I've been "Let Go" from my family doctor (IRONY!!!)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mattsmom277, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    So you all probably remember the drama of psycho neighbor. I had mentioned he and I had the same family doctor. This was my doctor for past 18 years, only doctor either kids have ever had.
    Anyhow, past couple years he wasn't the same with me. His lack of attention or listening to my isues with any seriousness, led me to one specialist after another, but not hte neurologist that it was suggested I see, until nearly a year after the round about of needless specialists was run out and I got kind of assertive that I had a right to choose a appointment with a neuro doctor seeing as EVERY other specialist said "you don't need me , you need the neuro". GRRR!

    So that delayed for ages my MS diagnosis. Since then, this doctor has at times somewhat responded to treating medical problems of mine. Mostly he's dropped the ball and I'd leave in tears. I never could understand what happened. We were compatible before this and I had respected him as a doctor.

    It turns out psycho neighbor was saying stuff to this doctor during HIS appointments. Not sure what exactly, but psycho thought it was hilarious that it impacted my medical treatment in the hands of the only doctor I can use.

    So I have been pretty upset with this doctor and avoiding seeing him. But a few weeks ago I NEEDED medications refilled and I needed an appointment. I called the receptionist and requested my medications be phoned to pharmacy for refill. After I picked them up, I called back saying that the refill for Tylenol 3, which was 2 months overdue to begin with, was not filled during the refills. She said well why do you need it now if you could go 2 months not refilling it. DOH! Because I don't go through a whole months prescription in a month if I don't NEED it at that time, and I'd been having a good spell with minimal pain, but was in a active bladder flare and my legs/feet were conking out on me and the pain was unbearable. She calls back and says she spoke with the doctor and he'll fill the script but he's not happy about it.

    WTH??? I have freaking MS. He wanted me on STRONGER than Tylenol! And I"m in hot water for not filling it faithfully every 30 days becuase I don't take it if I don't need it? I was annoyed. I slipped I guess. I responded "Please tell him thank you for the refill. I'm unsure what would make him unhappy about refilling a minor pain medication for a patient with a debilitating and painful disease, especially since he tried to get me on twice daily Oxycontin. Which I refused. Yet he's unhappy about Tylenol scripts?? It's not like I asked for pure heroin!".


    So I got a letter this morning. Short. It said that myself and my children were being dropped as patients for the following reasons:
    1) Missing 3 appointments (dates were given, one in 2009, one in 2008 and one in 2007)
    2) Being unduly rude to his receptionist

    How about being unduly rude to your PATIENT for the past several YEARS? How about stalling my treatment for MS simply becuase you heard lies from a patient you had for a few years, a known drug addict and alcoholic with active schizophrenia. How about giving the shaft past few years to myself and my kids who've been there 18 years!!!!!

    I honestly don't give a rats patootie about not being his patient. I don't want to see him anyhow since I know now why he changed in how he medically handled me.

    However, I find it beyond irony that he boots me and the kids from his caseload.

    The wait list is 4-6 years here for a new doctor. We have a severe doctor shortage. So that's that. No doctor to at least call in my medications. Lovely!!! I planned to have my normal MS medications refilled by phone from his office but not go in to see him in person. Now I guess I try to figure out how to get my medications. Not easy when you can't get in to a doctor.

    *sigh* The psycho neighbor I hope is miserable wherever he has relocated to. I hope this is the FINAL ripple effect of this psycho's actions.
  2. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Do you have any proof that he was speaking with psycho neighbor about you???

    At the very least, it is unethical but, I'm almost positive that it is ILLEGAL!

    If I knew that a doctor was discussing me with another patient, I have to tell you I would be calling the state medical board to report him or her ASAP.

    I often don't take prescribed pain medication as it is stated on the bottle. I only take it as needed, so many times I have left overs. Or, it will take much longer than the thirty days to use. His receptionist should get that because I believe it is quite common.

    I'm sorry about this.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mattsmum, I completely can understand the way you take your pain medications because that is how I take mine too. I get mine prescribed 3 per day of basically the same thing you get. I wont go up on pain medications at this time either because I dont want to limit myself when things get bad later in life. I know that time will one day come. Or I am afraid it will.

    I dont use as much as I probably should. My therapist often hollars at me because I let myself get in pain and then take it but I would be really irritated if my doctor did what yours did. Sometimes ... occasionally, I am late, over a month late, making my appointment to go get my medications refilled and my doctor doesnt yell at me. He just asks me why I havent been in. I tell him I just got busy or sidetracked. He understands it gets complicated in my life.
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Mattsmom, I'm so sorry to hear that your doctor is being such a Richard Cranium.
    I suspect that with the severe doctor shortage, people are afraid to complain about unethical behaviour like this on the part of their doctor, because they don't want to be dropped either.

    My sister in law maintains her family doctor in my town, even though she has lived 4 hours away for the past 7 years, just to ensure that she has a doctor. There are none available where she lives.

    Is there any chance of you doing something like that? Finding a doctor in a bigger town or city that's not too far from where you are? Is there any mileage in finding a doctor closer to your SO's military placement? Is the military in a position to help you find a family doctor? Are there any walk-in clinics in your area, that will allow you to get your medications filled as an interim measure?

    One thing you should do (and you are within your legal rights to do so), is to get a copy of your full medical history from your former doctor. Since you don't have a new doctor, they should give the information directly to you. That way, you'll have it when you do find a new doctor AND you can see whatever the old doctor has noted in your file, which will give you the opportunity to correct any wrong information.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Richard Cranium.......OMG I had to think that out loud like three times before I got it.....ROFLMdonkey off.....Richard Cranium.....

    MattsMom = I'm sorry hon.......I think I'd find another doctor and ask for my complete patient files. :mad: Then I'd ask for the rest of my information to be erased.
  6. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Hi again all.

    The letter stated the law (which I knew) about patient files. We do NOT get to take our files (because of course we could falsify them if we had them in our posession). He will keep my file for the next 60 days and if I get another family doctor he will transfer at my new docs request (and my expense). If I dont' have the file transferred it is no longer within my rights to have the file. He knows that it takes years to find a family doctor, so there goes all my medical history. The scans of my stomache etc from gastric bypass, my ongoing nutrient/vitamin levels i check for life due to the gastric bypass. All the test results from a gazillion specialists including MRI's and all the history leading to and following my MS diagnosis. Some of this exists in other places, the specialists offices, the neuro's. So I'm going to not sweat it. I really am disgusted at this doctor.

    No way no how would he have put in my private medical file anything he "heard" in a appointment with another patient. I can pretty much gaurantee it. So how could I prove it? I'd have filed a complaint months ago otherwise. But what can I do or prove really?

    I can do the walk in clinics for medications, bringing with me my history of medications from the pharmacists. I have used the same pharmacy for years luckily. They won't do any type of pain medications, but they will prescribe all my other important medications. There are several walk ins around town, one is very nearby. So the kids and I will use it.

    I'm just guffawing over the insanity of this guy hearing **** from another patient and listening. I'd give an eye tooth to know WHAT was said. I mean, not only that, but what would my doctor believe anyhow espeically since he knows me so well for so long, and this neighbor guy was a active nutcase!!!

    I can't get medical help via the military, only S/O. But when we get posted out of town, apparently the military are good about helping find new docs in new posting towns. Maybe that will work. At minimum, my neurologist should likely be able to relocate me to a nearby neuro when we do post out. My current neuro is an hour and a bit drive away so not convenient since we have no car right now. But at least he'll be available if I need a doctor for MS stuff.

    *sigh* I hope psycho neighbor has found a psycho neighbor of his own to make havoc with him. GRRowl!!!
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Does the law state anything about 'photocopies' of your medical file? If they are photocopied, they cannot be falsified really. Look into that. I asked my old Dr to do this when I didn't have a new Dr lined up yet for my girls a few years ago. They eventually complied with my request under the condition that I notify them once a Dr had been found so the original could be sent. Of course, it doesn't take years to find a new Dr around here - my God, there are gazillions of them opening up new offices every week it seems! Maybe you should move to CT?

    A million years ago, when I was around 23 or so, I ended up in the hospital with asthma - sever, passed out, stopped breathing, etc. Anyway, the Dr I ended up with was an internal Dr and while at first he seemed nice, it quickly became apparent to everyone that he had a crush on me. After about 4 months under his care, he sent me a certified, register receipt letter telling me he could no longer be my Dr and the reason? Hahaha, I almost blew a gasket when I read it. He claimed that A) I cancelled too many appts (I had only cancelled 2 due to work and called well in advance), B) that I was behind in my bill (I was not, I had mailed the check when I got home rather than pay at his office the week prior because I didn't have my checks with me), and lastly, C) he felt that I had developed an unhealthy attachment to him. I nearly peed my pants laughing and so did exh. I wrote a scathing letter, denouncing his comments and refuting his claims. I copied the NY Board of Medical doctors - or whatever their name was, and I also copied the ER at the hospital where I first was treated by him and I included a copy of his letter.

    Some doctors are real losers. I'm sorry this has happened to you, especially considering the care you require. I hope that divine intervention provides you with a new Dr faster than years.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    It's happened to me - a neuro doctor "fired" me because he struggled with the inability to control my seizures. The agreement from my GP at the time was that it was making his practice look bad.

    I didn't care.

    I'm sorry over your struggle to find another doctor. Keeping fingers crossed that you find a new doctor soon.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Serious suggestion - apologise. But do it conditionally. "I am sorry I got testy with your receptionist, I was in a lot of pain because I had let the Tylenol script run out."

    Go in to see him, make an appointment (if you can) but AFTER you send the letter.Don't say anything about your suspecions of psycho neighbour saying bad things. (been there done that)

    Also - psycho neighbour can say what he likes about you to the doctor, it's only if the doctor talks back to psycho neighbour about you, that he is breaking the rules. After all, you told the doctor about psycho neighbour, didn't you? (with reason).

    I'm thinking, he's been finding the whole situation challenging, to say the least.

    So write and apologise to the reeptionist for you being testy. Blame it on pain and stress. Ask for a second chance and promise that if he wants you gone as a patient, you will be arranging for transfer to another GP as soon as you can, but given the vital importance for you to have continuity of medical care (given your MS diagnosis) that perhaps he could be lenient with you while you arrange for a new GP for an appropriate handover.

    It should be possible for your medical files to be scanned as PDF and kept on file until they can be passed on to your next GP. In the situation you describe, to threaten that your entire (and important) medical history will be wiped, is holding your health to ransom.

    OK, he's being an oversensitive and incpometent idiot, but you NEED a GP.

    So sorry - humble pie time, even if he is wrong and you are right.

  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    HIPAA doesn't apply in this case as Mattsmom is in Canada.

  12. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I wish we had things like HIPPA here. We have our own version of course. My doctor must keep the file for 7 years (litigation reasons I believe) but has no legal obligation beyond that couple months time period to keep the file active and in with his regular case files. Old patient files go to "storage" and are no longer accessed if not transferred.

    Marg, I considered the humble pie thing actually. Then I thought about it and I do NOT want to see this guy again. I'd rather have pain. The walk ins won't give pain medications, but all of my other medications won't be a problem. I can go to the pharmacy to get a printout of my medications history and they will use that to prescribe ongoing. Otherwise for medication changes etc if not at a walk in, I can do this with my neuro. For non MS stuff, the walk in is just fine. It means no long term proper doctor watching my disease progression unless I journey frequently to the neuro (which I can't afford nor is it practical) but in a jam, the neuro is there when I need him. He's a nice guy and I'm comfortable with him re: MS treatment.

    As for the doctor shortage, Canada has problems losing docs to the US as they can bill differently there due to private insurance companies (as opposed to our Universal health care with caps to what they can charge the system per patient etc). It is worse in northern regions where doctors don't want to live as they seem to flock to major cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver etc.

    Ironically, I lived in CT. I loved it there. I didn't have health insurance so didn't like the cost, but I did appreciate being able to see a doctor at the press of a button to make the call for the appointment (well not instant but realllly quick appointment's). Funny story, I went to ER for something while living there. My legal address was still here in Canada, so I gave it to the receptionist. She said "where?" When I said Canada. I repeated myself. She asked the same thing, I responded CANADA. She looked LOST. I said "umm. C-A-N-A-D-A? You know, the country above you, the top half of North America? Canada????".
    She looked LOST still ..... and honest to goodness ... said "Could you make this easier for me and just spell it for me?" HAHAHAHA I have never forgotten that!
  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Aw. nuts. I had forgotten you're Canadian.
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    MM, I am just stunned to find that your military system doesn't offer health care to it's members, even during training.\

    Bad as things can be with the military admin, family members are covered from the time the soldier starts on active duty and that begins with entry to training.

    We have different programs aimed at dependents of active duty soldiers, disabled soldiers, retired soldiers, and even widows of disabled soldiers who died of their service connected disabilities.\

    My husband died of a service connected disability and in addition to getting VA medical care, I also get a small pension.
  15. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Going North, we do get medical benefits (eye, dental, drug coverage). The base has its own doctors and nursing staff. They are available to the military member only. The family members, although covered for medical expenses, do not have access to military doctors. So the problem isn't coverage, it's the doctor themselves.
    here in Canada, we have universal health care. We can go to any doctor to be a patient, no referals, and all appointments, tests, etc are all covered without even filling in paperwork, just hand over your health card issued by the government. The downside is, we have a doctor shortage and the laws only allow a doctor to have a specific amount of patients per case load (to avoid overburdening the doctor and reducing quality of care to patients due to overloading).
    The military benefits themselves are very good and cover most stuff. I did however have those benefits on my own before he joined the military. Unfortunatly, the docs here have LOOOONG wait lists. Its the price we pay for universal health care. The upside is, walk in clinics are common place and you can ALWAYS see a doctor there daily, or you can go to a local ER anytime you need at no cost.
  16. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    MM, ah, I get it now. Back many years ago, family members used the on base dispensaries and (if available) hospitals as primary providers.

    If services were not available on base, they were contracted through local providers.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I understand your not wanting to see this doctor again. As long as you can manage. Being without pain medications is unthinkable for me. What about seeing if you can get into a pain clinic? Probably a good idea anyway.

    I'm thinking, this guy has had enough of the dramas and difficult choices he felt he had to make, between two patients. From his point of view he was stuck in a he said, she said scenario (even though a little brain effort would have helped him know which way to go) and so chose to fence-sit. And now wants Occupational Therapist (OT) be shot of anybody associated with the headaches it caused him (yes, I know it caused you a lot more than headaches - but I'm talking about HIS point of view, not yours. People like this can't think outside their own box).

    When I mentioned apologies - there are ways to apologise, that can really kick home. I had a fight with a building inspector who was, I felt, being a bully and also trying to build up a bit of a corruption kickback thing through fear. I was rude to him (called him the "work experience boy") and as soon as I heard his response I knew he felt triumphant for having finally provoked me to a point where he could say I was in the wrong.

    So I wrote a letter of apology to him and sent it to his boss. "I apologist for calling Mr X the work experience boy. I don't normally say tings like this, it was only after ten minutes of extremely frustrating conversation with him which had falsely led me to beleive I was only talking to someone very junior. He did not know to forward my call to someone more senior when I repeatedly requested him to do so, hence I mstakenly assumed he was a junior. However, that does not excuse me for calling him names and I do sincerely apologise."
    Of course, I knew the mail would be opened by the boss's secretary. I akso knew that the secretaries would all be having lunch together (it's how Aussie office politics works) and so I knew I had just given the guy a very public nickname. But I DID apologise!

    A doctor needs to keep hhis office staff; they protect the doctor from constant hassling by patients. Doctors require to be insulated from patients except during an actual consult. In a fight between a patient and a bossy office worker, the doctor will ALWAYS take the side of the office worker. Especially in a climate of patient overload. More patients can walk through the door any time. A new receptionist would be an unkown quantity and would require training. Also, the good ones are harder to find than patients.

    Unfortunately, sometimes we have to put up with a lot of garbage from doctors, epseically when we have less power to pick and choose. Because specialists are even fewer and further between, we have to be prepared to put up with even more from them.

  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sweetie, I am SO SORRY this has happened. I remember wondering way back when he changed what had changed him. It was a rather startling change at the time, I think.

    Can your neuro mail prescriptions to you? Here certain pain medications must be filled with a written prescription every time they need to be filled. But tylenol 3 is NOT one of them. Our docs frequently give refills. Surely your neuro can help out until you get a new doctor.

    I would also look into traveling a few hours or even overnight to see a doctor. with MS it just is truly necessary to have a doctor's care AND the right kind of pain medications.

    What about calling whatever department organizes healthcare? Ask them if there are any other docs you can see, and how far away they are?

    I wish this doctor falls victim to what the psycho put you through. He truly is a Richard Cranium.
  19. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Marg, I can see the docs point of you from the way you described it. And trust me, had he let psycho neighbor guy go from his patient load, neighbor would have been at him with a lawyer from the free legal clinic in a heart beat. He's on soooo many hard core medications and he would NEVER do without this dispensing from this doctor. So I can see I was the easiest to dispense of since the worst I said was the "I'm not asking for heroin" comment.

    Since he's just a family doctor, all I lose out on by using a clinic instead of him, is the pain medications issue. I'm going to explain to my neuro on next appointment that i missed the 3 appointments and was let go (I'll leave out the other b.s. part). The reason the neuro didn't prescribe pain medications, was because i had a local family doctor who could better oversee pain medications via frequent appointments if needed etc. But now that situation has changed. So its time for me to get back in to see him I guess. At this time of year, with weather changing, I'm having more symptoms (after a lovely extended reprieve) so it's a good thing to be seeing him anyhow.

    The pain management doctor was actually what my family doctor was due to refer me to next time I saw him. I'll have the neuro send me there if he would prefer, since the pain clinic is local to me instead of several hours drive away. Better for more frequent visits.

    Susiestar, we can go through our local health unit to put our name on a wait list for a new doctor. The list however is so long it takes literally years and years to get a doctor via the list. I'll be posted with S/O via the military long before that happens. So I'm not going to bother.

    I do have other options as i've mentioned. Not as simple as one doctor, a mile from my house. But I'm not OUT of options. And I do not see myself sucking up to this dufus doctor. I don't trust him to treat my medical issues with the proper care if he has prejudged me on non truths from another patient, particularly a patient with the history psycho guy has. I saw for a long time the difference in my care, and just didn't know WHY. So while doctor won't ever admit it, his listening to this other patient DID taint the quality of care that I recieved. I will NOT see someone who puts my medical condition and needs to the back burner based on **** from someone else. And on a personal level, I'm insulted. This doctor knows me well. He knows my kids well. He knows my entire medical history. He was there for birth of both my children. Through post traumatic stress diagnosis, through anxiety disorder diagnosis, post partum depression. he was there when my sons skull grew deformed and they thought he had a brain tumor. He's treated difficult child for all of his mental health problems when they were a problem, he's treated difficult child for tremors and severe motor skill delays/disability. He's been there through my treatments for early onset cervical cancer. I need to see a doctor again actually becuase symptoms for that are back. If the cancer is back, what if its spread and the treatment is more invasive? I surely don't want a doctor I dont' trust as far as I can throw him to be the person I turn to in hard times. And he's already disregarded serious MS symptoms due to the yokel neighbor. So nope. Not sucking up. Even if I did NOT have other options, I can't see sitting in his office again.

    I'm kind of over it by today actually. Weird huh? I laughed about it telling my aunt today. The only lingering issue I have is that I don't think a doctor who practices treating his patients with this attitude should be getting away with that. He has a duty to ALL patients. And he's obviously failed me, so I assume I'm nothing special and certainly it is likely I'm not alone as a patient of his who has been very let down.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry this happened.

    As an aside. I thought in Canada you could buy Tylenol 3 over the counter?