bad TV, celebrities, healthcare, LDS

Repost: Ricky Schroder’s kids and prejudice about healthcare providers…

I’m reposting this old post from my original OH blog because today I intend to write fresh content about the actor, Ricky Schroder. I may want to reference this post. I’m leaving it as/is, so pretend it’s still 2017 if you choose to read it.

This morning’s topic is somewhat of a rerun with a new twist.  Yesterday, I spent most of the day watching a totally vapid Lifetime show called Growing Up Supermodel.  It starred the children of several formerly hot models and actors.  These kids all grew up in California and their parents are somewhat wealthy… Don’t know if they’d hang out together if they weren’t thrown together for reality TV.

One of the families profiled was Ricky Schroder’s.  Ricky Schroder, as you might know, was a big kid star in the early 80s.  Women from my generation had mad crushes on him.  I never found him that attractive because he was too baby faced for my liking.  However, I will admit that he had a certain ethereal look to him– blond hair, blue eyes, and pale skin.  He looked angelic.  That look has now kind of passed because he’s apparently sporting a full beard and darker (probably dyed) hair now.

Ricky doesn’t like the show.

Ricky Schroder’s now ex wife, Andrea, was raised LDS.  She and Ricky have since left the church.  Andrea has a very deep, husky voice.  She sounds like a pack a day smoker.  She and Ricky were married for 24 years when she filed for divorce.  They had four children together.  The two youngest, their daughters, Cambrie and Faith, were featured on Growing Up Supermodel.  Ricky Schroder’s daughters are stunning.  Cambrie looks like a young Brooke Shields.  Faith is similarly lovely.  They probably could be legit models.  Andrea seems a bit immature and evidently lacks parenting skills.  She doesn’t discipline; she claims that was Ricky’s job.  Moreover, in more than one scene, it appears that her older daughter is more mature and actually more of a parent than Andrea is.  I watched Cambrie comfort her mother and try to discipline her teenaged sister while Andrea whined about the divorce and how “lost” she feels. 

Andrea and the girls… 

As I mentioned before, I spent all day yesterday watching this show. It was incredibly mindless. At times, it was downright frustrating and annoying. And yet, it was also kind of like watching a trainwreck– awful, yet hard to turn away from. Other people on the show included Kelly LeBrock, who was a hot model/actress in the 80s and is now a very down to earth mother of three. Her youngest daughter, Arissa, is an aspiring plus sized model. She looks a lot like her father, Steven Seagal. I actually liked Kelly and her daughter. I think they should get their own show.

Watching the manufactured drama on Growing Up Supermodel made me curious about Ricky Schroder’s Mormon conversion story.  I know he grew up without religion.  Courtesy of Deseret News, I found a rather sickening tale of how Ricky had struggled to believe in the church, even after he was converted.  His mind was changed when he was hunting with his dad and a friend and shot a buck.  Sadly, the bullet only wounded the beast.  Ricky felt like shit because the deer was wounded and would now suffer.  It was getting dark and he couldn’t find the buck to put him out of his misery.  Ricky prayed to Heavenly Father and, miraculously, was able to find and kill the buck.  This led him to believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “true”.  Or, at least he believed for awhile. 

It’s pretty clear that he and Andrea are now outside of Mormonism.  Andrea was sporting a cross necklace and spoke of starting a drinking habit.  Their gorgeous daughters do not dress like Mormons.  And Ricky, whose conversion story was pretty shaky from the get go, has moved to Atlanta, though plans to come back to California when he’s needed.  Of the Schroders who were featured on the show, Ricky (who says he hopes the show will get cancelled) seems to be the most reasonable and grounded.  Apparently, he was the sole disciplinarian in their clan.  After watching his wife and daughters, I have to say I pity anyone who dates Ricky Schroder now. 

I posted about my impressions of Growing Up Supermodel on RfM.  Afterwards, I noticed someone had started a thread called Mormon dentists.  The anonymous poster, who lives near my old stomping grounds in northern Virginia, says their family is searching for a new dentist and they (apparently) want to avoid Mormon dentists.  He or she was asking how one can tell.  I must admit that I could empathize with their question.  

A few years ago, when we lived in Texas, I similarly avoided a dentist who was obviously LDS.  Of course, it never occurred to me to want to ask that question of a healthcare provider ahead of time.  The truth is, I don’t really care what a person’s religious beliefs are as long as they’re private, especially in a professional situation.  But when it’s very obvious what someone’s religion is, it does send a message.  I figured it would be better to choose one of the many other dentists in San Antonio… someone with whom I would be more compatible.  As much as we’d like to be open-minded about everything, the fact is, everybody judges to some extent.  

The responses to the poster’s question were interesting.  I was actually kind of surprised no one lectured the person for being bigoted, even though RfM is the “recovery from Mormonism” message board.  Sometimes, the people who frequent that board can be rigid in their thinking and very vociferous about expressing themselves.  A lot of people have a trigger PC response when it comes to “prejudice” in that they think it’s always wrong.  Honestly, I think many people don’t actually stop and think long and hard about this kind of issue.  Many of us have been conditioned to be open-minded at all costs.  But when it comes to healthcare, I think it’s very important to have a good rapport– if at all possible.  If a provider is very obvious about a lifestyle choice that makes a patient uncomfortable, I do think the patient has the right to seek care elsewhere…  even if that means the person is being “bigoted”.   

If you read this blog regularly, you may have read about my tendency to avoid medical people.  It’s strange that I would be this way, given my training in public health and social work.  On the other hand, maybe it’s partly because of my training that I avoid medical people.  I think the main reason I avoid doctors is because I had a very bad experience with an OB-GYN back in the 90s.  I don’t know if I have a tendency to become phobic or it’s just garden variety anxiety, but ever since that disastrous first “women’s health” exam, I often have almost full blown anxiety attacks when I must see a doctor.  Fortunately, I am ridiculously healthy. 

Because of my anxiety around medical people, I fully support being picky about choosing a healthcare provider.  I think a patient’s comfort and ability to trust is of paramount importance.  So while it may be anti-PC or “bigoted” to reject an obviously Mormon dentist, I think that’s okay.  The main point is that the person gets the care he or she needs from a provider with whom they feel comfortable.  Otherwise, they might end up phobic, like me.

I turned 40 in 2012, when we lived in North Carolina.  Because Bill was still on active duty at the time, I was assigned a primary healthcare provider at Fort Bragg.  Because I had turned 40, they determined it was time for a mammogram.  I got the phone call one October day and the person who called gave me the name of my provider, a woman I had never seen before.

I took down the woman’s name and looked her up on the Internet.  I soon discovered that she was quite a bit younger than I am and likes to party.  Her social media accounts were rather public and, to be honest, turned me off.  I decided I would not see her.  I happened to casually mention this decision to some now former online friends of mine.  Quite a few of them took me to task and proceeded to try to school me, which did nothing more than piss me off.  I got a lot of impassioned lectures about how it’s wrong to be “judgmental”.  However, when it comes to my health, I think I have the right to judge.  If you’re in the business of providing healthcare, it is incumbent upon you to put forth a professional, experienced, and mature image.  If you aren’t experienced or mature, I think you should learn how to fake it convincingly until you are.

I completely understand that medical providers have lives outside of their work.  I also get that a person’s activities outside of the professional environment may have zero bearing on how well they do their jobs.  However, I don’t think it is incumbent upon me to give healthcare providers a chance to prove themselves to me (or anyone else).  It’s my body.  It’s my health.  Due to my past experiences with a horrible (and female) OB-GYN, I have special needs when it comes to my healthcare.  I need to find someone with whom I will feel very comfortable.  I did not feel comfortable when I saw this woman’s public posts on social media.  I had a feeling she would not be mature or experienced enough to deal with my specific issues.  Moreover, I was just a name on a piece of paper to her.  My decision not to see her would not affect her in any way.  Maybe it was wrong to be prejudicial, but dammit, I think I have the right to have high standards regarding anyone who will be examining my private parts.

Incidentally, Bill later saw the woman to whom I’d been assigned.  It turned out my instincts about her were dead on.  He said she was quite inexperienced and tried to prescribe medications for his blood pressure that he can’t take.  She also lectured him about too much salt on his food.  In addition to having high blood pressure, Bill also has hyponatremia.  It’s a rare hereditary condition he shares with his father.  It means his sodium level is abnormally low, despite the fact that his blood pressure is high.  Most people with high blood pressure need to reduce their salt intake, but if Bill did that, he’d be putting himself at risk.  Experienced doctors know that if one has hyponatremia, salting food is essential, even if the person also has hypertension.  Extremely low sodium levels in the blood can be deadly.

Bill said the provider I rejected gave him a lot of textbook answers during their visit.  She was clearly very “green”, which I understand is normal for new providers.  They have to learn somehow.  But she would not have been a good choice for me.  I don’t have to volunteer to “train” this provider if it compromises my comfort.  Making people comfortable is a very important aspect of a healthcare provider’s training.  I think if I feel uncomfortable before I’ve even walked into a provider’s office, that’s a red flag that shouldn’t be ignored.  Also, the older I get, the more I realize that I should listen to my gut feelings.  They usually turn out to be right.

Naturally, there are times when you won’t have a choice of providers.  If you’re in an emergency situation, you may find yourself being tended to by a doctor with multiple tattoos and piercings.  Some people are fine with that.  Other people aren’t.  Or you may find yourself being resuscitated by someone who looks like he just got off his Mormon mission.  You won’t have a choice in that situation.  You may even find that it doesn’t matter anymore after that.  On the other hand, I didn’t have a choice of OB-GYNS back in 1995 and I wound up with a woman who really hurt me.  So now, I insist on being comfortable.  I think everyone should, as much as the situation allows. 

As for the person asking about how to tell if a dentist is LDS, I think he or she has the right to determine a comfort zone.  If someone’s obvious religious proclivities are a turn off, I think it’s okay to make another choice.  There’s no shame in that.  Northern Virginia is full of people who need healthcare and plenty of people will not have issues with a provider’s religion.  Some people would even choose a provider based on shared religious beliefs. 

It’s all about getting the best outcome and being comfortable.  And frankly, knowing what I know about LDS beliefs, I think I’d be a bit wary myself of someone who is very obviously Mormon.  Think of Ricky Schroder’s decision to believe in the LDS church because he was able to find and kill the buck he wounded.  It’s all about exercising good judgment.  When it comes to healthcare providers, it’s probably best for them to leave religion out of the picture and lock down all social media accounts.  Don’t give people a reason to get the “wrong impression”. 

And here are the original comments:


  1. AlexisARDecember 30, 2017 at 3:37 AMYou need to be comfortable with an OBGYN. A younger health care provider really should to be all the more cautious with regard to social media than should a more established healthcare provider. She may be highly professional while on the job, but, unfortunately, if one does not succeed in keeping one’s private life truly private, it’s possible for one’s actions while not on the job to interfere with others’ perceptions of one’s professionalism.ReplyReplies
    1. knottyDecember 30, 2017 at 7:06 AMYes, exactly.  

      Plenty of women would reject male OB-GYNs simply for being male. They could be excellent doctors, but many women would rather see a mediocre female doctor than an excellent male one. The woman who examined me the first time was pretty awful in my opinion. Others might love her.

      I’m surprised you don’t have any comments about Ricky Schroder’s family. Maybe I’m just getting too old.
    2. AlexisARDecember 30, 2017 at 8:12 AMThe OBGYN I see is male. I’m very comfortable with him. i might be equally comfortable with a female OBGYN in the future. It just depends on the doctor. 

      I hadn’t read the “Mormon Dentists” posts. I noticed that Scott posted there. He thinks it is inappropriate to ask. I’m inclined to agree. I have no problem with anyone rejecting me as a physician or surgeon based on my religion. If for any reason they don’t want to be treated by a not terribly devout Catholic, I would rather they go elsewhere. At the same time, I don’t think I would answer the question if posed to me in a professional setting. It’s no one’s business. If a person would rather not be treated by me because I don’t want to answer any questions about my religion, that would be fine with me. And I do get why someone might want to know, as there have been times in my life when I wouldn’t have wanted any of my insurance funds to go to supporting the Mormon church. If a person is over-the-top religious, it’s not usually hard to determine his or her religious affiliation with very minimal sleuthing. If the person isn’t extreme, I personally don’t think his or her religion matters. 

      I don’t feel strongly enough about it to instruct my staff never to answer such questions. That would be up to them if they actually knew the answer. I don’t wear my religion on my sleeve to the extent that my future employees would necessarily know of my religious affiliation. If someone works for you for long enough, it probably comes up in a conversation eventually, but the person might not know right away.

      I noticed that Cheryl at RFM, whom I usually agree with, thought it was perfectly OK to inquire as to the religion of a dentist. That surprised me. I know that she was a teacher. I wonder if she would have been be OK with students’ parents questioning her about her religious affiliation. I can’t imagine that she would have welcomed such questioning. I’ve substituted but will never be an actual teacher, though I’ve been around family members including my mom who were or are in the education profession for my whole life. They’re pretty consistent on not wanting a kid in their classes if the kid’s parent would prefer for any reason that the kid be taught by someone else, but at the same time I think the consensus would be that a parent has no business asking questions about a teacher’s religion. (What the parent does does in a gossipy setting is of no consequence; I’m referring to asking the teacher herself/himself or asking administration about it.) If a parent has good reason to believe that something inappropriate has been said in the course of instruction eithr with the parent’s child or reliably reported from an earlier situation that was somehow influenced by the teacher’s religion, that’s a different matter, and the discussion might then be appropriate, but most teachers don’t say inappropriate things pertaining to religion or to much of anything else.
  2. knottyDecember 30, 2017 at 9:56 AMI think it’s inappropriate to directly ask about religion, too. But if it’s obvious what the religion is, that could be an indication that problems may arise. People are going to be picky about all kinds of things. No matter how we try to squelch prejudice, it’s always going to be an issue to some extent.ReplyReplies
    1. AlexisARDecember 30, 2017 at 11:12 PMI understand prejudice and don’t actually have that big a problem with it. Despite the fact that my cohort was 54% female initially and is still 50% female, a whole lot of people want to be treated by male doctors. in the end, if someone wants another surgeon to operate on his or her kid, i’m good with it. Whatever. I don’t want to operate on anyone who doesn’t want me to.

      I just don’t want to be asked about my religion in the workplace, and would assume that most healthcare professionals feel similarly.

      It isn’t hard to find out. And if the person is the offensive and over-the-top sort of Mormon (or anything else, for that matter), it really isn’t hard to figure it out. If it’s very difficult to find out a health practitioner’s religion, chances are that it won’t impact his or her patients in a very significant way.
    2. knottyDecember 31, 2017 at 6:21 AMI agree. Usually the really obnoxiously religious show themselves before that question would need to come up.