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Dr. closed his practice and patients don't know why..

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Old 08-17-2006, 06:05 PM   #1
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Dr. closed his practice and patients don't know why..

Hi everyone!

I wanted to know how many of you have had Dr.'s that have closed down their practice and sent you a letter but it doesn't give you details? My Mom is going through this with an Orthopedic surgeon Dr. who had operated on her back in Jan. of 2003. She is quite upset about this because she can't get any answers. When the office was still opened (He had his own practice) Mom would ask questions why he quit practicing medicine which is about all the patients were told and the only thing that they would tell her is that he fell ill and is recovering. Her first thought was, if he were recovering, then why wouldn't he resume his practice? Now she thinks that they are lying to her to cover for him. This is a 40 year old Dr. by the way. Okay..

My Mother fears that this doctor may have come into contact (thinking worst case scenario) with HIV or Aids and they aren't telling anyone. She does tend to think the very worse case scenario. She is too scared to get tested and said that even if she did, it had only been 3 years or so and it could take up to 10 years to surface. My question is, if that were the case, wouldn't the doctors or someone have to notify the patients of something as this nature?

Thanks everyone. I am hoping that her mind will be more at ease about this.

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Old 08-18-2006, 04:35 AM   #2
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Re: Dr. closed his practice and patients don't know why..

I believe that they would not, though I'm not sure. Bearing in mind that this is worst case, think about why the doctor would not be telling his patients. Your mother is worried and feels like she should go get tested, which isn't necessarily a bad idea, but the risk of contracting HIV through a doctor is so slim. They wear layers of gloves when they operate so if they have a cut, nothing is going to get through. The only way he could spread it to your mother, or any other patient would be if he cut himself durring surgery, and even then the blood would have to come in contact with your mothers open wound. If that happend they would have to tell your mother.

So yes, it is possible that is why he is closing his practice, but even if he is, telling his patients will only cause fear and mistrust and likely anger and efforts at lawsuits by truly unenlightened people.

Or maybe her doctor is just a really private man who doesn't want to share his personal story with his patients.

Old 08-18-2006, 07:11 AM   #3
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Re: Dr. closed his practice and patients don't know why..

There could be many reasons why a doctor or surgeon would close his practice. Moving out of the area. Maybe he was or is ill maybe it something like cancer where the doctor doesn't feel like working would make him better, it could be a stress related illness where the job of a surgeon could aggervate this illness.(being a surgeon can be very stressful).
It also could be that the malpractice insurance could have been raised so high that he did not want to or could not afford the high price. I know of a doctor that quit the operating part of his practice for this very reason.
I do think if the doctor had anything like HIV and there was any chance at all that your mother could have contacted it that he would have had to tell her.
Hope this helps!

Old 08-18-2006, 08:36 AM   #4
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Re: Dr. closed his practice and patients don't know why..

I read this post and thought it was interesting b/c an MD at my hospital did the same, in fact he didn't even tell his staff. He never showed up to the office. Needless to say, everyone was worried, but turns out the guy was burnt out from all the responsibilities (he was a cardiologist) and he ended up becoming a BMW salesman!

If he does have an illness (cancer or some other) he probably doesn't want to work when recouperating. It can be very stressful for an MD, and he needs to take care of himself too. I would ask if he's referring his patients to another doctor, or planning to return in the future.

Old 08-18-2006, 10:47 AM   #5
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Re: Dr. closed his practice and patients don't know why..

Hi There, Your mother should ABSOLUTELY NOT be worried about haveing contracted an illness from this physician! As one of the other posters had said there are a million reasons why a physician would close his practice. When a physician closes his practice it is a general practice that the physician write a letter and send it to all his patients stating that he is leaving the practice or closing and will no longer be able to provide healthcare to them any longer and usually will refer them to another practice.

FYI: Because of the HIPPA LAWS a person (including a physician) is absolutely NOT required to tell his patients that he is hiv positive. The ONLY way an hiv positive physician would be required to notify a patient or patients is if he was caring for a person and an incident occurred where he may have possibly exposed them to the hiv, then the laws require that the person be notified. Also, when a person has an exposure to hiv or aids they are advised to be tested immediately and then again in 6 mos. Should the person have contracted hiv it would most definately show up on a blood test by 6 months. The 10 years you were talking about is that if a person has hiv there is a possibility it could progress to full blown aids by 10 years, however many people are hiv positive and may have no symptoms and not progress into full blown aids until well after 10 years.

My advice to your mother would be to call the physicians office (if it is still open) and ask them to refer her to another practice. But she should definately not worry about him leaving because of an illness that she may have contracted. The Board Of Health has many laws in place that protect patients from this occurring.

Good luck

Old 08-21-2006, 11:06 PM   #6
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Re: Dr. closed his practice and patients don't know why..

There are online resources which may help, sort of like backround checks for doctors.

Old 08-22-2006, 03:06 AM   #7
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Re: Dr. closed his practice and patients don't know why..

why would he close his practice if he had aids? I am sure there are doctors with hiv and aids.

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