Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dentists, Cont'd

As terrified as I was of going to the dentist yesterday, it turned out that I was in for a very nice surprise. My new dentist is a young woman (a couple of years older than me) who has her own clinic. It's always so great to see a woman who has her own thriving business that even if the procedure had been painful, I would have been anaesthesized from pain by my feminist joy for this woman's success.

One of the reasons why I liked this dentist so much is that - unlike many other doctors - she did not treat me as a vegetable that has no thoughts or feelings. Often doctors perceive you as an object in need of repair. As soon as they see you, they proceed to do things to you without attempting to explain the procedures they are performing or find out whether you want those procedures performed in the first place. I don't like going to see doctors because whenevr I go, I feel my identity slipping away from me. Outside of the doctor's office, I see myself as a respectable, intellectual, independent, and higly-opinionated human being. Inside, however, I turn into this powerless thing that is incapable of being an active agent of her own life. And I really don't dig that feeling.

When I shared these feelings with my sister, she said, "If you want to feel really powerless and objectified, try getting pregnant and giving birth." She is right, of course, as sad as that is.

My new dentist, however, was very different in this respect. She actually took the time to explain to me what she was doing every step of the way and asked me what I wanted to be done. I wish more doctors were that way.


NancyP said...

Dentistry is competitive, and it behooves newcomers to treat their patients well. My brother's a dentist, I know about the issues of solo practice.

Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same! Because of that, I'va started to be obnoxious and condescending with doctors. It's my own mechanism of defense I guess.

You'll hate me for what I will say, but the only place I have not felt like a vegetable when I saw a doctor was in Havana.


Clarissa said...

I'm glad you were so lucky in Cuba. In my experience, however, this is a huge exception.