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Old 01-09-2007, 03:09 PM   #1
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Finding a doctor - does this sound strange to you?

Maybe its the specialty of endocrinology but this is what I experienced while looking for an endo.

Called the endo's office, asked for an appointment. Was told I needed a primary care MD to diagnose me before I could me seen. (I don't need a referral either) She said the doctor only TREATS, but does not diagnose Are you kidding? Receptionist wanted my labs sent to her BEFORE I schedule an appointment to be seen. Told me I had to fast before I come to the appointment??

Also, to add to the weirdness, this large impersonal medical group tapes all the phone calls going to the office. Yes, every single word when you call is taped. I wonder if the HIPPA laws ever thought of this privacy right when they enacted the law.

 
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: Finding a doctor - does this sound strange to you?

Yes. This happened to me also when I called the endo. practice affiliated with the medical school here. They will not see me without a diagnosis. I found another endo. that used to work in the same practice. I made an appointment with her, and her office did not require a diagnosis.

 
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:30 PM   #3
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Re: Finding a doctor - does this sound strange to you?

Sounds very odd?! I've only ever had to be referred to an Endocrinologist and he just ran the tests at the first appt?
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Finding a doctor - does this sound strange to you?

This doesn't inspire confidence...if you treat based on someone else's diagnosis it would seem you don't have enough faith in your own ability to correctly diagnose and treat patients. What if the diagnosis is incorrect? It's not as if endos write on the top of the lab report, "this patient is diagnosed as having xyz" either. In fact, it was like pulling teeth to get a diagnosis from my endo.

Ok, I am not a good candidate for big impersonal medical groups of over 50 doctors who tape your conversations.

I am so surprised to hear this happened to you too.

 
Old 01-09-2007, 07:11 PM   #5
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Re: Finding a doctor - does this sound strange to you?

Yes, that sort of happened to me, but not exactly.

My insurance doesn't require referral, either. I had to insist that my primary doc run a TSH test - he refused me at first. When it came back at 4.83 on a 5.5 range, he said I wasn't hypoT and doesn't treat until TSH reaches at least 6.0 anyway. [Idiot]

I immediately called an endo of my choice; the secretary said the endo doesn't book appointments without a referral from a primary doc. She asked what my TSH was, and she relayed that result to the doctor. The doctor said to have the primary fax the results to her office, and based on that alone, she agreed to see me. She ran her own complete panel at my first visit. TSH that day was 6.98, and I was positive for antibodies. She made the official Hashi's diagnosis and prescribed med. [Did I say what an idiot the primary was?]

So, yes. She did want a "referral", but she also made the diagnosis. I've read here several times that it isn't uncommon for them to want proof of thyroid disease before they see someone.

 
Old 01-10-2007, 12:51 PM   #6
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Re: Finding a doctor - does this sound strange to you?

I am new to this whole thyroid/endocrinologist thing. I have never had a problem or family history, but my OB's office (I'm 12 weeks pregnant) called on Monday to say my TSH level is low and referred me to an endocrinologist. The endo's office told me they won't even schedule an appointment without the lab work from my OB, so I had to call them back and have them fax it. My OB wouldn't make any diagnosis or even tell me anything other than "your TSH level is low and you need to see a specialist." I was freaked out and had to look it up on-line to find ANY info, but I still can't find much that actually fits my symptoms.

How far out is your endo booked? I happened to get a cancellation appointment for 2 weeks from now (might as well be an eternity away!) but they're booked through March. Is this generally the case, or should I call around? I only called the one my doc referred me to because I don't have any experience with anyone else and don't want to go in blind in unfamiliar territory.

 
Old 01-10-2007, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: Finding a doctor - does this sound strange to you?

There are some great MDs, including endos, out there. I am very pleased with the care and treatment I have recieved from mine. I feel better than ever since I started seeing my endo about 18 months ago. He is willing to listen to me and treats with any and all medications there are. We have developed a great professional relationship and I trust his judgement and guidance in my thyroid care completely. Probably because he is so open-minded. He is still an MD though, and does have that tender ego doctors are famous for. Humm...wonder if its an MD ego or just a "guy" thing.

I looked hard and long, doing my homework thoroughly to find this endo. I was delighted to find that he was also in the same medical group as my pcp. Their offices are in separate buildings, but each have access to the same medical records, test results, etc. via the computer system of this "group". I did have to sign release forms for them to have access to each others medical records for myself as each others patient. (I don't know how they get a round the hippa thing, how they know who has access to who's records on the computer is beyond me; I guess there must be some code or something that their technology department must enter into the system when release papers are signed by the patient.) Thus my pcp and endo are able to work in tandem with each other for my care. IT'S GREAT!!! The only down side is non-dire-emergency appointments are usually booked months in advance for either of them. I have been a patient of my pcp for over 20 years so access to this whole medical group is probably is easier for me, than it would be for someone comming in new.

I don't know why other doctors don't use a system similar to this as IMO it really provides much better patient care. I have had other medical needs in the past with other doctors and like all of you--really, really, hate the run around I get to have records transferred etc.!

Last edited by Red Maple; 01-10-2007 at 02:07 PM.

 
Old 01-10-2007, 05:12 PM   #8
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Re: Finding a doctor - does this sound strange to you?

my primary ran a tsh and t-4 test when I went to him with symptoms( I didn't know what a thyroid was at this point) He told me my tsh was suppressed and my t-4 was normal but he wanted me to go see an endo,his office set up the appointment, he gave me 3 guys to choose from. I went with the one who could see me the soonest. he ran all the blood tests and HE diagnosed me, altho it was months before he had all the answers. In fact, I just found out today I was positive for Graves, when he said the tsi was negative, I assumed i didn't have it,last time I saw him, but today he told me "other" antibody tests were positive,I guess I had ALL the tests. Some doctors don't tell you too much unless you ask!

 
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