View Full Version : "Breaking Up" with a doctor

10-27-2012, 07:27 AM
I am in a bit of a quandry and would love some input. I am not thrilled with my Pulmonolgist and his office.

Wait times are usually really long.
He has had to cancel appointments (I have taken the time off work)
I always feel rush when I am there
I have not seen the same doc consistenly (3 different people over 8 visits)
Made arrangements to pick up sputum cups twice and they were closed both times (I made arrangement to get them at a specific time that they knew)

Has anyone else broken up with one of their doctors? How do you get your medical files?

10-27-2012, 07:35 AM
There is generally no problem in breaking up with a doc. When you do, cite the reasons you gave here (doc may be unaware of front desk ineffectiveness). Getting records forwarded is part of the HIPPA law. You will fill out a form telling doc where the records should be sent.

When I took my pulmonologist off my wegs, he was very understanding. At Ohio State, his practice sees a handful of weggies in a year. When I transferred to Cleveland Clinic, their rheumatology and immunology practice sees about 700 weggies. Pulmonologist just treats me for asthma now. I keep him informed of what's up with my wegs just in case I have a medical emergency that precludes a 2-1/2 hour drive to Cleveland.

Dirty Don
10-27-2012, 08:58 AM
Not to be snotty or anything, but one must remember that docs, though special to us, are still our employees...and have to be dealt with as such at times. They're professionals, they understand...they are vendors of better health...not our best friends although sometimes...LOL...do as Pete suggests thoroughly, and believe in YOUR convictions, nothing, at this time or in this case, should hinder your getting better...right?! Looks over shoulder for incoming...

10-27-2012, 09:53 AM
I have fired a few docs. Just find a new one. It may be hard but try contacting the VF and see if they have any listed for your area.

10-27-2012, 12:36 PM
I too replace any doctor if I think I am not getting the best care I can get and think some other provider might be better for me. Next week I will see a new opthalmologist. It means I often have to drive considerable distances to see some one I like and I end up seeing doctors at seven different locations. This does create an extra burden in sharing info and keeping all my treating doctors up to date with my treatment records.

My rationale is that taking the easy route by seeing who was close and convenient for me almost killed me and with my current fragile health and many health issues I need to see best doctors i can find to get the care i need.

I also know that with Wegs and taking pred and meds for diabetes I am far less patient than I used to be. Today I walked out of my local car dealer where I just bought a new car two months ago cause it is third time I went there to try get a oil change and no one can take time off their visits with their friends to even wait on a customer. One staff was talking with friend who reading a newspaper and the other was visiting with a friend on phone about their trip to Branson. I waited over ten minutes and gave up and walked out. I will take my business elsewhere. Today was first time they even noticed I was leaving.

The salesman and body shop for this dealer gave me very good service but their mechanical service department sucks in my experience. I had called yesterday to set up an appointment for getting an oil change and they told me I didn't need one but just show up and they would take care of me. Fat chance of that i thought but figured I would try it and give them another change! At least they are consistent in having bad service at their desk.

Unless that clinic is only game in town I think I would have fired them a long time ago. Some times the boss doesn't know about the problem and it can help to make them aware of it. I need monthly pentamadine treatments and was getting them at local hospital but of the first 10 treatments only two were done without a problem so after a half dozen apologies and free meal tickets for their screw ups I asked to see the CEO. I was quickly introduced to him and given a hearing and informed him of the problems I had encountered and told him I could drive to nearby town 35 minutes away and get the service done quicker and correctly but didn't see why I had to do that to get good service. He quickly agreed and asked me to give him a change to fix things and the next six were done without any hitches. I have had one or two minor glitches in past year but service has been much better since I made him aware of the problems within his system.

Is this an option for you?

10-30-2012, 03:21 AM
I am sharing info that was posted by Sangye in the past and I keep it handy just for this ... Happy to share.

I have seen so many people be more concerned about offending their doctor than protecting their health. I have made that mistake myself. Please realize that when all is said and done, you are the one left with the fallout of their actions and inactions.

Before I got to JHU I didn't know there were Wegs specialists or even the VF and their consultant docs. But if I had, the conversation with my docs would have gone like this: "I really appreciate how much you've done for me in trying to get this disease under control. Like anyone diagnosed with something serious, I've been researching and educating myself about all aspects involved, so as to be a full participant in my care. Wegener's is much more complicated than I thought! In the process I've met a lot of people with Wegener's from all over the world. One thing they all seem to agree on is that people with this disease do best when their care is overseen by a doctor who has treated a great many cases, due to the highly variable way that Wegs can present and the complications associated with the disease and treatment. I've discovered that there are doctors who specialize in treating Wegs, seeing hundreds of them in their practice and participating in Wegs research. I know that you want me to have the best outcome. I would like to get a Wegs specialist involved in my care. I've learned that there are 2 ways to do that, and I'd like to ask for your advice and help as a trusted member of my team."

Then you'd discuss the 2 options of traveling to a Wegs doc or getting a VF consultant. You're not asking for his permission to get a Wegs doc, you're asking for him to help you find one. Emphasize the travel option, since that gets you the better care.

If you take a very matter-of-fact approach then it's easier to have the conversation. If he starts getting defensive, arrogant or in any way opposing you, stay calm and don't cave. Remind him that this is about your health and nothing else. Remind him that you're doing what any patient must do: taking charge of your care.

PS: Before I have a conversation like this I spend some time mentally rehearsing what I'm going to say and imagining it going as perfectly as possible. Picture his ideal reaction. Every time I've done this I go into it calm and it goes as I hoped.

11-02-2012, 11:26 PM
Doc, its not me, its you.

I've broken up with 3 doctors in the past:
ENT consultant was polite and had referred me to a surgeon at Adds
Chest Consultant was messy, i walked out of an appointment in tears after one to many lectures of my weight. I never went back
Rheumy had seen me 3 years previous and not diagnosed me. I asked him a few too many questions that he didnt like and i didnt go back.

11-03-2012, 05:13 AM
I broke up with mine and it was the best thing I have ever done. I don't know that I would be here if I had stayed with my old doc. My new doc is the best in the world, I know some of you will argue that, but she really is. She just went and spoke up for us vascies and as of today, Rituximab is approved by the provincial health plan and can be prescribed with not many limitations and at no cost to the patient. How totally cool is that?

Follow your gut and fight for your own health as there are many docs out there who are not in it for the right reasons and others who let their ego drive their behaviour and bedside manner. I have spoken to a Weggie friend not too far from me but in a town where the docs have labeled him and are doing absolutely nothing for his well being, in fact are doing quite the opposite. I know they almost killed him with their decisions and now he's forced to sell his home and move across the country to find good health care. So it's not the system so much but the individual doctors. When you get a dud, you've gotta move on and get the right one.

Keep up the good fight.

11-03-2012, 09:05 AM
I was glad my doc was able to get rtx approved in Sask as well. Turns out I was the first one to get it for Wegs.

Yikes! Couldn't this guy see your doc Marta? Why does he have to move across the country?