Flabbergasted, Dumbfounded, Baffled And Hurt By Jeannette

I had an early appointment with my PCP this morning. She’s been a very good doc and also has Ankylosing Spondylitis to boot. A very mild case, but still, it’s always good when a doc can relate, and rare too!

She told me that yesterday was crazy busy, and I guess my complicated case set her off. She told me I should schedule separate visits for each issue and that seeing her 1-2 times a year wasn’t enough. I pointed out that I’ve been seeing her at least every 3 months for 5 years and that today was my 6th visit this year. When she realized her reprimand was misdirected towards me she became even more upset and told me I should see her every month because she only has a max of 10 minutes to spend with each patient if she’s going to make any money. I was rather dumbfounded at this point and told her that I couldn’t afford to see her every month, not with the cost of seeing my specialists and paying for 34 prescriptions without insurance.

Despite how I felt inside I remained calm and understanding. I truly sympathize with her predicament. It’s obvious she feels like her hands are tied because of insurance companies, drug manufacturers, etc. I somehow took on the role of psychologist with my doc … or perhaps a pounding board. She told me that the small amount of time she can afford to spend with me isn’t enough and as a result she can’t be a good, thorough doc. She said all of this in a raised, angry voice and walked out, leaving me with the nurse who looked embarrassed because of the outburst. The nurse further explained how bad the previous day had been for them … never looked me in the eyes.

I remained calm and kind through the whole ordeal, and didn’t react in a negative manner. After some silence I said in a raised whisper to the nurse, “What did I do? That was so unprofessional. I’m never coming back. You can note that in my file.”

They forgot to treat my ear, pneumonia shot and medical records release form, and I didn’t remind them. I just paid my bill and left. As soon as I walked out the door tears streamed down my face. It was tough holding them in until I was alone.

Stress is a major trigger for bad health and Dr. S knows this. THIS is the last thing I needed. In my current state of mind I feel like finding a new PCP but I don’t want to make any important decisions when I’m upset. So … I’m thinking I should sleep on this first before making a decision … and I should pray for Dr. S. It also occurred to me that most docs don’t even care enough about their patients to have an outburst, and clearly Dr. S does care.

Any comments, suggestions, and words of wisdom are very welcome.

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One Response to “Flabbergasted, Dumbfounded, Baffled And Hurt By Jeannette”

  1. Wow, this is a tough one! It is obvious that she was upset about something and just took it out on you and probably some other patients too I bet. If this happened to me I would let things cool down, you and her, and then write the doctor a note. I would ask her if she really meant what she said, and do you need to find another doctor? Her outburst is inexcusable, I would give her the chance to think about the situation. Expecting you to come to see her every month is ridiculous, the cost would be too much for anybody. Good luck!

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