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Unprofessional Doctor's Office HUGE Problem

Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here, but you seem like a very helpful, nice community. I have been going to the same PM doctor for almost three years. For about the past six months the staff, particularly the receptionist has become increasingly unprofessional. I put up with it initially because I absolutely LOVE my doctor and I have a very complicated case & am on injection type meds. Everyone knows how hard it is to find a good doctor so I really didn't want to switch. Also, it is very difficult-nearly impossible to find a doctor to prescribe that type of medication. Unfortunately, it's the only thing that helps and I have been on it for over six years. Anyway, at first, the receptionist kept giving me a hard time telling me that I was taking too long with the doctor and threatening that if I didn't hurry up that she was going to double the cost of my visit. My doctor is very thorough and takes his time and asks lots of questions-how am I supposed to hurry him up? Also, my visit is already $200 every 28 days-sometimes I wait for hours and hours. I did what I could to speed up the visits; as there is no way that I can afford $400 but she kept at me. She went so far as to spread my medical diagnosis to like 20 people in the waiting room saying that they have cancer patients that don't take as long and saying out loud where everyone can hear what my problem is. After this happened twice, I pulled her aside and politely asked her to please not violate my privacy. She claimed to be having a bad day. It got worse and worse. For one thing, for the past year or so, they have not been taking any vital signs before I go in (or anyone). I thought this was wierd and asked my doctor to see my chart- lo and behold there were numbers filled in every month just a point or two or a pound or two different. I was shocked that the receptionist was falsifying my medical records! About three months ago they started taking them again. I had gained weight over the past year, but my records show that I gained 25 lbs in four weeks! Two months ago I came in for my regular appointment and found out that my doctor was out of town. I had been PROMISED that I would NEVER have to see a different doctor. I requested that my appointment be rescheduled but the receptionist refused. I was told that this doctor would follow what I had been getting. Well, when I saw him he cut my meds by %70! He also said that I had to get a new MRI & go see a neurologist. I went to a neurologist for three years almost weekly there is nothing else they could possibly do. I went along with it figuring my doctor would straighten out the situation the next month. The alternate doctor also made all sorts of inappropriate comments to me including about my religion. It was so horrible and humiliating. He also said that my doctor was senile and didn't know what he was doing. The next month when I came in I told my doctor what happened and he basically straightened everything out. On the way out he handed my chart to the receptionist and gave her the information about my next appointment. As I was leaving, he gave me a hug and kiss and then asked me "what did the other doctor say about me?" I leaned over about an inch from his ear and whispered some of what was said. He gave me a hug and said he would see me soon. When I went to pay and get my scripts, the receptionist started screaming at me that she was so mad at me and that she heard what I said about doctor so and so. There was no way she heard me. First of all, there was a wall between us. Secondly, I whispered. The most she could have heard was his question. What's the difference if she heard me? What goes on between my doctor and me is confidential. She has absolutely no medical qualifications-why should she make decisions about my medical care? She screamed so everyone could hear that I had better give her my money quickly or she would throw me out. It was a horrible scene. I left not knowing what to think. I didn't receive a letter or anything so when my appointment came around I went in and was told that I had to leave. I requested my medical records and was refused. She said that the only way I could get them was to go to another doctor and sign a release. I told her I wanted them for myself and was told that I couldn't have them. I really don't know what to do. I feel like my HIPPA rights have been violated and that my health has been put into jeopardy by an unprofessional staff. I have no way to talk to my doctor without going through her. I'm considering contacting a lawyer. The truth is I don't want to find another doctor it's going to be a huge hassle. I don't think they should get away with treating me that way. I am so frustrated and upset. Sorry for going on so long but I wanted to give the details to get an honest opinion. Thank you so much.
28 Responses
Avatar universal
Just put a call in to the attorney. Wish me luck!

Thanks everyone!
Avatar universal
Best of luck!  Keep us posted!
Avatar universal
Good luck!  I would recommend calling doctor's offices now as you don't want to run out of meds (if you haven't run out already).  The old doctor's office did say they would transfer the records to a new doc.  
I know you don't know what they wrote and they may have written bad things, but right now you need to see a doctor and I believe that if you explain the situation (not in too much detail)  in general terms, the new doctor should understand.  Unfortunately, uncaring office staff are not a rare occurance with PM offices.  It also seems to me that if that woman was awful with you she was probably also awful to other patients.
I just wouldn't go into it too much with the new doctor as it's never a good idea to complain about a previous doctor and I definetly wouldn't tell them you've consulted a lawyer unless it becomes something they need to know.
That way you can make sure you'll be taken care of while you deal with all the BS from the old office.  
Also, about the office manager you said "When I finally got in touch with her after the last incident with the receptionist- she wouldn't talk with me and just told me to find another doctor."
That is very unprofessional behavior for an office manager. Usually office managers want to keep patients and keep them happy as well.  I would try to call her again about this situation.  As flower said, you may need to send a Certified Letter.  If the office manager is rude then I would as for her boss.  Usually in practices with many offices there are more than one office manger and more staff.  I would continue calling until you can get in touch with someone reasonable to find out why they would allow a receptionist to treat a patient so badly to the point of losing a patient because of it.


Avatar universal
Hey, just wanted to check in... I'm calling a doctor who happens to be my friend's cousin. I just don't want to go to a random office with no references. His office is also physician owned & operated so I shouldn't run into the same problems. Unfortunately my last MRI was almost four years ago and I'll need another one. Also, I should have my chart from my old neurologist which backs up my current treatment, in a few days. This office/offices has gotten so big in the past couple of years that I guess they feel one loyal patient is expendable. I was one of their first at their original office and have followed my doctor through three offices.

Thanks for all of your support!

~marley2003
Avatar universal
As I mentioned before, I found a gmail address for my doctor on the state department of health's website. Do you think it would be a good idea to try to contact him that way? If so, what should I say? I suffer from PTSD, although it has been under control for the past few years, I've been having panic attacks regularly since this fiasco started. Additionally, I am going to run out of meds soon. I still have several days worth of my long-acting med, but my BT meds are gone. I'm afraid for my kidneys.

Thanks,

~marley2003
5283078 tn?1365963193
I was originally prescribed those medicines by my past doctors for almost three years before I started seeing this doctor. Unfortunately, where I live, most Pain doctors are just 'rubber stamps' the same meds to everyone and don't care about individual patients' needs and differences. They also cater to a specific type of patient. I had some really horrible experiences with other doctors before I found this one. Honestly, everything was fine until this Dr. sent me to Thomasville Pain Center in Thomasville Ga.. so now Im with out Pain meds My quality of life just stinks. Unfortunately, pain are a constant part of my life, so oral meds are  the only option. I'm allergic to most of the so called pain medicines that are supposed to be used to treat depression and seizers and similar medications so the only option is to suffer Really, I just feel like I have been mistreated by this office in a way that seems illegal and dangerous.  My health has been jeopardized by the whim of someone whose sole job is supposed to be helping me would someone please help me with this
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