Wednesday, June 23, 2021

I need a new doctor and I'm apparently biased against men

This is my soon-to-be former physician, Dr. Spech-Holderbaum. She would probably think it's funny that I'm posting a photo of her on my blog.

My primary care physician, the wonderful Michelle Spech-Holderbaum, M.D., is retiring in a week. I have been seeing her since the 90s, as has my wife. She has also been my father-in-law's doctor for many years.

There was a part of me that looked forward to annual check-ups because she was always so nice and always took the time to answer questions, give advice, and really just listen.

So now I need a new doc, which is cool. Dr. Spech-Holderbaum deserves her retirement after many years of being very good at her job.

Dr. Spech-Holderbaum worked for the Lake Health medical system, but rather than look there for her replacement, I first checked out the local branch of the Cleveland Clinic that's near my home.

I went onto their website, where you can select physicians by specialty; whether they treat adults, children, or both; and by gender. And without giving it a thought, I automatically set the parameters to internal medicine, adults only, female.

It's not that I looked at the gender box and said, "What, have a man poke and prod me? Forget it!" I just subconsciously picked "female" because that's all I've known for many years.

And there were, by the way, many female physicians there from which to choose.

Are female doctors more attentive? Better listeners? More in tune with their patients' fears and worries? Maybe. Those are all stereotypes, and they're certainly not universal (I know men in many professions who possess those qualities in spades.)

But for whatever reason, I'm almost certainly going with a woman as the next person to whom I will, once a year, ask dumb questions about vitamins, my horribly scarred hamstrings, and if I'm really OK at my current weight or whether losing a few more pounds is a good idea.

As a man, all I can say is that I would not want the job of caring for neurotic me.

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