I had an appointment with Sheila that went wrong on so many fronts that I felt unsafe and left.
I sat in the chair, shook her hand when I meet her. She looked at the computer and recommended a treatment I was not there to have. I asked her why she was recommending the treatment. She cut me off verbally.
I asked her again differently adding what are you seeing that leads you to believe I need this other treatment. She then told me I had 20+ cavities in my mouth. That shocked me. I don't recall having that many cavities. She swung the monitor around showng me a picture and I responded that some of that looked the cosmetic work I have had done. She cut me off again.
I asked her to stop cutting me off and to please answer my questions, she's supposed to be my health partner and explain my mouth/dental health to me so I am informed, understand my personal situation and can respond by acting on what I know about my own health.
She then told me to calm down. I told her I am calm but being cut off, not having my questions answered and honestly this attempt to infer that my request for answers or my objection to being cut off four words into each sentence is not about being calm-- it's about being interested. I told her I was now not happy at hearing the "calm down," and we were going to take 10 seconds and clear the air with silence. Her answer to this was to say "come on, sweetheart." I am not her sweetheart and that is not how you refer to a client.
At this point, I did not feel safe with someone who will not answer my questions, will actively silence my questions and called me "sweetheart."
I stood up and said we're calling this a day. This is not happening. She said "oh come on, just sit down" and literally stood between me and my purse. I repeated I want to leave. Then I said I need my purse. She continued to say I just needed to sit down and then she suggested that we just "hug it out." I said no, I need you to allow me to get my purse. I am leaving.
She moved, I got my purse and said I want you to talk to my manager Anna. We went into her office. She told Anna I wanted to leave, Anna asked me a question. I got four words out and again she cut me off, answered for me, and when she was done speaking I turned to her and said. You were not asked the question, I was, you cut me off again answering for me and this is exactly what you did in the office on multiple times. She turned and left.
This is not okay. This is a system of escalation where patients will stop asking questions, feel unseen, and will not be able to advocate or adequately understand their own health status. I feel that someone who took me through a process like the above so smoothly means that I am not the first to experience this nor the last as she's done this easily and she progressively became more indignant as I did not respond in the manner she expected.
I've been coming to your establishment without issue for years. This is not how I expect to be treated. My questions should be answered. If a treatment is suggested it is alright for me to want to know why it was suggested and what currently indicates said treatment. It is not cool to be told to calm down-- Anna saw me upset and I was calm. Sheila attempted to shame me for asking questions by bringing into question if I was "calm" (appropriate behavior) and then to asserting physical touch. These are all tactics of coercion. You start by cutting off sentences, don't allow the person to be heard, ignore their questions, then shame them for trying to get a new answer, shame them for their response, physically keep them in one space, stand between them and the exit (purse and door), attempt to get physical when they aren't compliant. I know this because I'm a mental health care professional not a victim.
Nothing about this was professional except how Anna handled hearing what I had to say. She listened and stayed present. I appreciate that.
I highly suggest new training for Sheila if this isn't grounds for dismissal. New training on what is appropriate behavior, how to be a health partner to her patients and ensuring the use of endearments/physical touch is not part of her repotoire.