front desk hates me

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    Being newly married I decided to not let the fact that my new front desk is totally nasty bother me…even before I started work ( when unpacking) they were fairly rude and wouldn;t respond if I said “good morning, how are you”…then work began and I thought I’d go up and kill them with kindness every am…well the friendlier I was the more it pi__ed them off…so I stopped going up so much to chit chat and do girl-talk since I could not get anyone to speak back to me. Friday the bombshell dropped…they found a senior partner and told him they do not like me, they think I dictate too much on pt visits (?!) and they don’t like it if I leave a post-it note on a chart asking them to do something (like “please fax this form to Dr. H by Monday”) Any thoughts?


    Maggie, I had the same problem at my old job! It made me very mad! Thats what I’m talking about, I didn’t do anything different from the male doctors (I mean how else should you ask them for a referal for a pt?) But the male docs they really gushed over! It was definitely affecting my practice because they actually talked negatively about me to patients/ parents and didn’t work hard to schedule my visits, didn’t always give me my messages, and downright ignored me when I talked to them! I tried at first like you to be extra nice, but that didn’t really help, so in the end I just ignored it. Really it was them not me, b/c parents also complained about how rude they were, the owner of the practice would never fire them though b/c they were there for a long time and they were all cousins! (not to him but eachother- the RN etc..) He and therfore they never had another MD there so, they weren’t used to different styles and whatnot- they always answered the phone Dr so-and-so’s office (even thought I worked there) my mother hated that. The biggest mistake I made was not leaving there sooner! Now I am so happy that I am making my own practice! People complain about their bosses too but if it affects my work, I can do something about it! You post a lot- what specialty are you in? Good luck! BTW I these great OBGYN RE’s that I go to both female used to work for a man- big practice and so I hear felt that they were getting all the “scut work” maybe mistreatment too- I don’t know- anyway, they left that office and started their own now successful practice :grouphug:


    What did the senior partner say in response to them? Was he supportive of you?


    Thanks KotlerMD…you always post things that show you’ve seen what reality is…FP w/ OB is my specialty ( and I do scopes which you’d think would make them happy $$$, but they act ANNOYED that they have to sschedule them for me!!!)
    THIS SHOULD GET A RISE out of all you guys: The way they let me know they hated me ( besides being bitchy on a daily basis)…THEY WENT AND CRIED to a male and wanted him to “straighten me out” …here’s the clincher- he acted as if I REALLY WAS BEING DIFFICULT! HA! I would never approach another physician and act as if they really were the culprit; I would apologize for bothering them “with this nonsense, BUT I’ve heard that there are some problems. How can I smoothe this over for you?”
    Tomorrow night is the going-away party for the {former}manager- they did verbally ask me for ten dollars (to my face- yay) so that should be a real humdinger…once again I’ll fake it and be chipper and laugh and smile as usual…wish me luck


    once again I’ll fake it and be chipper and laugh and smile as usual…wish me luck

    Have you considered addressing the issue with the staff? ie meet with the nurses who complain and mention that it was brought to your attention, blah, blah, blah…and that if they have a problem with you want them to come to you…just as you would go to them if you had a problem with them instead of complaining to their peers?

    That is awful that your partner did not handle it more diplomatically….I’m really sorry to hear it. Keep us posted on what happens.



    Update: Ironically, I would have said prior to the discussion with the senior guy, that things were slightly better. So I went to work and continued on, and they were alittle better- party went OK Tues night…
    got an unsolicited call from a female partner tonight “just calling to ask how the first month went”- someone apprently gave her a heads up ….I said how great the hosp was, how great the nurses were in the clinic…eventually she got around to asking about the front desk (she tried to be subtle)…I told her the truth- she admits they’re a harsh crowd, extremely clique-ish; she suggested acting like they are “normal” and eventually they come around ( in her case anyways)…she says they’re just intimidated, and she never had to work so hard to be “socially accepted”…
    yes ( to YIPES) I have asked them in the past about things, or walked up front to reply to other questions they had…they get very uptight and cannot handle looking straight at me, and brush off whatever I say with “fine fine whatever” and walk away…


    Isn’t it amazing that women are more threatened by us than men can be? I would seriously consider that they have a bad case of, “who does she think she is?” Read Pat Heim who has written a bunch of books about how girls and boys play. I first heard her in 1993. I have found that if you don’t “girl talk” you are thought to be too aloof, but if you do, you run the risk of being not respected.


    AN update on the front office ( and I totally agree with the do talk/don’t talk girlie talk mystery)…
    I chose to continue being friendly and act oblivious to their antics…it is sort of WORKING (????) they offered me a peice of gingerbread yesterday and were goofing around about colonoscopies and included me in their joke. Guess what? The administrator ( big cheese at the hsop, the hand that feeds me) drove over to “meet with ” me…he confided ( unsolicited) that he caught wind that people were being nasty to me and he wanted to share HIS AWFUL EXPERIENCE his first two yrs here and how it wasn’t until the past 3 months people were decent to him ( he almost had his bags packed 6 times already!!!)


    Would it be completely embarrassing to bring THEM food? I once baked cookies for an attending to ensure a great recommendation … not sure if that qualifies as sexual harassment, but it worked …


    HA! I made blueberry muffins this weeknd and then a coffee cake and strongly considered baking for them weeks ago…so I may still do it in the future…they are getting so bored with me it may not be necessary but would be funny to see the looks on their faces!


    You are not alone!!!!
    I have come across more sexism in medicine with front desk and nusring staff.They love the boys but can’t handle the girls. Is it a power thing? Is it a security thing? Is it that because we are female,training status is irrelevant? Whatever the case, it always seems to surface in catty little ways – forcing you into a position of proving that you are a “good person”.
    It does make it very difficult to know whom to trust.
    You have done all the correct things. Some staff members may be impossible however. In general, the more expereinced and secure with themselves, the less trouble you will have.
    Do not let them convince you that you are “wrong” – lengthy dictations are beautiful and protect you in the long run.
    Stick to your guns. Do not alter what you know to be correct.

    As for me – I ultimately left this situation in favor of a staff that was secure and happy with themselves and could therefore be secure and happy with others.
    Ask yourself if the staff will evolve to accept you as the most excellent woman you are or if they will ultimately demand you cave to their expectations and allow yourself to be treated as a second class citizen. It may make a difference in the long run


    you put up with some idisyncrasies and inadequacies in the beginning but my goodness:
    if they haven’t cleaned up thier act in a year forget it!!!!!! HA! :rotfl:
    To the last post: I totally agree and have been sticking to my guns on 99%of the issues; so I still look like a harda___ in a way, but also look cheery and chipper…
    Here’s my worry- theywill evolve to be nice to ME, but will they evolve as human beings and be nice to EVERYONE as they should? I can use my own clout later to teach them to be nice,but I do not have high hopes…interesting… :p


    Well this is the first time I’ve ever read anything so wretched. Who the he– do these women (monsters?) think they are? You do not deserve such treatment. I guess I’m just super-sensitive but I don’t think I could stay there. Is there any option to leave, maybe find a better practice? You mentioned endoscopy. Are you a gastro? I’m internal med and usually people (staff, nurses) who work with us are really nice.


    NO I am FP and usu women are basically nice ( in prior offices) but not at this office…


    I had a similar experience, but not nearly as nasty as yours sounds. I joined the office of a male physician who has been in practice for 35 years and had the same front-office staff for a long time. At first things were great. They were all very nice, and we even all ate lunch together every day.
    About a year after I started, things started to change…they got very clique-ee and started acting like high-schoolers. Part of this was in reaction to my getting more demanding of their preformance. I had not asked or demanded specific things of them previously, and they thought I was attacking them, was unkind, etc. I was just getting busier and needed more from them.
    Luckily, the office manager was very supportive. I did not get my partner involved in the petty discussions, and when I had finally had enough of the talking behind my back, I met with each person individually in the presence of the office manager (to have another pair of ears listening to exactly what was said). I asked each of them if they had anything to say about me and that this was an open forum to discuss, as adults, anything they would like to talk about. I took the chance to say I was sorry if I ever seemed abrupt, but that they needed to keep in mind, that at times, there may have been stressors that they had no idea about… ie. I may have been on call for 3 weekend days in a row and was sleep-deprived and stressed, a patient may be very ill and my mind preoccupied, etc.
    I reminded them that I had always tried to be very understading when things were going on in their lives, and expected the same.
    I also took the chance to ask if they had any ideas on how the office may run better, and actually got some great feedback that is still helping all of us be more efficient.
    Things changed immediately. Of note, I also stopped eating lunch with them. Time I still miss, but found that I really do have to keep my distance.
    Luckily, all of these women are, at heart, wonderful people. We just hit a rough patch. I do think part of it was because I am younger than them (the age of some of their children), and was seen as threatening in a way that a man would have seemed athoritative.
    Hope this helps.

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