My experience was horrible with Dr. Laurie Green and Pacific Women’s Obstetrics & Gynecology Medical Group’s. I felt guilty not sharing it with others, so perhaps they can avoid a similar experience.
During my first visit with Dr. Laurie Green, which was my first visit to this practice and which happened before the sonogram, I mentioned my concern about the health of the pregnancy because I had had 2 fevers already and also hadn’t had any symptoms.
She was incredibly dismissive of my concerns. Instead, she talked about whether I knew how I wanted to deliver the baby and talked about inducing labor at 39 weeks, to be more likely to have a successful vaginal birth after C-section. I just wanted to get to the sonogram and see if the pregnancy was healthy.
Right after the routine pelvic exam, Dr. Green performed a rectal exam without asking permission beforehand. While my family’s medical history may have given her reason to think this was necessary, the truth was that I’d completed a colonoscopy less than 5 months before, and there was absolutely no reason to do this exam.
And given that many women have history of abuse, I am surprised that she would do something so invasive without giving warning. My husband and I returned a week later because the sonogram did not look good, and we found out that we had lost the heartbeat.
The sonogram is located off-site at the hospital across the street, so the sonographer gave us the bad news. We went to the doctor’s office and one of Dr. Green’s PAs spoke to us about our options: pills to induce a miscarriage or a D&C.
I was surprised that a D&C was an option, because that had not been mentioned to me before (after the 7-week sonogram, Dr. Green called me that night and said pills would probably be sufficient) and because the embryo size had not grown at all since the previous sonogram.
But this was my first miscarriage and my emotions were in a tumult, and I didn’t question this. We decided on the D&C mostly because we were told the bleeding would only last a few days, rather than about 2 weeks as with the pills. Also, after the PA described the level of sedation as ‘twilight sleep’ (how vague is that?), I asked if it was the same as the sedation in a colonoscopy, and the answer was not ‘no’.
Turns out it is very different – after colonoscopy, you wake up as they are wheeling you out of the room, but with D&C, they put a tube down your throat, and I have no memory of the first 1-2 hours after I apparently woke up and was in the recovery room.
They scheduled me for the D&C that same evening. I bled for 12 days. At my 2-week follow-up, which was with a different PA, I asked to see Dr. Green because I was still spotting, and this was a lot longer than what I was told to expect.
This PA told me it was normal to bleed up to 4 weeks after D&C! I was so upset – we decided on the D&C because we were told bleeding would stop within a few days. I wouldn’t allow any PA to perform the exam, because a PA was giving me incorrect or incomplete information and I didn’t know which one. The PA said she would tell the manager about my concerns and the manager would help us make an appointment with Dr. Green.
The manager called me that same day. She did not ask me to explain my experience, but rather directly reported a message from Dr. Green: That all seasoned doctors had PAs perform the D&C follow-up and if I didn’t like it, I should find a new graduate who ‘does her own follow-ups after D&Cs’. I think this was probably the most insensitive message a physician could relay.
My concerns were about the inaccurate information I got repeatedly from her PAs, not because I was trying to be difficult. I just wanted the whole thing over, but not with a PA who may not be giving me correct information.
A few days later, I called the office manager with my three main issues: the rectal exam, the inaccurate information about the sedation and the inaccurate information about the bleeding, and I asked for a referral. She listened, seemed to take notes, and I never heard from anyone again.
I went to UCSF for the follow-up. The nurse practitioner there asked why they scheduled the D&C for that same day, usually they wait a bit to see if the miscarriage will happen on its own. There were other (much smaller) issues with the practice.
The doctor’s office didn’t give us any information about pre-registering for the hospital for the sonogram, and the process there ended up taking a really long time. The bills arriving from the hospital for the sonogram triggered the wrong benefit from our insurance (the imaging benefit, not the prenatal benefit) and led to a still-ongoing challenge with the insurance company.
Well, I hope by sharing my experience I’ve helped you make a decision about which medical practice to NOT use for your pregnancy. Best of luck with your pregnancies!