>Welcome to the latest edition of "What Would CUSS Readers Do? (WWCRD)," a periodic direct solicitation of advice for thorny life situations that I am facing. Today I throw out the following:
At the end of last week, I mentioned that I scheduled bilateral breast MRI, but it was canceled because my health insurance denied the request. I called the doctor's office to talk about what to do next, and his receptionist told me that he would not appeal the decision as he did not have time to sit around waiting to talk to someone on the phone. This irritated me greatly, but my annoyance was further inflamed into outrage when he didn't call me back to discuss my other options and then I got a letter saying that my claim was denied because some basic information (my age at first menstrual period, my age at first live birth, number of previous breast biopsies including the pathology, and my ethnicity) was missing. I decided that I needed a new doctor.
Probably everyone can agree that a new doctor is the correct solution thus far. The dilemma is whether I should go back to the first breast specialist I ever saw or start all over again. The first doctor was excellent. She specializes in working with women under 40 who are diagnosed with breast cancer, and was very aggressive in her approach with my situation. I also liked her personally. Why did I switch? Well, she is affiliated with a Catholic hospital. On a basic level, I am very uncomfortable receiving treatment while a figure of Jesus nailed to a cross watches over me. More importantly, I do not agree with the religious values that inform the decisions of these medical institutions when it comes to how my treatment is determined. I don't ever want to be in a situation where my health could be gravely impacted or I could even die because the Pope decided he spoke to God and it was ordered to be that way. Sometimes good doctors are hamstrung by church policy, and I am fearful that if I wind up in some bizarre situation, I would be worse off for going with an excellent doctor because the hospital won't allow her to perform a procedure that benefits me.
The odds of some weird cancer/reproductive situation are slim, though. Am I overreacting? If you were in my shoes, would you go to the doctor at the Catholic hospital, or would you just start over and try and find a completely new doctor?