician of your choice. Upon receipt of the signed form and a $10 record copying charge, my office will forward ac opy of your records to the physician you designate.
Jane called the office to ask about the letter, and had a brusque conversation with the receptionist, who accused her of treating the whole staff rudely. What do you think? Is Lola Jane a confident woman who was treated disrespectfully and reacted within her rights? Or is she a total nightmare? It's impossible to know for sure, but that won't stop people from having very strong opinions about it. That's what the Internet is all about.