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what frustrates you the most about doctors?

we had this thread about the various types of healthcare systems. At the end of the day a system is made up of doctors, and I think doctors tend to get off easy with everyone blaming "the system"

what is the worst thing a doctor did to you. Bonus points for naming names...


Wed. Apr 11, 2:08pm

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This is not at all what you asked for, but I'm going to post it here anyway.
I have never had issues with any doctors I've seen. I always try to research a new doctor thoroughly before choosing them to treat me. I guess I've been lucky, but I have always received nothing but the best possible care from any of my doctors.
I think the "system" Is a bigger part of the problem. When my new insurance was going to charge me a LOT for a procedure I had done at the dentist because the dentist was now "out of network" (though he hadn't been previously), my dentist graciously adjusted HIS fees so I wouldn't have to pay more. And I'll gladly give his name - it's Dr. Damien Meola in Boston, MA. He is an EXCELLENT dentist.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 3:28 PM

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i had the very same experience with a dentist here in princeton, nj. Hanian Payam DMD is his name. and the office is the cleanest dentist's office i have ever been in!! i agree that problems are not always the fault of the doctors, but more of a reflection of the insurance companies' greed. it'd be interesting to see what kind of coverage the executives at some of the top health insurance companies have and how much they have to pay!! i also agree that when i have run into difficulties or situations at a doctor's office , it was because i did not research enough or ask around for references. it's ultimately your responsibility to do the footwork if you have had poor treatment in the past. i know some people who bury themselves with info and references for a hairdresser than they do for a doctor or dentist. a bad doctor is not going to tell you about his/her reputation or try to discourage you from making an appointment. it's a business like anything else.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 3:48 PM

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I've never had a problem with any of my doctors, they've always been gracious and patient. I feel like more often now they're getting the bad end of the deal because they have to fear being sued by everyone and their mother. I was on the premed track in college but chose not to go into the field because of all the horror stories I heard from doctors about the astronomic malpractice insurance they have to get to cover themselves. I think our society is depriving itself of good potential doctors because of its "sue happiness." Doctors are just humans like everybody else, they're not infallible. Not to say that there aren't bad doctors out there who ligitemately deserve to be sued, but I think the good, caring doctors FAR outnumber the bad.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 4:25 PM

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I haven't been mistreated by any doctor. I do wish Coulehan & Block, and the like, had never existed (or at least didn't write books) because I find the accepted medical interview approach makes it impossible for me to get anything across to the doctor. If I obviously need a procedure, I'll just show up and let them go at it. I'm comfortable with doctors (and dentists) doing procedures.
30-40 years ago, dealing with doctor's office staffs was less than pleasant. Since then, it's gotten worse. That is really why I almost never see a doctor. I'd rather just be sick. We communicate with the office staffs using letters whenever possible - we have rough templates on the computer, take one, edit as needed, print the letter and envelope, sign letter, stuff in envelope, put stamp on it, drop in mailbox... LETTER. Makes for a less hellish life.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 5:26 PM

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OK, up front I admit bias. I'm married to a doctor. He gets extremely frustrated with the "system" that is more realistically run by insurance companies and the like. The companies (that sometimes don't even pay the bills) tell him what he can and can't do (or rather what they will or won't pay for) because patients may not "be eligible" for a certain benefit. Like the right meds. Like the right tests. Can you imagine the pain of being a doctor who could help someone but can't because their insurance company won't pay for the right test or drugs? He does a LOT for free but he can't make the owners of the MRIs and CT scanners do the same.

I know there are docs out there who are in it for the money, power or prestige, but honestly most of them could make lots more $$ in big business or research. Your average doctor is probably trying to do their best for as many people as they can.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 6:39 PM

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I hate how I go for an annual physical and they find excuses to send me to a bunch of specialists, usually within the practice, for things that turn out to be absolutely nothing. I call it "harvesting".

I hate how they won't say "your blood tests came back fine" on the phone -- I have to make an appointment because they don't get paid for phone calls, and doesn't everybody want to make $100 for 30 seconds of work?

I also want to create a form for THEM to sign, which would say "you must inform me if you are going to do anything that is not included in the office visit fee, and then tell me how much you and my insurance company intend to charge me for it". This comes from being billed $20 for a podiatrist to clip a hangnail I didn't even know I had and call it "office surgery", and then the ENT dude stuck a tube up my nose for 5 seconds and expects me to pay 60% of $300 for, again, "office surgery".

Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 7:08 PM

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I used to be able to go for an annual checkup to get my prescriptions refilled. But a couple of years ago, several of the doctor offices changed their policy, and now will only give me 6 months worth and force me to go in for an office visit to get my prescription refilled. Wastes a lot of time, but the drugs have improved my quality of life, so I need to get my fix. But its for a 5 minute quickie...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 8:03 PM

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I once went to a gastrointerologist in NY who didnt even do ANYTHING. she had me lay down fully clothed, felt my stomach and gave me a prescription for ibs meds...and ALSO a prescription for zoloft because I mentioned that I thought maybe I got stomach aches when I was anxious. The woman didnt even ask me to describe the pain, nor did she take any of my vitals. I was so appalled I threw out the prescriptions and went to a better doctor only to find out I had a bleeding ulcer! jeeeez. I think in some cases (this one...not ALL by any means) doctors have just been working too long. This woman was quite old and seemed rather tired and annoyed that I was there. I find that younger doctors, although they are sometimes seen as incompetent, have more of a fresh eagerness to help you and gain more knowledge and trusting patients. Then againt there are some docs out there who have been working for years and are still the best of the best. I try to ask close friends for recommendations.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 9:58 PM

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urgh the worst is when they never call with your test results, or dont return your calls in reference to them. some test results are pretty important!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007, 10:00 PM

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i get the impression that some of the posters, and plenty of others, don't feel like they have any work to do with respect to checking up on doctors or their office routines. in my opinion, it is as much the responsibility of the patient to know what is covered by YOUR insurance and what is not before YOU go to the office at all. YOU can call and speak with a doctor or doc's representative (not receptionist) and discuss what tests are typical when getting an annual physical and ask where they send patients who have such-and-such insurance. then you can call the labs, find out office hours, if they accept appointments or work on a first-come, first-serve basis, if you will be expected to pay or can be billed, how you receive the results, etc. to just fully depend on the doctor's office to provide you with all of these details is setting yourself up for misinformation. it may take a little more leg-work, or finger-work, but ultimately YOU will be more informed and better able to make decisions that affect YOU in the long run. i speak from experience. i can blame my psychiatrist for not explaining fully the side effects of the medications she prescribed or blame her for not inquiring about other meds i was on or any supplements i was also taking. or i can do what i did, and go to the library research center, look up in reference books the potential problems with certain drug interactions, find out that the 40 lbs i gained in 6 months was most likely a result of the med combo i was on and its effect on my thyroid. i now know that the incessant twitching in my legs was called "akethesia" and was related to the meds i was taking. it is empowering to be aware and informed and not depend on someone who is paid hourly to make appointments and submit paperwork to insurance companies, or someone who is trying to answer questions for umpteen other patients while fitting in seeing even more patients. by the way, i work full-time and had to find the time to take care of myself. when i thought about it in those terms, it was not difficult to make little adjustments in my daily schedule. don't just be a patient, become a particpant.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 9:18 AM

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First baby, I developed a condition where my hands and feet itched like crazy all the time, as did the rest of my body (but my palms and soles were hot itchy and red).

Not pupps, because no raised bumps on the rest of my body, I itched like I had itching powder in my clothes.

I went to my weekly appt and complained and the dr who I saw this week (group practice) suggested my bad pregnancy (I had had severe "morning" sickness for 15 wks) was due to being in my 30s (bull hockey).

This was at 35 wks.

Next week, i stop feeling movement on saturday, sunday I finally go in after trying all the tricks - orange juice, etc... to wake up baby... and the doctor on call is the one who saw me at 35 wks. he tells me that he knows i'm super uncomfortable but the baby is just fine (u/s showe dmovement) and heart beat was fine and no, I wasn't anywhere near labor despite the slight bleeding.

So.... the next morning, I woke up in hard labor, had her at home with EMTs standing by.

She had pneumonia and had to be hospitalized for 3 wks because she had meconium in her waters, possibly she had been in distress and although she was kicking, it's possible I couldn't feel it because she was kicking weakly

A year later, sister has a baby and she is diagnosed with a variant of pre-eclampsia called hellp syndrome. I google it and find many of my symptoms matched up (the itching - my liver probably wasn' t working right)


So then the next time I had a baby, I stayed with the practice since that doc was now gone and they knew my crazy history. They treated me as a high risk case because of the last one, and because of my age (35 at the time), not old - but still - "senile gravida"

I started getting the itching at the start of the third tri and I kept pressuring them to test for hellp. They refused since my hands and feet weren'tretianing water, but hellp, although pre-eclampsia, doesn't manifest itself like that. Yes, I should have insisted, but I guess maybe I just wanted to fool myself into thinking that they knew best.

Then at the final wks started showing protein in the sample and they kept getting onmy case to drink more water (august, heat wave) - but I said I was drinking a ton (this protein thing is a sign of hellp).

I'm in labor at 37 wks, go to hospital, the NURSE sees me clawing bloody tracks into my skin (the itching was that horrible) takes my blood, comes back in shock saying "Oh my goodness, you have hellp syndrome, your platelet count is dangerously low and you need to go on magnesium sulfate now, or you could have seizures and die"

I was pretty ticked off. I didn't show high blood pressure til the day of birth (just like I had showon when my other child was born - when I got to the hospital it was super high, and mine is very low), but the drs look at you and say "No high bp ? No swelling? No pre-eclampsia"

Turns out my aunt had had a stillborn 60 yrs ago due to "toxcemia" and my other aunt had had hte same itching problem all those years ago. They said after my first, when I was pg with my second and worried about my sister's history that hellp didn't run in the family, but now they have found that it does and it's on the paternal side (it was my father's sisters who had the problems)

My kids are fine. They are healthy and robust little dancers and gymnasts with no health problems at all. But... I thank that nurse (Thanks Beth!) because she may well have saved my life and I'm mad at myself for going to the same practice a second time, and not pushing for that test myself. Now I always insist on things that my inner voice says to push on.

And I'm never having anothe rbaby again! So... that's comforting - to my spouse, to my mother, to my doctor!

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 10:39 AM

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10:39 here:

I also was left in the Labor/recovery room with a promise for something to clot my blood better, since I was bleeding fromt he single needle point in my lower back where I got a single shot epidural (although I had the first baby without pain meds, I gave into the temptation this time around)

The wound wouldn't heal and I kept shaking violently - and I was like that for 3 hrs, drifting in and out of sleep. Finally when I woke up and felt the stickiness on my back I realized I still had a problem, rang for the nurse and asked once again for the clotting agent.

It's frustrating to manage your own care when you have just had a baby. I understand that nurses work super hard, and I'm not disisng them - just the system that surrounds our care that lets hospitals work over worked and understaffed.


Thursday, April 12, 2007, 10:42 AM

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My biggest complaint about my doctor is that I make an appointment for 12:00 show up at 12:00 and don't get seen until 12:30. In any other setting that wouldn't be accepted but doctors seem to do it all the time.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 11:04 AM

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there was a great episode of seinfeld where george missed a doctor's appt. and was charged $75 for not cancelling more than 24 hours before the scheduled appt. then his doctor failed to show up on another day when george had an appt. and he wanted to bill her!! it was great! i get very frustrated with this same issue. it is hard enough to take extra time for lunch to fit in a scheduled appt., but to have to wait so much extra time is inexcusable. i'd love for doctors' offices to offer saturday appt.s or evening appt.s !!

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 11:16 AM

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One time I wasn't feeling well (cold/flu symptoms) and I was very tired and stressed out and the doctor left me waiting naked in the cold room for thirty minutes so I obviously started crying when she finally walked in the door.

She didn't know what to do so she just handed me 2 fistfulls of samples of Allegra, the allergy medicine. The best part is that when I looked up the side effects of Allegra (I don't have allergies, btw) it said "cold and flu symptoms".

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 11:31 AM

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well, I am Canadian and our health care system is definately different. But I know that when you make an appointment for 12:00, you usually have to wait! On the other hand, my little sister had a life threatening disease and went through treatment. SHe fell in love with a really great guy from the USA. He wants her to move there, but she really can't given she made need some serious treatment in the future.
People is Canada complain a lot about our system, but I will always be thankful that my family could deal with my sister's illness without worrying about any money/insurance issues

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 3:24 PM

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