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Old 09-25-2005, 09:01 PM   #1
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MrHappyGoLucky12 HB User
Unhappy Problem With Physician - What Would You Do? LONG POST!

My physician is very open to alternative medicine, integrative medicine, and trying things not "normal" in conventional medicine. She sees a lot of patients with CFIDS and FMS; I've seen her for three years. (I'm 21 years old.) I love her as a physician. All of her appointments are 30 minutes long. However, my appointment in August was to review some test results that showed analyses of digestion, absorption, bacterial balance, yeast, and parasites. When I got there, she had only received the first three pages of the test results via fax. So, I sat in the room with her while she called the lab to see if they could fax the missing pages. They put her on hold, transferred her to a dozen people, etc. - all while I just sat there and stared at the wall. She never did get the remaining pages during my appointment, and she hadn't even reviewed the first three pages before I got there, so I had to give her time to read them for the first time, while I sat there and stared at the wall. Our time was then up, and I didn't get to ask her any of the questions I had wanted to.

In my September appointment, we were to review some test results from the "Comprehensive Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ELISA/PCR Panel" I had performed by Medical Diagnostic Laboratories. Again, as soon as I walked in her office, she said, "I'm sorry. I didn't do my homework." She hadn't even looked at the test results before, and when she did, had a question about interpreting them. So, she called the lab, they put her on hold, transferred her to a dozen people, etc. - all while I just sat there and stared at the wall again. After 20+ minutes, they said the person she needed to speak with was out of the office. Once again, I didn't get to ask her the questions I had been waiting to.

She told me to e-mail the questions to her. I did. She replied and said, "I am no longer communicating with patients via e-mail anymore. Please call the office with any questions or concerns." So, I called the office with my questions. Yesterday, I received a letter that said, "At present, the number of questions from you is unreasonable. We have a busy office and receive many phone calls everyday. Accumulate your questions and bring them to your appointments to have the doctor address them. If this is not suitable, we would be happy to refer you to any of several other doctors."

I only had five questions for her, and three of them were "YES/NO" types of questions. Is this unreasonable or is her professionalism unreasonable? Legally, can she say I must find another physician and "fire" me as her patient - even if I wish to stay?

 
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Old 09-26-2005, 04:11 AM   #2
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peregrine HB User
Re: Problem With Physician - What Would You Do? LONG POST!

If I were dissatisfied with a physician (and I have been countless times!) I myself would look elsewhere. Why would you want to continue with someone who is not (as you said) addressing your needs/questions? On the other hand, if you really like this person maybe it is a matter of conceding that doctors usually spend less than 10 minutes with each patient. That your doc spents 30 minutes is (I think) unusual. Maybe it's a matter of trying to gear your questions within her time frame and expressing your concern at the visit if she spends all your allotted time on the phone trying to figure things out and then not commuicating with you. I have only had one doctor who actually read a report prior to my visit. Such is the nature of Allopathic medicine. Do I like it? Absolutely not! This is why I primarily use them for diagnostic testing and such. I then take that information to more alternative type doctors where I do notfeel as if I am in a factory.

All the best!

 
Old 09-26-2005, 04:12 AM   #3
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peregrine HB User
Re: Problem With Physician - What Would You Do? LONG POST!

If I were dissatisfied with a physician (and I have been countless times!) I myself would look elsewhere. Why would you want to continue with someone who is not (as you said) addressing your needs/questions? On the other hand, if you really like this person maybe it is a matter of conceding that doctors usually spend less than 10 minutes with each patient. That your doc spents 30 minutes is (I think) unusual. Maybe it's a matter of trying to gear your questions within her time frame and expressing your concern at the visit if she spends all your allotted time on the phone trying to figure things out and then not commuicating with you. I have only had one doctor who actually read a report prior to my visit. Such is the nature of Allopathic medicine. Do I like it? Absolutely not! This is why I primarily use them for diagnostic testing and such. I then take that information to more alternative type doctors where I do not feel as if I am in a factory.

All the best!

 
Old 09-29-2005, 09:24 PM   #4
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Kali M HB User
Re: Problem With Physician - What Would You Do? LONG POST!

Mr Happy,

Sticky situation. Mainly because, as Peregrine mentioned, most docs spend only 10-15 minutes with their patients each visit. However, there are some offices who value time with their patients over the money they can collect from insurance.

On the other hand, if your doc had called once to the lab about this, that might be understandable. But, when she did it a second time, then didn't answer your questions, and gave you two blow-off's, she passed into my realm of "money hunter." This may be a completely incorrect assumption on my part, but the responses to your questions (after she TOLD you to email) seem inappropriate. I know it will be difficult, but I think I would try to very nicely confront her on that. Or - call prior to your appt day and leave a message asking that lab results either be collected prior to your appointment, or that you be rescheduled. That may get the point across.

Again, sticky situation. I think there are very few docs who know about CFIDS/FM and even fewer who are willing to consider many options in alternative meds. Hope you figure out a way to address this so you two can continue to work together to get you feeling better.

Kali
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