Jenifer M Ypl

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| map-marker Memphis, Tennessee

My gynecologist violated the Doctor's Ethical Code of Conduct

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Updated by user Sep 26, 2022

I have filed formal complaints against MidSouth OB/GYN with my insurance company Cigna (I updated this complaint when I received my bill for the procedure I never should have had to go in for to begin with), as well as the Tennessee Department of Health (which noted...

Updated by user Aug 25, 2022

MidSouth OB/GYN is a division of Women’s Care Center of Memphis, MPLLC (6215 Humphreys Blvd. Suite 501 Memphis, TN 38120, (901) 763-****).On August 18th I contacted them via phone in order to file a formal complaint against Dr. Ali with them as well, and I was directed...

Original review Aug 25, 2022
After the Dobbs draft decision was leaked in May of this year, it became apparent that the United States Supreme Court planned to overturn Roe V. Wade. I therefore felt that it was vitally important to have an IUD inserted with a quickness -- especially since I live in Tennessee, a state with some of the most regressive laws surrounding access to abortion in this whole damn country. I knew the first step in making an IUD happen was to locate a new gynecologist to perform the initial pelvic exam, as my previous provider was no longer in-network with my insurance company -- unfortunately for me, the gynecologist I located turned out to be Dr. Dominique Butawan-Ali of Mid-South OB/GYN, a practice located here in Memphis, where I live. On Thursday, May 26, 2022, the exam itself was competently and professionally performed; I was able to tell Dr. Ali that I wanted to come back specifically to have the IUD inserted and I scheduled the appointment before I left the office. As Dr. Ali had explicitly instructed me to schedule the appointment for a Monday morning in June when I expected to be menstruating, as she preferred to perform the procedure at a time when the woman's cervix is at its most "open" and pliable -- specifically because this typically leads to a relatively easier insertion. I did my best to comply with Dr. Ali's instructions but my period is unpredictable, so I had to reschedule my appointment for July, again being mindful of the constraints as best I could. During this waiting period, I had plenty of time to recall (with increasing dread) how excruciatingly painful the insertion of my previous IUD had been. I also did some research and discovered that mine was far from a unique experience, and that most doctors do little to alleviate the pain their patients experience beyond recommending 800 mg of ibuprofen prior to the procedure (as Dr. Ali had). For those practitioners who DO care about the distress of their patients (FYI: it's usually nurse-practitioners and midwives) misoprostol is usually prescribed in order to soften the cervix and make the insertion easier to perform. Upon learning this, I called MidSouth OB/GYN to request a prescription for misoprostol from Dr. Ali; a few days later Dr. Ali's nurse called to let me know she had called the prescription in for me. I picked it up from Walgreens and continued to await my appointment. I was still anticipating a HUGE amount of pain in my future; for me, getting an IUD was something else again, and I'm speaking as someone who had a C-section (it also doesn't help that doctors routinely fail to inform their patients about the amount of pain a lot of patients experience, which just makes it all the worse because it's a SHOCK). Although I was very hesitant to request pain relief (nobody wants the immediate "drug-seeker" label that results), I couldn't help myself -- I called MidSouth OB/GYN again, and this time I requested ONE. TYLENOL. THREE. This request was denied, I'm not even kidding. Bad, but not unexpected; almost comical, to be honest. What followed, though, was a VERY unpleasant and confrontational phone call with Dr. Ali's nurse, DURING WHICH SHE ATTEMPTED TO TALK ME OUT OF GETTING THE IUD ALTOGETHER -- THE IUD THAT I HAD EXPLICITLY REQUESTED, THAT MY DOCTOR HAD AGREED TO INSERT, THAT MY INSURANCE WAS GOING TO PAY FOR. I could hardly believe that I was having to defend my decision about how I wanted to keep from reproducing to this woman -- a NURSE. Why, if I didn't know better, I might have suspected some ulterior motive (just kidding, I do know better and I definitely suspected an ulterior motive, because it was that blatant). At one point I became so frustrated and fed up that I said, "Look, I've been having sex for a very long time and I know my way around birth control. Roe v Wade is about to be overturned, and if I get raped and wind up pregnant, I don't want to have to drive out of state for an abortion. I don't want something I have to worry about every day or every three months or every six months; I don't want anything messing around with my hormones, my body is doing just fine with that on its own. I want something I can have put in and forget about. I want an IUD and that is my final decision, so stop trying to change my mind." But SHE DID NOT STOP until she had satisfied herself that there were no other more "suitable" alternatives for me. If anybody reading this is familiar with the American Deep South, they'll understand what I mean when I say that once I was finally able to end that hideous conversation, I felt like I needed to take a long, hot shower to wash the "Bless your heart" off of me. Gah. I felt violated. That was more than enough to finally convince me that I did not want these people touching me again, so I went to a great deal of trouble to arrange to have an IUD inserted elsewhere. As soon as it could be assured that I had an appointment with a more suitable provider, I immediately cancelled my appointment with Dr. Ali. I gave no reason for doing so, but I was quite polite to the person I spoke with, and I didn't say a single solitary thing about wishing to terminate my doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Ali -- I just didn't have it in me to fight with anybody at MidSouth OB/GYN about anything ever again. And with that, I thought I was done with Dr. Dominique Butawan-Ali for good. FALSE. During our initial (and only) appointment, Dr. Ali had also referred me to another facility to have a routine mammogram performed. I went, and it was, but on August 16th I got a dreaded follow-up phone call about my results. The woman told me that the first mammogram had been abnormal and I would need to come in for another mammogram (the kind insurance doesn't just automatically pay for, either), but first -- was I sure that Dr. Ali had been the one to refer me in the first place, because she had just tried to contact her to share my results and get her assessment, and someone at the office had told her I wasn't a patient there? We were both a bit perplexed. I assured her that I was indeed Dr. Ali's patient and it had been she who had referred me. She again contacted MidSouth OB/GYN -- this time she was told that I actually WAS Dr. Ali's patient, but that Dr. Ali refused to examine the abnormal results of the test she had referred me for BECAUSE I HAD GONE TO CHOICES TO HAVE MY IUD INSERTED, as is my right as a patient. What. The. *** So I was left with no other choice than to have a diagnostic mammogram performed that same day to rule out breast cancer because my doctor refused to assess my results, as is her ethical responsibility AS MY DOCTOR. Although the woman I first spoke to and the radiation tech who actually performed the follow-up test said that the first mammogram appeared to show some minor calcification in my right breast and that 80% of these cases turn out to be benign, it was absolutely necessary for me to have further testing done, and they were both astounded that Dr. Ali had refused to examine my results, because had she done so it was unlikely that any further assessment would have been necessary. Within an hour, a radiologist declared me breast cancer-free and I was on my way home feeling outraged and also soon-to-be several hundred dollars poorer, but also so relieved that I didn't have cancer but FURIOUS at the doctor who had allowed me to fear that I might, and all around my experience with her and the people she worked with had been pretty *** Yum, love that feeling. So what do I do with that feeling? I lodged my first formal complaint against Dominique Butawan-Ali not long after I got home that day -- I wanted to immediately go on record with my insurance company, letting them know that the behavior of one of their providers was absolutely unacceptable, and that it had resulted in a good bit of mental distress for me, and ALSO (more important for the purposes of insurance) that it had led to some very unnecessary charges for a test she could have easily deemed unnecessary had she so chosen, according to the two people I had spoken to at The Margaret West Comprehensive Breast Center. That same day I filed a formal complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health leveling the same charges against Dr. Ali. On August 18th I was notified via email that my complaint (#20220****) was being investigated, and that I will receive written correspondence from them when a final decision is reached. As for that -- I'm not exactly holding my breath, but dammit there should be some record of this woman's *** out there SOMEWHERE. On a more practical level, I find it absolutely OUTRAGEOUS that I am forced to suffer monetarily because Dr. Ali wanted to be vindictive towards me for whatever her reasons were, ESPECIALLY given the current political climate surrounding REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE AT THIS POINT IN TIME. I chose to receive care from providers more closely aligned with my needs and values, and she chose to punish me for it. And MidSouth OB/GYN was completely supportive of her behavior, to the point that they felt no need to hide the fact that one of their doctors was blatantly violating her duties as a physician. It's wrong.
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