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What Do Patients Do to Irritate Physicians, Pharmacists and Nurses?

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We asked the question "What Do Doctors Do to Annoy You"?

We were overwhelmed by the response. Dozens of visitors to the Web site offered some very frank opinions.

Now it's the doctors' turn to express their point of view about patients in an equally candid forum. One patient offered the following response. We welcome health care providers to provide their own comments to the question in the headline:

"This kick-the-doctor is getting a bit old and turning into a real pity party. Some of these complaints should have been addressed on the spot, such as wrong charts, assuming something about the patient, too much information too fast, reading from a script.

"What about patients who:

* Don't know what meds they are taking or why. No wonder patients are asked to bring in the bottles to the office. My doctor gets a list that I keep up to date. (HINT: Keep it on Google Docs and you can access it anywhere you have internet access.)

* Don't do their own research on their health problems. All too many either don't question the doctor or, even worse, ignore what the doctor tells them.

* Quit taking antibiotics when symptoms go away even though they should take the whole prescription.

* Ask for antibiotics when they have a virus with no sign of a bacterial infection.

* Don't take notes or come with a list of questions.

* Show up late for an appointment.

* Don't ask for clarification when they don't understand what was said.

* Don't realize that doctors have their own frustrations about things they cannot control, such as a higher patient load just to stay even financially. Doctors (especially GPs) have a staff that expects a paycheck regularly, so a doctor is also a small business man and all the stresses of that as well as being a doctor.

"About a year ago NPR (I think This American Life) had a 4-part series on medicine and what I got from it is that we are all part of the problem of spiraling medical costs. Patients demand all the latest tests, when maybe they don't need them all; doctors run defensive tests in fear of getting sued; insurance companies get dinged for being hard-hearted when they are trying to control costs and make a profit; and bureaucrats (in medical offices, insurance companies, and government) try to invent rules to cover everything when common sense and clear thinking would help more.

"Pogo in the comic strip said it so well so long ago. 'We have met the enemy and he is us.' The enemy in this case is spiraling health costs.

"Sheesh!"

We welcome comments from health care providers, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants and anyone else who cares for patients.

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Thanks for mediating. It's like any relationship, we're afraid to tell each other things for fear of hurting feelings or looking stupid. It's great to finally see what's really on everyone's minds.

I just cannot imagine what it would feel like to need clarification, or more information, or to ask something that's a little delicate or embarrassing -- and not being able to do it! My only problem is knowing when to shut the heck up. By the way, I for one LOVE the use of "piss off" in this forum. It's delightful when people aren't so stiff and proper. Don't we all say "piss off" anyway? Thank you.

I DO DO the research (have MS, T2 NIDDM, CAD, multiple-TIAs& micovasc-events, Sjogrens, it goes on), AND am often surprised at the 'know it all' view that is tossed my way. Moved permanently recently, starting with new docs, and it is challenging.

One said she has never ordered an [ IL- 6 ] test for anybody before, didn't know how to stip it. I was stunned. I have found Florida physicians working w/ elderly (I'm not, but I am 63) do not take kindly to us wanting a thought-or-two in the process. My inflammation-driven health issues are systemic, and require a systems-perspective for keeping me on the planet half-way healthy, enjoying myself for the first time after an executive's career of (truly) excessive long-hours, 51 work weeks/annually (75hrs+ common).

They just don't want to do it. I hate to say it, BUT they are triaging me into an ultimate, and obvious oblivion. I can't win. I don't have an "MD" by my name to win it with.

I think that pharmaceuticals being advertised on TV should be banned.
Every time a new drug is pushed, the public takes the request for that med to his Doc.
In most cases it is totally inappropriate for the patient and the Doc has lost 10 minutes of contact time explaining why. Docs are rushed enough just handling their caseload. GIVE EM a break.

In general pharmacists get irritated for getting blamed for insurance problems that are out of our control.

We also don't appreciate getting blamed for your lack of refills and then your doctor not being prompt enough in calling in refills. Refills are the not the pharmacists problem.

I once suggested that a woman call for her refills and give us more than her usual 12 hour notice because there were often problems somewhere in filling her medication. She was not happy and actually filed a complaint.

The faster the pharmacist works the more likely mistakes are.


I think I'm a really nice guy, but what do YOU think?

So I invite the criticism, what irritates you about pharmacists?

Before I read this, I thought, "Uh oh, I'm sure I've pissed off many health care professionals." As it turns out, I actually do all of what is listed. I thought doctors wouldn't want patients to ask questions, take notes, or do any of their own research. I also thought that doctors preferred to hand a patient a scrip and be on his/her merry way.

It's nice to see that that is not the case.

What does a patient do then, when taking a list to the appointment, and the doctor says "I don't have time to answer those questions"?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: HERE ARE A COUPLE OF IDEAS:
1) WHEN YOU MAKE THE APPOINTMENT, SAY YOU HAVE QUESTIONS SO THE APPOINTMENT CAN ACCOMMODATE THEM.
2) STICK WITH THE THREE OR FOUR MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. SAVE THE REST.
3) KEEP THE EXPLANATIONS AS SUCCINCT AS POSSIBLE. RELEVANT POINTS LIKE: "MY FATHER HAD HEART DISEASE" BELONG, BUT THE STORY OF HOW HE NARROWLY SURVIVED A DRAMATIC HEART ATTACK MIGHT NOT.
4) IF NONE OF THOSE IDEAS WORKS, SHOP FOR A NEW DOCTOR.

I was surprised that you would use "piss off" when, with your education, you must be aware of better descriptive terms. You mention a firm sinking low - what about you? Come on - be a classy and informative health info site again.

I agree that "the enemy is us", but I disagree with the reasons stated the reasons stated.

Patients should NOT be expected to research their own conditions before they see a doctor. IN fact, self diagnosis more often confounds things. Ideally, they could describe their current problem, or bring along someone who could help do so.

So peeve # 1: Patients who arrive with their own diagnosis and expect a treatment they've seen on the internet or TV, rather than letting the provider determine those things. And often not being willing to provide good information about their symptoms. My father's doc once asked him "What seems to be the problem?" and he shot back "You're the doctor, you tell me." I had to educate him that the doc isn't a mechanic who can get in your car and drive it himself--he needs a clue. Providing good information is something patients don't think they have to do, but it's the most critical aspect of care.

PS: My Dad still doesn't do that. Now he goes in and tells his doc what he thinks is wrong--"My kidneys are acting up.." (and this is a guy who thinks his liver was removed--it was his gallbladder).

I feel for his docs. It takes me at least an hour to figure out what his actual symptom is to relay to the doc, as he starts off with something like "I can't go to the store without attracting attention..." instead of saying "I can't walk far without having to stoop over...". How many docs have an hour to translate?

I see alot of complaints on the other thread about wait times. But I suspect those same people also want their full time and more with the doc. I also see complaints about having to pay to see a Nurse Practitioner or PA.

So Peeve # 2 would be assuming that healthcare providers should work for free, somehow out of the goodness of their hearts. Well, people do enter the caring professions for altruistic reasons, but they also have to put food on their own tables. So docs have to schedule as many patients as they can reasonably see in a day, and they have to pay their PA's, NP's, nurses and office staff (many of whom are there to manage your insurance.

Peeve # 3 has to do with the way people relate their stories of what a doctor told them. The doc says "I'm 95% sure this is just a hemorrhoid, but let's schedule a colonoscopy just to be on the safe side." The patient reports this as "He thinks I might have colon cancer." I call this the "He gave me 3 months to live" syndrome.
I find that people's stories of what their doc told them or said to them often not believable--and yes I realize that there are some jackasses with MD behind their names.

Not asking for clarification is a problem--they often nod and agree then go out in the world asking friends for the clarification. Communication is a two way street.

Peeve #4: Patients who consider Physical Therapy a non treatment, don't go or don't do the PT as prescribed. Same goes for lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Expecting everything to be fixable by injection, pill or surgery. Then often blaming the doc when it isn't.

I felt that asking questions and being knowledgable ticked Drs off: at least that had been my experience until I found this great CNP. She encourages and welcomes questions. She also wants you to listen to your own body, and let her know what you are hearing. I do everything positive that you listed in this article which, I believe, makes for a better relationship with my health care provider. I ask questions, do research, take my meds, and arrive before appointment time.

Thanks for the article. More people need to be pro active about their own health care.

Patients must remember that doctors are humans also and vice versa.

Your Doctor is your PARTNER in your health care- They are not God or Moses. "Due Diligence" is always a good rule. Learn to read the literature that comes with each prescription... read up on your illness, be your own advocate!

If the relationship you have with your physician does not work for you- seek another practice. Write down a daily log when you have a serious illness, keep a regular schedule with medications, try to take them at the same time every day until they are gone. Be as good of a patient as you are an employee.

A trip to see your Doctor is not like an oil change- be involved! I have lived with HIV and then AIDS since the early 80's, now it's DVT and Asthma that further complicate my life. I can't expect anyone but myself to know my 30 year medical history, the clinical trials, the years of chemotherapy and what diseases and drug therapies have cost my organs.

My current Physician deserves a responsible, well-informed and compliant patient to ensure we both get the outcome that we both prefer; my continued survival with the best quality of life for each day that I (miraculously) live!

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE COMPLETELY CONCUR.

I got tired of arrogant M.D.s, so I'm with a D.O. [doctor of osteopathy] now. I even had a D.O. surgeon. I have received excellent care from both doctors.

Interesting article and comments. My husband just had a pacemaker installed in May 2010 and had absolutely the opposite reaction from his cardiology group as compared to the provider comments listed above. No one appears to want him to be involved and up to speed about his medical care. They seem to want him to do as told and not question anything.

On his first follow up visit he had several questions about the pacemaker. The clinician who he met with told him twice to shut up (her words), and wasn't interested in addressing his questions. When he met with the doctor several days later, the doctor said he would address the problem and decided to have him see a different clinician. My husband finally called the manufacturer of the pacemaker, and their tech guys answered all of his questions to his satisfaction.

After 5 weeks, he noticed a problem with his heartbeat so he called the medical group immediately and was told by a nurse that they would address his problem at the scheduled appointment in 3 weeks. He didn't think that was a good idea, so he emailed the doctor who is a semi-retired member of this medical group. When he didn't receive a response to his email after 2 days, he printed out the emails and faxed them to the doctor's office. Well, that got a response - his appointment was moved up by 2 1/2 weeks. When he went in today, three people on the medical group's staff told him they had to interrupt the doctor, who was on vacation, to discuss the problem. And they were very upset that my husband didn't follow "protocol" although no one ever explained the protocol to him. They said he should have called back and spoken to another nurse. What we think they were upset about is that we put the problem in writing which leaves a paper trail.

We think he needs to find another medical group to monitor his pacemaker. We would welcome any comments and insight.

When your doctor ignores your list of question and says he doesn't have time to answer them, the solution is simple. Find another doctor.

This doctor is not for you.

Unless he is having an emergency and he will call you back at home that day or the next day, or asks you to fax or email your questions and he will reply within a day or two. Sometimes doctors do have emergencies but they will not just brush off a patient without an alternative.

CDG,

I also find that many of the local cardiologist (Northwest Ohio) are notoriously busy and aren't able schedule to see patients when problems arise. It's a shame.

Two more pet peeves: # 1 Patients that don't take their medications, but expect results.

# 2 Patients that don't follow their doctor's recommended lifestyle changes.

-- It irritated a friend of mine, but I very much understood the MD's reasoning when he refused to write anymore blood pressure medications until my friend quit smoking.

Get another doctor.

Don't forget that other practice--dentistry. I'm a hygienist. I work with one patient for one hour. If you are late, then that puts me behind for everyone else that day. And please apologize if you're late, as I do to you if I make you wait. I DO try to stay on schedule--I am not in the back drinking coffee, so if you do have to wait past your appointment time, it is because someone had an unexpected problem, and you will get the same undivided attention when it is your turn. And please don't talk non-stop about your vacation to Europe or Sally's dance recital--I have to clean teeth and be ready for the next person. Thank you and please floss.

I love my Pharmacist.

A frequent problem for me, is when we take our 81 year old mother to the doctor, (she has dementia, and mental illness), and all they can come up with is to put her in a home-- they don't care that this is not financially possible, that they have neglected her thyroid and mental illness for twenty years.

The EMT's took her to the ED at Kaiser, where the physician's assistant, immediately put her on cipro for a urinary tract infection, didn't have time to talk to me, when I tried to explain that she was more mentally confused than usual, the PA told me "look we don't have time to solve all your problems-- we have "sick" people to see", she asked her "why did she pee all over the house?" by the way our mom is extremely hard of hearing, never physically examined her and admitted her for observation and sent her home with a broken hip-Isn't that a common injury in elderly females???

Emh,

Realize that ED's (emergency departments) are for emergencies. That means if the patient is not seen they might die. Often a urinary tract infection, which is treated by Cipro, can cause mental confusion and urinary incontinence like you describe.

So while mental illness and thyroid problems are big problems for your mother they could not be properly evaluated in the ED, because of the urinary tract infection. If it was apparent that a more complete physical exam was not needed I'm not surprised they did not do one.

It seems your problem is with the doctors who ignored the thyroid problems and mental illness for 20 years and not with the ED doctors.

Because NO ONE is sent away from the ED and ability to pay is not usually considered doctors must sacrifice in quality or wait times. It is an economic fact that you can only have 2 of the following: low cost, speed, access to all.

Try acupuncture.

As a half-time resident of the state, I can say with knowledge that Florida is not known for having good doctors. We come back to Wisconsin for its beautiful summers, but also for excellent medical care. Perhaps for you, too, the state where you are known would be a good place to spend time - and obtain your medical care - during Florida's summers. If you need care more frequently:
- Obtain specific references from your former physicians
- Check out centers of excellence in FL: both Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic have sites in FL

Good luck!

In the past, some of my best "physicians" were experienced pharmacists who could tell me the best treatment for poison ivy, or if some prescribed meds were likely to fight each other, or side effects of another medication.

As a student, I'd suggest working toward
- learning as much as possible about what you're dispensing
- acquiring general medical knowledge so that people can buy and use over-the-counter meds with confidence
- smiling at anxious questioners

The fact that you are aware of this website - The People's Pharmacy - means you're already going beyond school and you'll be the better for it!

I am taking care of elderly parents and I research all their conditions and medications, their doctor appreciates the time I put into their care. He said it makes his job easier. If I for some reason can't take them to appointments whom ever does has a list of questions and he writes down the answers for me. I think that you must always have a great line of communication with your doctor. If you don't because you are to scared to ask questions shame on you, if it is because they don't have time to answer shame on them find another doctor.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THANKS FOR REMINDING US THAT AS PATIENTS WE HAVE IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES. DOCTORS CAN HELP US MUCH MORE IF WE KEEP THOSE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN.

A major problem in the "find another doctor" route when the relationship is less than satisfactory is that we pay for advice and treatment whether it is good, bad, wrong, or indifferent. In addition, when you contact a new doctor there is frequently a large... $300 or more.. up front fee for being a "new patient" while you still have to determine it this physician will work with you.

FD

ALG,

Thank you. I thought that this was a great way to expose myself to what is actually going on in the world beyond the pharmacy and beyond pharmacy school. I smile often. I enjoy helping people with over-the-counter medications. My physician was a pharmacist before he was a medical doctor.

I recently graduated from the University of Findlay and now have my license to practice pharmacy in Ohio. I'm working on my license in Michigan and I really enjoy this website.

I agree, take the drug sales off television! What a waste of everyone's time.

What's the question? Change doctors immediately! (There are many good, caring medical personnel in our country.)

After reading that cataracts could be a side-effect of Crestor, I asked two of my physicians and both seemed stunned and said they never heard of that side-effect... I believe that my sudden onset of cataracts are directly related to the Crestor...

The customer is always right. Never forget you are in business to make money. The money comes from your customers. It is not about you. It is about your customers, and, each has a different need that should be met. It IS your job to help with refills and anything else a customer wants. You really need to adjust your attitude. If you heed this advice, you will be happier and ahead of most.

gk,

I couldn't agree more with you. The moment I say that something is not my problem is the moment that someone else steps up and says they will fix that problem and I lose business.

While I can and do happily fax or call your doctor for refills I can not say when the doctor will likely return my call. I cannot usually speed up the process and I cannot fill a prescription that is without refills or expired.

I want people to have medications, because it's the right thing and it pays the bills.

It is just as frustrating for me as for you that I can call a doctor on a Monday and not get a reply until 3 or more days later.

I have little but praise for the surgeons, doctor and nurses who have attended me in the previous twenty five years. Yes, some of the more senior Europeans had egos which were wonderous to contemplate. Nevertheless, I will bear in mind the comments which have been made when next I attend upon them.

However, I must say I wince at the sight and sound of People's Pharmacy using that awful phrase. In so doing, you have lowered the tone of the proceedings. And NO we do not all use it in what can only be called common speech. For that is what the phrase is: Used by folk who have the inability to search for a phrase which describes their feeling without using the language of a guttersnipe.

Would I have used the phrase in the hearing of my Mother? Certainly not. Then why use it at all?

I agree 100% with you. Remembering how they advertised cigarettes-- now its - medications, (most have so many bad side effects who would want them) A pill doesn't solve everyone's ailments. It seems to be the opposite, the more you take the worse you feel!!! WE should all start protesting this medicine advertising junk.

Helen B

My suggestion if for patients: Whenever your physician prescribes something for you - make certain that you know what it is for. This will help in the event that the physician's handwriting is nearly illegible. When you hand the prescription to the pharmacist - you can tell the pharmacist when handing him/her the prescription that the medicine was (for example) prescribed for your acid reflux disease. In this way, the pharmacist will be less likely to make a mistake when filling your prescription. I always to do this and also ask my husband to do this when he hands his prescription to the pharmacist.

We would like to see a silent ten or fifteen second ad stating that the pharmaceutical company has donated an identified and large amount of money to help the under-insured or chronically ill to purchase health care or medication. Some actual identifiable and trackable compassion on their part might encourage us to consider their product(s).

But the present commercials they put on tv are so wildly weird the viewer wonders who the target audience could possibly be.

First of all, I am not bothered by the words Piss Off. After I have my say, you will understand why.

My right foot became discolored over 6 years ago. Purplish red lesions. I went to my then doctor (a DO) who looked at it and said, "I don't have time for this sh*t". Yes those were his exact words. My reply to him was much more graphic than piss off. After many doctors looking at it and scratching their heads, I went to my podiatrist. She biopsied it right then and there. She tested me for PAD. No one else would. Yes I have PAD. My veins do not function. My leg is swollen, my foot is 2 sizes bigger than it was 5 years ago.

My podiatrist also tested me for auto immune disorders. Positive for RA. I had been begging for years to be tested for Lupus. I am symptomatic of scleraderma. I have COPD. I am in pain everyday. I was told you could have fibro, by a rheumatologist.

My current doctor will not treat the pain. Aqua PT. It is making it worse. I have a back issue (also found by my podiatrist) it is worsening every session.

The new doctor took four weeks to get an appt for an echo on my husband. She told me she will call with the results. Then she wants an appt. She told me it is no big deal, we will watch it and re check in a year. Still no real results. I hurt my thumb 5 weeks ago. Tore muscles tendons everything that could be damaged it was. She was to get me an appt with a hand surgeon. The joint is painful and pops and clicks. Difficult to use it. I am still waiting.

I check all my meds before taking them. I carry an up to date list with me. I research my illnesses. I ask questions. I expect answers. I have an appt Dec 20. I will want to know my husbands results and why I have not gotten a referral.

Oh as a ps,I saw a vascular surg many years ago. He said, there's something wrong with you, I just don't know what. I can't do anything for you. The second one I saw, said it's from my legs. Funny he never looked at them.

Some doctors are just in it for the money and the perks from big pharma. That's another long story.
Where is Marcus Welby when you need him?

bja: When I read your post I was reminded of a condition I had and resolved. The condition I had was 'venous stasis dermatitis'. I also received about the same responses from doctors who seem threatened when confronted with symptoms they don't recognize or simply don't know. I spent beaucoup time online, found what looked like my condition, went to a doctor who said "Yep, that look's about right - but there isn't really any treatment" (keep in mind this was a several years ago).

I am not going to list all the symptoms - look up the condition I mentioned early and see if it fits. What I did was start losing weight, changed my diet (and I mean a radical revision), exercising (not just a mild walk in the afternoon, but a work-at-it-hard-regimen-until-you-sweat-hard) and when I had any available moment, sat down and raised my legs above heart level. That is also the position I employed when asleep - my legs raised on pillows and above heart level.
Unbelievably, it worked (the flesh became less and less red and swollen) and the condition reversed itself. My doctor told me I was "one in a million" and took pictures of my legs. I was told the dark stain was left-over iron deposits from the blood in the flesh and would not dissipate - but it has continued to fade and is almost totally faded in my left leg and a part of my right is only slightly darker.

I sincerely hope this might be the same condition with which you are now afflicted - because if it is, perhaps you will have the same positive results as I. Good luck, best wishes.

I think the only problem with "p*** off" is that here in the UK it means something a little different from the American usage of "being annoyed".

Here it is quite rude invective that strongly encourages somebody who has annoyed you to go away.

But, this being a US website, I think we would understand the difference in meaning "over there". :-)

Problem Pharmacy Customers:
Call and ask if we have 270 roxicodone in stock. We are not going to give that info over the phone.
Bring in CII's 10 minutes before closing.
Bring in an out of town script (usually a CII) after doctor's hours expecting to have it filled.
Call for refills but don't know what meds are being taken.
Call and ask for all meds to be filled, then ask the cashier why certain medicines are in the order.
Bring in new scripts and have no idea what the doctor ordered.
Bring in a bag of 20 prescription bottles and want to know what is missing.
Visit in groups of five (or whatever) to buy pseudoephedrine and all have ID's from another parish.
Call to chat about your medication/condition before getting to the point. We need birth date and name to view your profile before we can truly help you.
Finally, If you are mad at the doctor, the traffic, your insurance company, or the price of groceries, please don't take it out on the tech.

My primary physician is capable and caring; my pharmacist is patient and helpful. RNs, CNPs, PAs have been insulting and dangerous. My present problem is an allergy to all opiates and having nothing but aspirin and alcohol for pain relief. Which would be acceptable if the surgeons didn't smirk when they declared there was nothing else to be done.

Home Health patients who are not willing to provide adequate space for the patient and all their medical equipment. I do private duty with chronically ill, special needs children, and in 20 years, I have only seen TWO whose parents have put them in the largest bedroom in the house.

They typically have themselves in the master bedroom (whether they're married or single) and the sick child is usually in the smallest bedroom in the house. This occurs in both poor and rich houses.

When I was single and moved my two children and myself into a two bedroom apartment, I took the smaller room and put the two boys in the master bedroom, as they had to share. Luckily, mine didn't require all that medical equipment. But I can't imagine putting a chronically ill child with quadriplegia, feeding tubes,wheelchair, and breathing machines, and a HUGE lift needed to move them several times a day, into an 8X10 foot room, so that I could have the big bedroom for no actual reason.

My former doctor, whom has a large HIV+ patient population, venereal herpes blood test on me, without any symptoms or my knowledge. On my next visit, he informed me I had venereal herpes. I was very upset, I never had a lesion or any reason to suspect my husband of infidelity. When I found out how high the false positives rate was for the blood test, especially if you had previously had type 1 herpes (cold sores), I felt he was very irresponsible.

This could have ruined a marriage! I am a 66 year old woman and I was very humiliated. I never trusted him again.

Hi Greg, I read your posts sometimes. I'm off topic here, but just want to encourage you and commend you for your work. (And the Graedons too! I tell all my friends to check out this site.)

My pharmacist has been amazing (and I need to send him a TY note) -- with his help I figured out a lot of my problems were due to drug side effects. He has been, literally, a life-saver. For decades I was not educated about how valuable a resource the pharmacist is. People should consult their pharmacists just like they check in with their doctors. In fact, before any new drug, I'd recommend a serious consult with your pharmacist. They are the ones who should have a list of every single thing you take. The doctors really don't know that much about it, and don't have time.

loved reading these comments. We need to all work together as a team. I have had good doc that I love and some bad one. Such is life. I will still be going to the Doc. Just if I have a doc that I don't see eye to eye with, I ask for someone else. They have the right to do the same.

Love to All

peeve #5-- coming to the clinic, or worse bringing your child, with a fever--not taking anything for it and then telling us that you wanted us to see "just how high" the temperature is. Take something, we are going to believe you. That way you are not suffering or making your child suffer.

I just jumped in here so I'd like to back up a little ways. Back to the TV commercials for drugs. Has anyone ever stopped to add up the COST of TV drug commercials? The script writer fees, producer fees, the actor fees (no those are not real patients!), the recording fees, the film producer fees, on and on and on and then the COST TO AIR the commercials. EVERY SINGLE commercial for EVERY SINGLE DRUG you see is VERY COSTLY.

AND ON EVERY TV CHANNEL ACROSS AMERICA! Do they get tax write offs for these costs? IF they would just provide info to the Doctors (and they do at another great expense with conventions for Dr's) OUR DRUGS WOULD COST ONLY ONE FOURTH OF THE OUTRAGEOUS COST WE AND OUR INSURANCE HAS TO PAY! Think about it!!!

Prescription drug sales went up 80% after drugs began being advertised on TV!! Drug companies have the big, big bucks now and virtually control any congressional bill that remotely applies to them. They lobby for these bills to be created. We have slipped from being a Republic to an Oligarchy! Let's put our brain power and prayers behind returning to what's best for the MAJORITY and for those who have no voice. This government by the rich(job creators we are supposed to refer to them now) and powerful is really getting old.

No, we don't all curse and use crude language.

I agree wholeheartedly! If anyone else "on the street" impersonates a physician it's against the law! The actors on TV are costumed in white coats, even a stethoscope, and rattle on about something that have absolutely no knowledge about, much less drugs and solutions, or human physiology!

Plus, anything on TV costs a great deal of money, including the TV clerics, and churches - so it has to be assumed, they're all very well off, and the pharmas certainly are increasing profits, daily, while Americans are suffering without the meds they need, and now many are halving their pills to make them "go farther."

The USA must stop the ads, period, in all forms that they appear under. Many people do not realize there is no authority possible with such advertising; it's simply unwarranted, unethical, and a dangerous perpetuation of corporate rule in America.

I have my own doctor who is compassionate, knowledgeable, encourages & patiently answers all my questions & is STILL a human being. I would encourage anyone who wants this type of relationship with their doctor to keep looking until they find a good one - they ARE out there!

Now, on to my mother's doctor. I make & keep doctor appts for my mother who has dementia. I do love her doctor who has the same qualities as mine but I HATE HIS PRACTICE!! The office staff borders on incompetence at times & its very frustrating to deal with anyone in the office. WITHOUT FAIL, we wait in the main waiting room AT LEAST 60 minutes with an appointment, sometimes more. Then we wait another 20 minutes or so in the exam room for the doctor to appear. Several months ago, I brought this up to the doctor & asked why I could set my watch by the fact that I must wait a minimum of 1 hour to be escorted to the back, only to wait even longer? He apologized & said that he had an emergency that morning. I explained that occasional problems I can understand - it happens. I was asking why this happens EVERY time & wanted to make sure he was aware of it.

Since then, it has gotten considerably better in this respect only. We had an office visit in November & were told to schedule again in January. When I tried to make an appt, the bonehead behind the desk told me 'oh, we don't even have November finished yet'. REALLY? every other medical professional I have EVER dealt with has the ability to schedule appointments for the next 3 -6 months out. They all have computers there & I'm pretty sure the hours aren't going to change for the practice - WHAT'S THE PROBLEM????

When I was trying to call to schedule that November appt, I called shortly (5 or 10 minutes) after the office opened, knowing it would be busy & that I would have to wait for a bit. The call went straight to hold & after 7 minutes I hung up & called right back. Someone picked up right away. What's up with THAT? Assuming I had not called back right away, who knows how long I would have been on hold? In spite of all this, it would still not be as bad if the people behind the glass reception window would smile & acknowledge they see me, instead of looking right at me, turning & walking away & then coming back when they get around to it with a put-out attitude when you ask a question.

Quite a difference between offices, don't you agree? At my doctor's office they are professional, pleasant, competent & helpful & they work to support the person they work for, so you don't end up with the opposite situation as I have just described. I wish I could find the same good doctor for my mom somewhere else because I'd walk out in heartbeat & not look back. I'd also be sure to tell the doctor why. Does anyone besides me think it may be a good idea to send the doctor a letter explaining what I've had to endure in his office? He has hired these people to take care of his business while he does what he does best, & he is in with a group of doctors. Now that I've written this, I think I may just do what I've proposed; I certainly have nothing to lose.

I have been to doctors that:

1. Get angry when I have ideas on what is wrong with me. And I was right after a test.

2. Don't want to see a list of questions. They don't have time. They want to hear ONE complaint only.

3. Get angry when I don't want antibiotics ( I have a reaction to many).

Absolutely!! Advertising of drugs, viagra, etc. should be banned!!!!!

"....doctor refused to prescribe blood pressure medicine until the patient quit smoking?" [Paraphrased.]

Good heavens! What arrogance! Quitting smoking isn't easy. You seem to approve of this doctor's behavior, which could have hastened this person's death, by refusing to prescribe needed medicine. The ethics of that are truly chilling.

If that happened to anyone in my family, I would be filing a complaint against that doctor. And that's another issue.

I'm shocked that you, as a pharmacy student, have no problem with the doctor's attitude.

However, being a skeptic, I find your story a little hard to believe. Did a doctor REALLY do that? I mean, come on, it seems a little over the top.

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