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Nosey Doctors

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Hi All- I am new to this community forum and I wanted to join for multiple reasons but one of them is to see if people have similar experiences with the medical community as I have had.


The most stark example came recently when I was at a dentist appointment. I didn't have time to fill out this very detailed medical history questionnaire so I took it back to the dental hygienist who just asked me the questions and filled it out quickly. I thought there was something strange about the number of detailed questions, I'm thinking how does this effect my teeth?


Then she got to the question that took a second to register in my head "do you have any STDS?" "....uhh yes" For some reason I told the truth although later I wished I had lied. After that answer came a really awkward exchange where I felt really embarrassed and uncomfortable. I don't remember what made it start but it went something like this:

Hygienist: Ohh ok

Me: But its really not that bad... its not like HIV or anything (I said this because I was feeling my self imposed shame)

Hygienist: Was it an accident, right? One time thing?

M: Well I got it from my boyfriend...so...

H: Oh and he didn't know?

M: No


I lied about it being an accident or that he didn't know. He actually did know, and maybe I was foolish but I sort of viewed it as inevitable that I would get it from him at some point. It was just something that had to come along with our love... (I feel this is foolish now). But the fact that the doctor asked these pointed questions made me feel like those were the only justifiable excuses for getting it...either it was an accident or I didn't know that the person I got it from had h. Well at this point in the conversation she didn't know what I had, A few minutes later I had to tell her specifically as she filled out the form online and then I commenced to pleading that the office never let my parents find the paperwork (I am in my 20s but share insurance with them still and don't want them to know).


So... I left there feeling really uncomfortable and sort of angry that I was pressured into giving more details than I wanted about something so personal, and that I had to carry around her judgments about it. I feel she was being unprofessional and maybe she didn't realize what she was saying.


Has anyone else encountered really unprofessional exchanges like this that make you super frustrated, embarrassed, etc?


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Hello and welcome!


Well, I've not been asked that but I'm guessing that they would want to know about HIV but may not be allowed to ask specifically about it..... because they ARE dealing with blood and other body fluids that could transmit the HIV virus. Also, it's good for them to know about HSV so they can also just be cautious about it. Also, gonorrhea can reside in the mouth. And Oral HPV is found in 7% of the population and 1% will turn cancerous so they would want to know your status there so they could be aware if they need to help you keep an eye on your oral health for possible abnormal cells that would indicate early cancer from that.


I commenced to pleading that the office never let my parents find the paperwork (I am in my 20s but share insurance with them still and don't want them to know).


They would never see that because with HIPPA laws they are not allowed to divulge any info to anyone (not even another Doctor) without your permission, so you can breathe easy there ;)



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I went to see my neurologist for the first time and they were asking what types of medicine I was on. I said Valtrex, already embarrassed that I had to say it... Then he says and why are you on that... I wanted to scream at him and say "Why the hell do you think?" I don't take it for a vitamin... it was frustrating.

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There are a number of things that you need Valtrex for including Chicken Pox, Shingles, mononucleosis, and cold sores. It would be irresponsible of them to assume what you were taking it for



BTW @seeker - never heard of Valtrex for Bells Palsy .... I wonder if they gave it to you for the virus in order to knock it back so your body could control the BP???? Bells Palsy is a neurological issue that has a wide number of causes and Valtrex only attacks the virus ... it wouldn't affect the nerves.... so I think you mis-understood their reason for giving it to you ....

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@ dancer. it was a walk in clinic and the doctor had himself had bells at 18. i looked it up and some do and some don't suggest anti virals for bells. it has a high occurrence with ALL of the herpes viruses and since he thought i had been thru a mono outbreak and it was the cause im guessing that's why he gave me the rx. i just wish he would have 2 weeks earlier when he thought i had mono, might have prevented the bells and i could taste sweets still. ( and no not tasting sweets doesn't help with weight control, i make up for it in garlic and spicy food now).


bells palsy is a neurological condition usually triggered by a virus mainly the ones in the herpes family ( or they have a higher rate of causation than others, not sure)

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Ah - yeah - sounds like he prescribed it for the "Mono" then ..


Yeah - I know a fair bit about Bells Palsy as I treat it some times ... have had people with Lyme with it (very common) and one that got it after an operation where she was on her side for some time and it compressed the nerve pretty badly... massage often helps if it's mechanical and even with the Lyme cases just getting blood flow to the area helps...



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well I was lucky. mine started rebounding immediately and I was doing stuff on my own almost instinctually to help ( like over mouthing words while singing in the truck) plus a friend told me some exercises that help. so other than taste stuff im as normal as I ever was.

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@curlyblue I totally get how you feel and although @WCSDancer2010 is right that HIPPA laws should in theory protect your privacy, I know that in FACT such is not the case. I have personally overheard way too much information in dentist offices and GYN offices. I have a friend who is an emergency room nurse who violates HIPPA nearly every time she opens her mouth about work.


Here is my approach now when asked about medical history: I write down on the paper: "I don't trust the privacy of these records." When my dermatologist inquired about it, I asked that the assistant leave the room before I discussed it. Am I buying into the shame culture? Maybe. The fact is I have a high profile job and I have been sorely and entirely disappointed with the care I've received from the health lack-of-care industry with respect to my HSV2 infection.

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