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Old 03-21-2005, 06:32 PM   #1
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StMishl HB User
Changing Doctor?

First, thanks to everyone for all their support.

So this morning I call the Mayo clinic to see about an appt. (to see if I can get a 2nd opinion/new dr). I was really was excited by the idea of all the testing facilities and specialists being located on one site.

The scheduling clerk's 1st question was when had I most recently had surgery (12/13/04), and she says "Sorry, we only will see patients 1 year + after surgery - no exceptions". I tried to explain about the lose sccrew and the not-fusing, my question about my osteoporis and RA and wsanting to be looked at somewhere where they will take this all into consideration... But after all that she just repeated that they don't touch people within 1 year of back surgery from another doctor.

Frustrated, I tried on another doctor whose info I found on my insurance web site who had all the "great" qualifications and was a nuerologist and spine specialist (my dr is an orth). Again, "We don't do 2nd opinions or anything with failed back surgerys. We only look at patients with "virgin" backs or those with new problems unrelated - please contact your original surgeon".

WHAT THE +%^&*^????

What am I supposed to do now? How do I get a second opinion? How do I know if my dr screwed something up (I am not looking to sue the guy, I just want my back to function as well and as painlessly as possible). Or if a different level is causing problems? What did I do wrong (NOTE: I didn't call these people up saying I am a failed fusion, I just said I seemed to be still having problems and would like a 2nd opinion, fresh look). What Now??? Do I really have to wait a year to have a 2nd opinion or change doctors? This doesn't seem right.
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StMishl Failed Bk Fusion, facet joint/hip issues & RA -Wish I could Jump like him!

Last edited by StMishl; 03-21-2005 at 06:35 PM.

 
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:38 PM   #2
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mel1977 HB User
Re: Changing Doctor?

I never thought of that-I am so sorry you are having this issue! While I understand one aspect, I totally don't understand the rest. I have no solutions for you, I wish I did. Maybe someone can shed some light on this.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 07:17 PM   #3
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myspine HB User
Re: Changing Doctor?

Hi Michelle
Start by searching the web in your area. My doc does alot of revision and that is why I am there. Alot of doctors do not want to touch you if you have already been "worked" on, So I had the same problem. For me I never kept looking I figured after a few "we do not" answers that was it. But now I found my doctor and that is what he does . So you might start searching that way.
shelley

 
Old 03-21-2005, 08:48 PM   #4
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sandollar HB User
Re: Changing Doctor?

HI,
I wanted to say, that I spent almost 3 years at the Mayo clinic here in Jacksonville before finding a local doctor so I didn't have to drive an hour each way on a daily basis.
Altho they seem to be rude, that is not thier intention, there is a rule that if a different doctor sees you, he then becomes involved, whether the outcome is good or bad.

I had 4 surgeries up there at the St. Luke's Mayo Hospital and I had problem after problem, but even as one of thier patients the rule is that they won't do another surgery for 7 months.

I had a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy, rectocele repair, cystocele repair and Appendectomy all at the same time, and they accidently cut and perferated (I have my records) my bowel and colon during the surgery's (almost each one), They had to call in proctology to put me back together again. I suffered for those 7 months with adhesions that had mangled my insides and caused a Blockage with a 104 fever, I had been home only about 8 hours from one surgery and a 7 day stay when I had this happen.

I called the after hours number and was told to take 2 Tylenol and call them in the morning!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, as you can guess, my Surgeon found out the next morning and had me come into the ER, they all met me there with a wheelchair and took me right back, but I laid there for 9 hours while they were unable to get the fever down and consider admitting me again, (he decided against opening it up and flushing out the infection). I was there 7-8 days and then finally his wife (an infection specialist) came in and cleaned out the hole I now had in my stomach (in my room and not sterile) and nothing for pain as my abdomen ripped open, I was screaming the whole time! The infection ate through to the top of the vagina inside.

Mayo Clinic is only a name. I learned the hard way, that if they don't get thier name in the paper for cureing you, your only a number.

I found better doctor's here in town. (There wasn't any when I was sent to Mayo).
I thank God everyday for getting me out of there, I pray the one you go too is alot better, I was treated like a queen, till they got into problems, then didn't know what to do. My 2 hour surgery turned out to be 7 hours, (just one of them!).

Come to find out I didn't need a hysterectomy at all, or a rectocele repair, they took my ovaries and tubes saying there was uncontrolled bleeding, I have the report THEY LIED! I ask why they took my appendix out, and the reply was :"Because it was there". (It is a teaching clinic and Hospital).

So anyway, if you get another opinion before 7-12 months after a surgery, then that Doc gets tangled in the same web.
If there IS a loose screw? Wait the appropriate time and try again, however if it has not healed and you are under another Surgeons care, they won't touch you or get involved in anyway.
Funny how it ended up for me, The new Doc's in town who take care of me now, CAME FROM Mayo Clinic, just transfered out. And they are really great to me.

It really says something when the Doctor's transfer out! BY the way I was sent there for Esophageal Spasms. Now I take Nitroglycerin to control the pain.
I have no idea why they insisted I needed all those surgery's, and they have 2-3-4, as many opinions as you want there, but it is from thier friends and colleages.

I learned the hard way. The last time I had surgery there was September 2003. I'm not even going to tell you the amount of money they got from both my insurance's and to this day they are still billing for me and I don't even go there anymore, now they have to pay alot of it back after I turned them into my insurance companies.
"Tis much better to run the roads for the tests, than to become another guiney pig.
Sorry about the book.
Stardust

 
Old 03-22-2005, 05:22 AM   #5
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SadieNY HB User
Re: Changing Doctor?

I would go to your Gp and have him possibly get you into another Doc. The problem wrong or right on their part is A. they don't like to do things until a year because for the most part it takes up to a year for full healing to happen. B. if you have this Hardware issue they don't wan't to clean up another Docs mess they become a part of it and even if we say I am not looking to sue that is their largets worry in medical practice. Wrong or right it is that silmple of course it does not help the people who are in pain, scared and what not.

I am sorry you are having this many problems.. truly go to your regular Gp and have him help you.

 
Old 03-22-2005, 09:35 AM   #6
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Changing Doctor?

StMishi,

Sorry you hit that wall of doctors not wanting to get involved for a year. When I was paralyzed by a test (temporarily but didn't know if it would be permanent) by one and left in limbo by the ordering doc and hospital. I had to find a new doc and felt it would be difficult, but hit only a few bumps in the road that you hit up front. Please don't get discouraged or give up. You know docs are human as well, and tend to reel back hard for fear of being tied up in litigation not of their own making.

As I called other doc's who were neuro and ortho spine specialists, for appointments (I checked my states licensing data base) and some web sites that give info about doc's backgrounds), I told the appointment clerks up front that I had been paralyzed a few weeks earlier and the doc no longer wished to treat me, so I was looking for a doctor who could help me with my back pain and that as I did not wish to sue, so if their doctor wished for me to sign some release that this was not my intent, I would do so. When I did that, not one of them refused to make me an appointment, although some were booked for maybe two months. With those I made an appointment which I could cancel if I found a doc before hand. None of them actually asked that I sign a release, but I would have had they wanted to be removed from the possibility of being involved should I have changed my mind. I would not have signed a release stating that I relieved the original doc as that really would have been inappropriate to do with someone I had not seen and had no involvement in that decision.

I met neuro's and ortho's I knew I could not work with. One made no attempt to look at the films and gave only a brief glance at the reports before making a diagnosis of age and weight. Some wanted additional testing and if I felt I might be able to work with them, I agreed to undergo the tests.

Nn the visit number nine had a breath of fresh air when this ortho spine doc said yes, he did spines, but had never seen one with as many different problems all at once so he would not consider working on it himself - - however - - one of his partners was extremely talented and he asked that I come back the next day to see him. I agreed and drove the 50+ miles again the next day. (By this time I could walk with a walker.) I spent over 2 hours with this doc as he looked at all the films. He had his assistant there making notes as he spouted of what he saw and it was all the things I'd read in the reports. He did a physical exam of testing the strength in the legs, reflexes, raised leg, etc and had me walk, bend and twist the best I could. He had his staff make more x-rays with me on the table in the fetal position the best I could, and then he told me that I needed to undergo the very test that had paralyzed me, but that unlike the other time, he did not allow the anethesia department to do his testing, but did it himself. He and others did not agree with the anesthesia doc that labeled the paralyzation hysterics. As by this time I felt extremely confident with this doctor and realized that he had taken time to draw a picture so I would understand why this needed to be done, I agreed to undergo the test. I was scared, but knew that the good Lord had control and this was where I needed to be.

The test went fine and when I returned for the results a few day later, I knew that this was the doctor for the surgery. Still, surgery is a big step, so I kept a couple of the other appointments I had made, and got those other opinions then proceeded.

You also have a major complication to handle with getting that other opinion and if pursuing legal action against the current doc isn't planned you should make that known. Were I in your shoes, I would certainly want another opinion and as a patient who is not having success with their surgery, you deserve to find out exactly what, why, etc. Sorry that your local Mayo site gave that answer, and it does surprise me. Know they have bought a number of hospitals around the country, but I've only had dealings with the one in Minnesota.

You have my best wishes for a more successful search for obtaining that second opinion, and may you have that success this week. Will keep you in my prayers and hope you will let us know how you are doing.

 
Old 03-22-2005, 04:43 PM   #7
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StMishl HB User
Re: Changing Doctor?

OKAY I am now REALLY angry

I finally get the nurse today and beg for another script for the oxycontin before Friday. She talks to the dr and calls me back and says they will fill it this one last time, but I 'had better start weaning myself from it" because the dr has decided I shouldn't need it anymore. I can pick it up tomorrow (Gee thanks, only 7 days after my last refill ran out).

Huh?? Since when? He hasn't even decided if I have a lose screw or if my fusion is taking (las appt he specifically said it wasn't taking) so why suddenly decide to drop me from my main med????

I am scared to death I am about to get dropped as a patient, in worse shape then where I began.

Can I just ask for copies of my files and reports? I want to make sure I at least have those before I get kicked out the door. Will it look now like I left because he refused to continue the oxycontin (I am NOT- I need the med because I am still not better. My back STILL hurts, and now is possibly more screwed up then when I first went to him). Cqan he "flag" me somehow to make it even harder for me to get care?

I really want a new dr, even before this latest event and spent hours today calling around. I found one who'll take me, but who doesn't take my insurance. And many with LONG waits... Quietcook, I think i'll take your advice and schedule the appts for months out, at least I will have them, and maybe even pay for the out of pocket doctor...

I also really want to get in to see a pain management dr. so I can get that under control. Right now I feel like I'm being black mailed by my doctor - "Behave or no oxycontin". That has to be illegal or at least very unethical right????

Anyone have a good dr in AZ either a back dr or a pain clinic????

-Michelle
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StMishl Failed Bk Fusion, facet joint/hip issues & RA -Wish I could Jump like him!

 
Old 03-22-2005, 05:38 PM   #8
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Changing Doctor?

[QUOTE=StMishl]OKAY I am now REALLY angry

I finally get the nurse today and beg for another script for the oxycontin before Friday. She talks to the dr and calls me back and says they will fill it this one last time, but I 'had better start weaning myself from it" because the dr has decided I shouldn't need it anymore. I can pick it up tomorrow (Gee thanks, only 7 days after my last refill ran out).

Huh?? Since when? He hasn't even decided if I have a lose screw or if my fusion is taking (las appt he specifically said it wasn't taking) so why suddenly decide to drop me from my main med????

I am scared to death I am about to get dropped as a patient, in worse shape then where I began.

Can I just ask for copies of my files and reports? I want to make sure I at least have those before I get kicked out the door. Will it look now like I left because he refused to continue the oxycontin (I am NOT- I need the med because I am still not better. My back STILL hurts, and now is possibly more screwed up then when I first went to him). Cqan he "flag" me somehow to make it even harder for me to get care?

I really want a new dr, even before this latest event and spent hours today calling around. I found one who'll take me, but who doesn't take my insurance. And many with LONG waits... Quietcook, I think i'll take your advice and schedule the appts for months out, at least I will have them, and maybe even pay for the out of pocket doctor...

I also really want to get in to see a pain management dr. so I can get that under control. Right now I feel like I'm being black mailed by my doctor - "Behave or no oxycontin". That has to be illegal or at least very unethical right????

Anyone have a good dr in AZ either a back dr or a pain clinic????

-Michelle[/QUOTE]


Michelle,

So sorry about the tone of the call for your meds. What about your primary care doc? If you haven't seen another spine doc when these meds run out and you are in pain, would your primary doc write you a script if you saw him? You could explain what has happened and that you are trying to get other opinions, and your primary doc may have additional suggestions.

Now, as to the records, it is Federal law that we have the right to any and all our medical files although a few docs try to convince us otherwise. You don't have to have a reason for wanting your files and most of all you do NOT have to provide the doctor, hospital, etc any reason for wanting your files. Some times they may ask, and I've used anything from the excuse that I've got so many medical problems that I need a full file to the truth that I'm considering seeking additional opinions about my current health. After all, we all want to feel that we have the best care provider we can possibly find.

Depending on the size of your file folder, some docs office will make a copy at no charge while others may charge ten to fifty cents per page. Sometimes hospitals may use a flat fee of $10 whether one page or a full file. It just depends on each. However, some states such as Oklahoma passed statues which restrict cost to not exceed twenty-five cents per page.

Suggest that you ask to sign out on loan all films the same day you ask for the file. They will likely tell you to come back a day or so later for the files, but get the films then. You can also sign out films and get the coinciding reports for those films by going to the hospital film department. They don't typically ask why, but may ask what doctor you intend to see, so they can look for them to return them. I've given that info, but I've also said I'm going to see a number of doctors and will return them myself. Obviously my doctor still has films I signed out more than five years ago and no one has ever contacted me. They are after all mine and my insurance company and I paid for them.

Will have to say that when my mother's doctor didn't want us to see her lab results on thyroid, I was sorely temped to remind him of his Hippocratic Oath and point out I had to nag him for months and become aggitated before he would do the appropriate tests, but I didn't. I kept things cool and once he went in to see another patient, I got the nurse to give me copies of what we needed.

Some doctors say they are concerned with us having what they call unfettered access because we don't have the training and knowedge to properly understand it and it could cause additional problems for some. For that reason they prefer than we instead sign a release at another doctor's office and let that office get what minimal copies they may determine they need. However, under the HIPPA law passed in 2000 which refined even more the statement concerning our access to our own patient records, there was a requirement that the HIPPA be fully implemented within two years, patients have the right to see and copy their own records, as well as the right to request correction of potentially harmful errors in their health files. All of this came about when we were granted protection from lenders and other agencies having free access to our medical profiles. Also, because of it, incorrect or inappropriate medical information can not be used to deny health insurance, leaving the patient with no course of appeal as in the past. So, if asked, you could be applying for new life insurance or health insurance or buying a new home and want access to your records just to make sure they are accurate!!!

By all means, you do not need to say that you are dropping this doctor, as you have not decided that, and I wouldn't suggest saying it even if youw ere certain. You simply have the right to your records.

BTW, what I did after the deal with my mother's records was had her to sign a statement that I am to be provided full access and obtain copies of any and all medical records, films, etc at any time. When we see a new specialist, or even when she goes to the hospital for tests, etc., I provide them a copy of that along with the Durable power of Attorney. You may wish to have such a statement for you and your spouse so that if one is disabled or even couldn't get off work, the other could obtain what is needed from whatever doctor they have. Also, I retain the original and let them make copies. Same with the Durable Power of Attorney, as neither of us want to say NEVER to life support, if it is likely it might be only a short time. With the Durable POA, we give the other the right to make calls on care if we cannot do for ourselves. Something to consider as you are getting all your records together.

As for scheduling appointments months out, when I checked with my carrier (Blue Cross Blue Shield) about 2nd opinions, and how many, they preferred seeking opinions and set no limits. Probably not true of all insurances, especially HMO's, but a short phone call to the insurance company will answer that for you the best way.

Okay!! Whew!! Sorry - when I look back it appears I don't breathe when I write. My fingers just don't move as fast as my brain sometimes, and while I think of things, I sometimes forget some of it before my fingers get it all down. Take a step back and know that you can go forward and you have the right and are proceeding to make sure you have the best medical care for your back as is possible for you to find.

I wish you an easy go in getting records and film together, and maybe use the statement and let hubby make some of the stops for you. Hope you will also check with your primary doc about pain meds before you run out.

Let me know how you are doing.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 08:11 AM   #9
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StMishl HB User
Re: Changing Doctor?

Quietcook,
Thank you... I have now printed out your plan and am following it. When I go in for my appt on Friday I am getting copies of my records then to the MRI center for copies of my Xrays and MRIs. I have set up 2 appts for new drs, both are in late April, but I'm on cancellation lists, and am trying to get an earlier appt. I am done with this doctor. I am also calling today to get in with a pain center.

Thank you for all of the support.

-Michelle
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StMishl Failed Bk Fusion, facet joint/hip issues & RA -Wish I could Jump like him!

 
Old 03-23-2005, 12:52 PM   #10
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Changing Doctor?

Glad you have a plan and taking control. Sounds like you are proceeding with a positive attitude. Good hunting and let us know how things are working out for you.

 
Old 03-01-2007, 01:39 PM   #11
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dmtustin HB User
Re:searching web site for qualified doctors

Does anyone have a free web site address that one can search doctors qualifications?

 
Old 03-01-2007, 01:53 PM   #12
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dmtustin HB User
Re: doctors qualifications on the web

Is there a free web site showing doctors qualifications?

 
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