Walking out on the doctor

I am in the healthcare field. Have been for a while now. I understand how clinic workflows run or are supposed to. I understand what quality care is to entail. I understand the finances. I understand productivity and provider concerns. I get it. I breathe it.

As a patient myself, I am fairly well-informed and empowered. I often don’t even tell a new doctor my own doctor title and role. I like to be a little hush hush about it and see what I can learn. Either way, I am fairly empowered.

This past week, however, I went through a most disempowering and excruciatingly frustrating medical visit. I won’t go into the details. The overall situation was this. The doctor – a new one for me- told me my pain was not valid nor of his concern as it was probably not due to anything in which he has expertise. Which, I can unequivocally tell you is untrue. He just took down three notes and was dismissive of me, my concerns, and of my pain. And, just stared at me with no compassion whatsoever. None.

I asked him what I should do about the pain and told me that there is always the emergency room if I really am in pain. I was flabbergasted. Just flabbergasted. Here is a quick detail. This exact pain is something I have had before and ended up having emergency surgery due to something bursting internally. That’s all I will say. I know my body. I feel the pain. I’ve been here before.

He wished me luck. To which I wished his patients luck as I told him and his surrounding team that he was the worst doctor I’ve ever seen. I also told them there better not be a bill for a co-pay.

I have not written a consumer letter complaint in years. This week, I will be writing such a letter and letting them know that they must do better. I’m empowered and can advocate for myself and find another provider. But what about others who may not be so empowered? During these trying times we should all do better. Period.

5 replies »

  1. As an ordinary patient, thank you so much for standing up for all of us who have
    to try and cope when we receive poor medical advice and help.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A dentist I went to see said basically the same thing to me. She said people are grinding their teeth, and muscle pain is from that. It would resolve on its own, and there was nothing she could do for me. I was pretty frustrated. Since I don’t grind my teeth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Take a look at three of my recent blogs. …. and As a nurse I have also been navigating the system. No one want to take the responsibility for diagnosing and offering help for any problem. They want to slough it off to someone else. I wish we knew how to fix it.


  4. Those of us with chronic illnesses and chronic pain are used to being dismissed this way. Of having to prove we are in pain. Of having to explain why, if we can control our pain to be as coherent as possible during the visit to the doctor (so we will be listened to as well as possible), we can’t do it all the time.

    It leads us to distrust doctors, and especially new doctors. It leads us not to visit even the doctors we need, because it might lead to new ones who dismiss our concerns – again. It leads us to suck it up far too long.

    I have never ONCE felt, in the thirty years I’ve had ME, that the doctor was there to help. And that the doctor understood. It’s always going to be a problem – I’m girding up to deal with one of those requests for a continuation of necessary meds right now – and dreading it: I have to be perfect in asking, and then will get exactly what I need, and no more – where ‘what I need’ is the daily, and with no help for the breakout pain that happens.

    Because pain cannot be measured.

    With so little energy, I hate having to waste it on getting what I need.


  5. I am lucky to have a dentist that goes the extra mile. I love getting into the weeds with him on the topic of dentistry. He refers me to my GP if its something outside his purview.

    I had sudden pain during a procedure once. The doctor told sternly that “that can’t possibly hurt!” When I looked at the area later, in addition to the incision there was a cut two inches away from the cyst he was removing. Doctors aren’t always the paradigms we’d like them to be.


I welcome your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s