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What Do Doctors Do to Annoy You?

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Whenever we talk with people who have seen a doctor recently, they are generally happy to have gotten helpful advice and treatment. But there are usually two or three things about the visit that drove them nuts.

High on the list of annoyances is the waiting. Why is it that good restaurants somehow manage to schedule reservations so that you rarely have to wait more than a few minutes for your table? Keep in mind that they have to account for slow eaters who want to linger over dessert. Despite the extraordinary variability in eating styles, most nice restaurants have your table waiting for you when you arrive. Why can't a doctor's office arrange scheduling in such a way that your wait is only a few minutes max?

That is just one example. Here's another: people also tell us that they find the exam gowns embarrassing at best and ridiculous at worst. Why do they put the ties in back so that your butt is hanging out? What's wrong with a bathrobe-like gown that ties in front? Companies make them, so why don't more doctors' offices use them?

Those are just two possibilities. What are your pet peeves? Please tell us in your comments below. 

Joe & Terry Graedon

Update:

Consumer Reports has just done a survey to find out what bothers people about their doctor visits. It turns out that the most common problem is also the most serious. Doctors who failed to explain exactly what is wrong or how they plan to treat the patient rank at the top of the list. Check it out here

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139 Comments

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One thing that pisses me off is that my doctor now has a physician's assistant, who sometimes sees me instead of the doctor, but they charge the same amount to see the physician's assistant as they charge to see the doctor. I don't think that is right.

She gives you a stern lecture (plus handouts!) about diet, except that you are already doing those things, are practically a vegan, and already told her that. I found out later that the insurance company requires this counseling talk. I find it insulting to be presumed a doofus. I tried to interrupt the doctor during this tirade, but she ignored me and just kept on lecturing about stuff I don't eat. Why are doctors doing this? I believe it has been proven that they are no good with nutrition anyway.

Another peeve is when doctors insist that "A" positively cannot cause "B". This is also insulting because sometimes the patient has more insight than the doctor. This includes medication side-effects. I believe doctors are either ignorant of them, don't want to bother with them, or are afraid of getting in trouble for causing them so they deny them.

I also had a question about whether another "A" could cause another "B" and was given a resounding "No". Thank heavens for the Internet, because I looked it up and it should have been a resounding "Maybe".

My doctor group refuses to deal with bioidentical hormones, saying they are dangerous nonsense. I say these doctors are dangerous nonsense. Of course, these doctors are always either men or younger women. And they never define what they mean by bioidentical. They gave me estradiol tablets, which by definition are bioidentical.

I am pissed off by doctor groups who advertise care for older women, yet when you go there and try to discuss menopause things, the doctor is worthless because "our business is delivering babies". So advertise accordingly.

Long waits in the physician's office do not bother me. On occasions when I must leave by a certain time, I inform the staff that I have an appointment that day and waiting on that day will be difficult. Otherwise, I read all the magazines.

Major irritant: Having to access physician through too many other people, i.e. receptionist, nurse, physician assistant etc. -- like playing "party line" at childhood birthday party: too much information lost or mis-communicated.

Major irritant: Medical practices that do not provide the patient with copies of lab and test reports -- too many opportunities for mix-ups in communications.

Major irritant: Medical staffs that act as though if they explain anything medical accurately that the patient will run out, set up an office and hang out a shingle -- too much job protectionism.

Major irritant: extremes in treatment -- the physician who is continually trying to cut costs and hesitates to recommend test or treatments or the physician who wants to skip diagnosis and recommend trendy unneeded surgery.

Major irritant: unreasonable fears of malpractice claims which result in medical staffs continually blaming the patient or making it appear that patient has been un-compliant or missed appointments.

The gown is no problem. I tie it first, then slip it over my head like a T-shirt.

What really pisses me off is having to fill out a new patient history every time I visit a new doctor. I have a complete history I always bring, so I don't have to remember everything in detail, but very few doctors will actually read it. What's worse, when I fill out THEIR form, there's little evidence they read THAT, either.

Worst example of this, perhaps, is a recent MRI experience. They wanted a history of radiation exposure, which I provided -- close to 50 events in the previous few months. The assistant stuck the form in a folder, and me in the machine; ZAP.

There's an overall feeling that doctors are too busy to care for the individual patient any more. I think that, for routine care, I'd be better off living in a very small town with one doctor who would accept chickens for payment.

The list could go on forever, but so far it looks like we're all in the same boat.

Weighing and measuring the height of a patient, instructing the patient to leave shoes ON for 'sanitary' reasons. If that is an issue, there are disposable paper covers available for the standing surfaces of scales. How can a true weight or height be monitored accurately with shoes left on? That is critical information for some medical conditions.

Lack of eye contact. The physician who carries on an entire conversation while writing in the chart or on a computer. When the patient has a question, lack of interest and a hurried demeanor (doc's hand on doorknob of room...eager to exit) and a brief detached answer at best.

Biggest complaint? How can this be? NO sinks in the examining rooms. No hand washing by the doctor or his staff. Non-nurses dressed in nurse-like garb, performing duties they are not licensed for and dispensing information best reserved for a medical professional.

How about sitting in the waiting room for over an hour while the doctors and their staff are treated to a meal by visiting pharmaceutical reps? Those same reps are given access to the doctor, on a regular basis, while the patients with appointments wait.

I could write a book but, I suspect, so could many of us at the mercy of these unacceptable practices.

I have two pet peeves. First are doctors who spend the whole visit looking at their laptop screen while asking questions, and don't make eye contact. The second is doctors who are only seen every year or two for a follow-up diagnostic procedure and who haven't taken the time to review my chart.

As a consequence, the visit is spent refreshing his memory and the decision on how to proceed is based on what I've said rather than a review of my history.

I love my doctor but I don't like her staff. Her physician assistants have been particularly rude and condescending. The front desk staff is curt and act as if they are doing everyone a favor by just showing up.

My doctor has appreciated me telling her about the rudeness and incompetence I've witnessed - she told me that's the only way she can know what's going on. I would urge everyone to give their doctor feedback on how the staff is doing, good or bad.

I also do not like the fact that even though I've been her patient for over 10 years and when I make an appointment I tell them pretty specifically why I want to see her, they still act like they have no idea who I am or why I'm there when I arrive. None of the staff seem to show any concern or compassion. They act as if patients are an annoyance to their day.

My vet's office is more welcoming than my doctor's. At the vet, they know my name, my pets' names, recent problems, etc. because they actually are caring people!

I'm beginning to lose faith in most conventional doctors. I don't trust them as much as I trust my M.D. that is into alternative/complementary medicine, because I have better results with natural verses drugs. And my doctor is open to any suggestions I might have about an alternative, compared to the conventional docs. I have to take a couple of pharmaceutical drugs and I hate it, but my doc prescribes certain vitamins and minerals to counteract the side effects of these drugs.

I find most M.D.'s want to put you through more tests too often. I think they are more concerned about making more money through these tests than they are about making you feel better. I am a healthy 73 yr old female and the quality of today's doctors leaves me with a lot of doubt. They don't take much time to hear what you have to say and they seem to just brush off older people and rush you out of their office.

Yes, and I don't want to see a physician's assistant.

Plus if you do need, say a colonoscopy or endosocopy, they will let a resident do it without your permission, especially if you are old.

How about the morbidly obese physicians (all those free donuts from the pharmaceutical reps???) who lecture slightly overweight patients?

JKH...Yes! I dream of finding a primary care physician and staff who can come close to the standards of our vet's practice.

Why is it that the Doctor sits at the computer during the whole visit? Hardly talks to you. Is reading the computer the whole time. I do not know if he hears anything that I say. The office still bills me for any extra time.

When in hospital & unable to get out of bed physicians push tray out of your reach then examine you & walk out & not returning the tray to you.

Referrals! My doctor barely listens to what I want to discuss, immediately sets up referrals to other doctors for each symptom. No wonder insurance costs are sky high!

I dislike seeing staff dressed in white with no identifying nametags except first name. Many times I have heard staff refer to themselves as the doctor's nurse when they are not licensed.

RN's work hard and pass boards for their licenses. Yet so many MD's don't seem to notice or care. I think all office personnel should have correct name tags with their first name and their title, like Medical Office Assistant or R.N, LPN, etc.

MN is correct. Every person in a doctor's office who will have contact with a patient should have a name tag that clearly states that person's role. Aide, receptionist, R.N., LPN, etc. It should actually be mandated by state law to protect patients. There is a big difference between a Laboratory Technician and a Phlebotomist, for instance. The differences in background and education are countless.

When I have questions already prepared, I find it frustrating when my MD will not take the time to answer them and has one foot out the door as soon as he enters. It makes me feel as though my concerns do not matter much to him/her.

I don't think you can compare doctor's offices to restaurants in regard to wait time. Restaurants have hostesses to even things out. If you go to a restaurant and request a specific server, you may very well wait a long time for them to have an available table. Your wait will be less if you are willing to take the next available server.

If I have to remove my bra for an exam, I'm fine with the gown closing in the back!

My biggest pet peeve is having to be seen by med students. I know they need to learn, but once the attending arrives (the person we have actually scheduled the appointment with and the whole point of being there), they need to be seen and not heard in my opinion. I could write a book myself about some of the things they say/do.

Ditto about non-identification of staff. At one clinic the front desk staff even called a Medical Assistant, Dr. Blank's nurse! I said, "I believe that she is a Medical Assistant". They said, "We know but people just expect this person to be a nurse"! I said that I am going to nursing school an an RN has much more training than a Medical Assistant, they are not interchangeable!

1) Once I'm waiting in an exam room, someone should let me know how long I can reasonably wait until the MD comes in. If the MD will be delayed, I want to be appraised of the delay time. I know the MD may get held up, but someone coming into the exam room to tell me where I stand, time-wise, would be greatly appreciated.

2) As a health psychologist, I know most problems related to obesity, smoking, drug/alcohol abuse are due to noncompliance and not ignorance. The MD should ask the patient how he/she can be most helpful -- information, referral, etc. The MD and the patient can "team up" to help solve the problem, but the MD needs to ask the pt. what the pt. needs and not assume it's a matter of another lecture....

I'm fortunate to have wonderful doctors all very bright and compassionate. My complaints are directed at how my doctors manage their offices. Waiting for more than 15 minutes is simply unacceptable. If I have to keep a client waiting longer than 15 minutes I ask my assistant to apologize and let them know how much longer I will be. I also take offense at unfriendly staff.

This is a service profession and anyone working with patients must be required to behave in a friendly and respectful manner. Treating people with kindness will help them feel more confident in a doctor's practice and also relax them which can only lead for a more pleasant visit for both patient and physician.

After reading the comments above, I feel incredibly lucky. My doctor is a bit ready with the prescription pad, but he always makes eye contact, listens, his assistant is delightful and the staff are professional. I would love to have a doctor who is versed in alternative medicine, but, again, after reading all the comments above I really feel happy and lucky.

I hate condescending doctors. There was a time when my son who has hydrocephalus was having symptoms of a blocked shunt. I took him to a neurosurgeon at the hospital (his neurosurgeon wasn't in, but this Dr. was the head of the practice), they took all the necessary CT's, x-rays, etc. and according the the Dr. everything looked ok. So, he patted me on the shoulder and said "everything is fine, but we'll keep him in overnight for you mom".

Well, at 3 in the morning, his heart rate dropped and he went into a hydrocephalus coma. They had to do emergency surgery!

Another time his ex-pediatrician diagnosed him with a head cold. Took him to the hospital same day, again, another blocked shunt! Always trust a mothers instinct!

I took my son to the emergency room for stomach pain. They did an CT scan, and couldn't find anything wrong with him. The next day I had to take him to the Dr., because he was still in so much pain, he ordered another CT scan at a different location and they found pneumonia. I HATE it when you have to pay for no help at all.

I think the Drs. should get paid according to how they help you. How many times have you gone to the Dr. and they couldn't find anything wrong with you and you had to pay a huge amount for nothing. Something needs to be done about this.

These are all my sentiments exactly! When one doctor admits a mistake, then it's like it disappeared into thin air and it never existed. Having cataract surgery and they scratch your cornea with one of the instruments is the most painful thing I have ever felt. Then I had a tear that existed in that eye and flashes that were continuous. This has been going on, but no one wants to talk about what happened. They just want you to keep coming in and billing you. I am getting pissed!

I find doctor's office to be cold. They tell you to slip on a gown and then make one wait in a room for a long period of time where you may be freezing

Where to start?

A doctor I saw once (more than enough, thank you) who "examined" my breasts by reaching up and under the gown--she did not see one square inch of my body except for my feet during the entire "exam". Does this prevent malpractice suits brought by patients who maybe expect doctors to notice skin irregularities? She then spent the rest of the time--except when she was loudly berating me for not taking a prescribed medication that me sick every day--with her eyes glued to her computer. I was depressed for six months after she said I'd be sorry for not taking the damn pills.

Purposely making an appointment for 8:30 AM then having to wait 15-30 minutes for the doctor who is, obviously, the most important person in the universe.

My HMO has electronic medical records, no doubt available to every one of their thousands of clerical employees, but apparently not available to all of the referral specialists who seem to need the exact same information filled out every time I see one of them.

I hate the fact that my internist is now simply a gatekeeper who refers me to some kind of specialist for everything.

Being told, when I say I try to be an informed patient, that I shouldn't look to the internet for information because it's all junk--except for the medical journals, of course, which are too dense for most of us to read and anyway you need a paid subscription to read them. Argggg. Don't these doctors realize that they've lost all credibility with their endless prescription-writing, pill-dispensing arrogance? There may be a lot of junk floating around in cyberspace but there also seems to be lots of prescription drug overuse, overdependence & just plain danger from pharmaceuticals. Not to mention the the consciencelessness of drug companies, the doctors who listen to them exclusively, the medical journals whose studies are paid for by them. We have to be defensive about our health these days because all medical-related profits, from insurance companies to doctors to drug companies to for-profit hospitals, have become more important than actual health.

I won't even tell a doctor that I listen to The People's Pharmacy--they consider it subversive. God help us if we listen to anybody who doesn't advocate paying with our health as well our money for the endless tests (what happened to diagnostic skills? Oh wait, you'd actually have to listen to your patients and maybe look at them too if you relied on your own skills), specialists, nutritionists, prescriptions, etc. And I'm the healthiest person I know.

Thanks for the opportunity to sound off.

Antibiotic-resistant bugs have become a huge health issue and it's truly frightening to realize that the reason they're epidemic in hospitals is that health care professionals can't be bothered to wash their hands in between patients.

Are you kidding me? Isn't that kind of basic?

Too many doctors treat me as an idiot, or, try to make me feel as if I'm one. Having been around physicians all my life, who took the time to explain their conversations to my cousin, and me from we were children, I take an extremely dim view of this practice. Few listen to what I have to say, and dismiss many observations I make.

For example, I told a Ob/Gyn that, two weeks before I had my period, I had an attack of allergic rhinitis that was not controlled by antihistamines. His reply, sneeringly, "The longer I'm in practice, the stranger stories I hear from patients". The ENT's response, "For some unknown reason, there's a direct correlation between pregnancy, periods, and allergies. Here's a copy of my research paper on the subject, published in the Journal of the British Medical Assoc.".
I could write a book on my dismal experiences with the breed.

I was referred to a surgeon for colorectal surgery based on a small bowel x-ray. The surgeon is on the same floor as the referring doctor. When I saw the surgeon the next week none of my information (medications, x-rays, etc.) had been scanned in for the surgeon to see on his computer. Therefore, he said surgery was not warranted at this time. When I told him that the referring doctor said I was one cm. away from a perforation of my colon, he said, "If what you say is true, then my recommendation changes." I left feeling like I had wasted the doctor's time.

Another pet peeve is rude, uncaring, nurses who are too busy to talk to you or call you back.

There is no accountability in a doctor's office. A nurse or clerk may say they are going to fax something over to another doctor's office, but it never arrives.

Doctors who are so busy that they don't think outside the box and keep misdiagnosing the patient over and over are a huge source of frustration to the patient.

Doctors often do a poor job of communicating with their patients. This needs to improve.

I am careful when I choose my doctors, and if a doctor does something that is inconsiderate or makes me angry, I don't see that doctor again. There may be times when the condition would warrant seeing a doctor you don't like, but that should be the exception.

We should remember that WE are the customers, that WE choose our suppliers.

Why do doctors insist on pushing pills, especially statins? I know the answer. Big Pharma is greasing their wallets. My last lab tests showed 129 LDL, 88 HDL, 61 trigs, 93 glucose, BP 130/65. The first number is borderline high, I'm told, and if it goes higher, he'll want me on statins. Oh yeah, I take Cholest-Off, the only OTC item approved by the FDA for cholesterol. I've resisted the statins for years, and I intend to do so in the future. I did succumb to BP Rx, however.

I hate medical offices that don't answer the phone, but instead have you leave a message and they call you back when it's convenient for them. I'm starting to run in to that more often and it's infuriating when all you want to do is schedule an appointment.

Also, my husband went to a urologist once for kidney stones. He passed the stone at home and decided to cancel the follow up appointment. Two days later he got a letter in the mail, saying that the urology office was not legally responsible for any harm that came to my husband because he chose to cancel his appointment, and if he didn't come in for the appointment they would not treat my husband in the future.

We were completely appalled by this, but since this is the only urology office in the small town I live in, they can get away with behavior like this. Patients are at their mercy.

Someone comes into the exam room before the doctor and I have to tell them personal details of why I came to see the doctor. They write it down, but when the doctor finally comes in he doesn't even look at what's there, he just asks me all the same questions over again. My privacy doesn't seem to be a priority. Nor does my time.

I have wonderful Dr.s and don't put up with attitude. Still, two insisted I take Omega-3 fish oil. Each time I took it, I had a bladder infection. The 3rd time it happened, I was VERY sick on sulfa Rx and said no more. IF I take no oil and still have an infection, then I'll go back on the oil. That was Sept. and I'm doing just fine. Doctors can be wrong.

I experience a similar situation with one of my specialists. The doctor is wonderful, but I can't stand dealing with his office cutie-pies. They never listen when I speak. They act as if I have some nerve interrupting their Minesweeper game session. I make every effort to make myself clear, but they ask the same questions over and over. I'm hesitant to say anything to the doctor, though, because I think one of the office girls may be a relative. However, the situation is unpleasant enough that I want to seek out another specialist!

Nurse or assistant who is practicing on me until they get efficient on how to find the vein.

So many....
1. Having to explain over the phone why I want an appointment; embarrassing when you have office mates.
2. Doctors that ask you when you were last seen for something; hello where are the records and why aren't they up to date?
3. When I ask a question -- telling me that it's not important, don't worry about it. Or saying something strange like you see that in pregnant women sometimes -- I've been through menopause???
4. Not keeping up to date with current medicine -- telling me I don't have a concussion when I have all the other signs but wasn't knocked unconscious.
5. Showing up late for a nonessential appointment -- then not even apologizing -- goodbye there are other doctors with more bedside manner.
6. Asking me why I don't come in for things like colds and the flu -- why bother, I'm told the same thing, go home, get rest, drink plenty of water and come back if you aren't better in a week -- and pay $100.
7. Going on and on about her children instead of concentrating on my issues.
8. No parking, expensive parking.
9. Being sent two bills - one for the doctor and one for the "hospital" because the office is in a building considered a hospital. But if it is in a clinic, no extra bill.
10. This has kind of stopped -- but male doctors suggesting female patients should see a psychiatrist when they couldn't figure out the complaint.
11. Doctors who refuse to help their patient when their work situation is causing health problems -- having to work required overtime in a dusty place and always getting bronchitis, but the doctor refuses to give a note so the employee can be excused. Excuse -- doesn't want to upset the business.

Gosh, I can relate to almost all of the comments. I have fired more doctors (some to their face) for stupid stunts, like bringing the wrong file in to the room to treat me for illnesses and conditions that I didn't even know existed. One doctor wanted to treat me for jock itch when I was seeing him for an ingrown toenail. One doctor kept me waiting for over an hour while he was in his "locked" office with a very pretty sales rep (wonder what that was all about?) Both were fired to their face.

One REALLY BIG beef is going to the window to sign in and having the clerk ask why I was there. They expect you to tell them of the jock itch, bursitis, tinnitus, dry scalp, or hemorrhoids, in front of a waiting room of other patients, who properly had to broadcast their medical files to other patients. What about privacy? They are fired right at the window and loud enough for the other patients to hear and applaud. Medicals offices Suck!

Scenario :
"Hi doc, haven't seen you in awhile !"

"Yeah ( looking at chart ) where have you been ??"

"I try to stay away... take care of myself and not get sick ! Every time I see you I have to take medicine or something !"

Later: "You seem to be doing OK... could still lose about 10 pounds, You ought to try."

"You're right. I would like to. What can I do ??"

Do you take a baby aspirin every day ? It appears to really statistically affect colon problems in a good way.

"OK, I'll try it.

Six months later: "Is that a bruise on your hand? Have some blood drawn and see me next week... just want to be sure about the bruising."

Next week: "I am still concerned about your blood. It's probably all right. Why don't you go see the blood specialist at the hospital?"

Specialist: Do you use aspirin therapy ? That can cause bruising and blood abnormalities. What drugs and supplements do you regularly take? We'll take some blood and see you in two weeks. In the meantime stop taking aspirin.

Final visit: " Great news !! Your blood is perfect.

I never went back to the aspirin regimen.

Now, this pisses me off !!!

Surgeons who never tell you about the complications of a particular surgery until AFTER the procedure is completed. Sometimes the complications can be worse than the original problem. My friend had a terrible time with painful scar tissue after a simple knee surgery procedure.

Also, no one ever tells you about the radiation levels or costs for imaging devices. I NOW hear that the scans that I received during my kidney stone episode have about 100 times that of a simple X-ray. And they did this twice. The costs exceeded $3000 which even after both my insurance paid I still owed over $600. Had I known that I would have opted out of this procedure.

Losing tests. In my case they lost the blood and blood test information. They did not check the test sign in sheet and waited to call me ask if I had actually taken the test [ after I had called them to get my results]. It seems there would be some track of the blood or papers or .... so forth and so forth and so forth. They were also horrible at asking the lab questions as to what they have done in trying to find the blood. I had to ask permission to call the lab. After several rounds of stupidity, they called me to send testers to my home to retake the test. They apologized very humbly.

Two years ago I had a stent put in. A couple days after returning home after the operation, I felt confused about my recovery instructions. I called the doctors office to talk about this. As usual it was difficult to get through their phone system and try to talk to a live voice and punch automated #s that got no response or dead lines. Finally I finally got a live voice who asked me who I was. I repeated my name, etc. to hear that they did not know who I was. I repeated that their heart doc did the operation. ''DUH, we do not have records on you.''

Actually I think my Dr visits have gotten better. My waits are not excessive. The rooms can be chilly, but that is a problem with many office building beyond their control, so I take a sweater with me. Prescriptions can be submitted electronically now and I don't have to mail them in. Of course, I have probably developed a reputation for asking a lot of questions and standing my ground.

Now in all fairness, when you gonna ask doctors what patients do to piss them off? Hey we ain't all angels all the time.

how about those male m.d.'s who do a full body physical on a female pt/ without a female being present at that time? could be a dangerous situation. how can they listen to your heart and check you respirations while talking and asking you questions all the time... doctors don't doctor anymore---they test and use computers.

I get upset that old people are considered stupid and dispensable. I walked into my mother-in-law's hospital room one time and found a candy-striper taking blood from her. A candy-striper is a high-school kid - usually girl that has very little training and certainly should not be doing anything as serious as taking blood! I was furious and told everyone so what I thought of this practice. I wonder what ALL they let her do when I wasn't there to watch.

In another instance, my husband who has had white hair since he was 30 was mowing and got thistle seeds from the plant into his eyes. They are tiny and hurt like crazy. We went to the emergency room to get help getting them out. They treated him like he was a crazy old man. They were actually laughing at him and rolling their eyes. They couldn't see the seeds in there. They couldn't see ANYTHING in there. They did a half-way cleaning of his eyes and sent him home with painkillers. First thing in the morning we called the opthamologist's office the next morning. They told us to come right in. When they cleaned his eyes out they found over a 100 seeds left in by the emergency room people! And they treated him like a sane person.

I reported the emergency room people to my insurance company and to the hospital administrator and we did not pay their bill.

UNC system seems to demand that folks who schedule docs' appts. make them every 15 minutes. As a result, my doc, who cares about her patients enough to give them the time they need, gets pretty far behind on occasion. I've had the office person tell me to be there promptly at 9:30 as that was the only time that was available. I dashed there and sat for 1.5 hours waiting.

My doc's partner filled in for her while she was on vacation. The blood report came through when the partner was also on vacation. The nurse sent it to her and she made a recommendation. Accidentally, the nurse sent it to her again and she made a seriously different recommendation of meds. Oy! What to believe?

This is not so much a doctor thing as much as an HMO thing that pisses me off. A lot. Every time I go to any of the practitioners I have to get through a check-in that's just inside the door of the clinic. Then when I get to the office where the appointment is I check-in again. Is this really necessary? It can't be cost-effective.

I also get a letter in the mail before the appointment and a phone call the day before. There must be thousands of clerical staff in my HMO, they feel very comfortable asking personal questions, and privacy is truly a thing of the past.

I called to make an appointment with a dermatologist to get checked for a suspiciously changed mole. Afterwards I checked my list of HMO doctors to be sure I had the correct address of the clinic. The doctor's name wasn't listed. I called back and told the receptionist I couldn't find the doctor's name listed, either in my manual or online and she just confirmed the clinic address.

When I got to the appointment I discovered the "dermatologist" was not a doctor but a Certified Nurse Practitioner. I have seen her three times since then, had biopsies and a surgery and I like her as much as any doctor I've ever had. But I feel hoodwinked by the HMO whose receptionist gave me an appointment with a CNP when I specifically asked for a dermatologist (of course I had to explain my problem before getting an appointment in the first place--another major gripe) and I did not get charged any less for having been seen by a CNP.

It's a pretty stunning and demoralizing reminder that profits always trump health care.

Presently my biggest beef with the orthopedic office I've been going to is the l-o-n-g wait to be seen & only after I voice my concern for the time it's taking to be seen, is some action taken. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

When the office calls to remind me of the appt. they insist on the patient being there 10 min. early to take care of the paper work. Hello! I've never been late for an appt. but it's always late for the patients to be seen. My time costs something, too, how about if we start charging for every hour we have to sit in the office waiting to be seen.

As some have reported, I've seen the staff, etc. chatting away, eating, etc. you name it & it gets done, but those of us who are patients, we hardly dare to use the necessary room for fear of being called at the wrong time to take care of the paper work or to see the Doc.

I also don't like Docs who act like they are God & know it all--they are human beings also & make mistakes. I've been a Mom for 47 yrs. & have had some experiences with many kinds of illnesses, etc. etc. so I do think I know a little about life & medical problems, not everything, but I sure don't act like I am God & know it all as some Docs. will.

Misdiagnoses, doesn't listen when you tell him that the statins make you sick. Condescending attitude. Doesn't give you a copy of test results. Office staff is changed frequently. Makes you come back often to get routine prescriptions that haven't changed dosages in years. I would change doctors but I'm afraid I would get assigned to one that is even worse than what I have.

My pet peeve is people who expect their Doctor to keep a schedule that would make it absolutely certain that my Doctor can NEVER give a patient the time they need to discuss diagnoses, treatment options or preventative behaviors because some type "a" personality is livid about having to wait for 20 extra minutes. Then, they complain about not seeing their Doctor, but the Physician's Assistant who is helping their Doctor to keep to a schedule like their local restaurant does...

I will wait! My Doctor will work me in if I am too ill to wait until next week, he will call me at home to see how I am, he is my partner in my healthcare. I want him to treat EVERY patient the way he treats me; like I matter to him. I am happy to allow him time to do that, even when I lose an hour at work! It is a small price to pay for the kind of healthcare people really long for, personal attention from a trusted Physician.

Something that really irks me is the way Drug Reps get top priority. They can waltz in at anytime and tie up office staff and the doctor giving their spiel, passing their samples, giving out goodies. There have been many many times I've been kept sitting in waiting rooms while everyone socialized.

Then there is all the handing out of those sample drugs. I was once given a sleeping aid (I hadn't asked for one) that turned out to be strong medication for schizophrenics. The first thing on the side effect list was "suicide" for Pete's sake. I did not take the first pill and told my doctor I was furious. I believe he was using his patients to test out a new drug.

There are two major things that truly upset me when I see my doctor. FIRST, after finally getting into the exam room, I have to give my life history, my families life history, along with my reasons for seeing the doctor, to his nurse. THEN, when the doctor does come into see me, the first question he/she asks is, "So, what seems to be the problem today?" The PROBLEM!!!! The problem is, you didn't READ all of the information that I just gave your nurse, explaining to HER, and YOU, if you would have read my chart, what my problem is!!!

It is said that a patient has, on the average, 17 minutes to "see" a doctor. I spend SEVEN to TEN of those minutes, restating, to the doctor, what took me SEVEN to TEN minutes before to tell his/her nurse!!! READ---------if you can't read, find a teacher!

Secondly, I hate how doctors "lump" us all into one category. After explaining my symptoms, to a doctor, or expressing concerns about a possible reaction to a medication, he/she, calmly looks at me an states, "that is normal." NORMAL!!! How do you know what is "normal" for me? I only have 17 minutes to see you and I have already spent 7-10 minutes retelling you what I already told your nurse. Now I have 10 minutes, at the max.,left! How can you say what is normal for me when you have only spent 10 minutes with me and you haven't read my chart?!! It might be "normal" for "Joe Blow," but I know my body and I do know what is normal for me!

They tell me they will have a heart monitor for me and will call when it is available. The call never comes. When I call them the nurse says, "I'm so glad you called. I couldn't remember who this was for!" Pretty unnerving.

They cancel my appointment and refer me to a specialist. Next they call to remind me of the appointment that has been canceled!

My doctor has decided I have metabolic syndrome. The only place my blood pressure is high is in her office. Could it be because my pressure is taken incorrectly? The girl actually told me I had to sit on the exam table (feet dangling, arm not supported) because my arm needed to be higher than my heart! When I complained to the doctor she told me her BP machine is very expensive ($5000.00) and it was the type used in surgery. At other offices my pressure is usually 110/64.

Yes, my cholesterol is higher than it should be. I still have curves at my waistline (my doctor doesn't) so I don't know why she considers me to be "apple" shaped. I would like to lose 10 pounds so I'm not saying I don't need to lose a few pounds. My blood sugar and insulin levels are fine. (unless she isn't telling me the whole story) And I will not go back to a practice that refers to me as a condition instead of calling me by name - "Dr. your metabolic syndrome patient is here" so the entire waiting room can hear.

I too plan to ask my specialist if he can be my primary care physician. I may have to convince the insurance company it is in my best interest but I will do whatever it takes. That man is what a doctor should be. He listens to my concerns. He treats me with respect. He is impressed that I bring questions with me and won't end the appointment unless I convince him that he has answered every one of them. He does not make me feel as if any of my problems are my own doing. I never wait more than 5 minutes to be seen. I have never had to wait to get an appointment - if I call, his staff knows that I need to be seen ASAP.

So I guess that you just have to keep looking until you find someone that you can work with.

I agree with many of the above comments, but lately my doctors' schedulers say come 15 minutes early. I end up sitting in the waiting room an additional 15 minutes. Tell me the time for my appointment and I'll be there but two times is silly.

My HMO has great primary care doctors - attentive, interested, respectful and patient as well as well-qualified. My primary doc of 24 years retired and most of all i miss her interest in alternative medical practices. She knew i did not want prescription medicines if we could avoid them. She would communicate with my naturopathic physician. She could refer me to acupuncturists. She used common sense.

I would very much like to have more MD's be aware of and interested in holistic, complementary medicine.

To avoid the wait time, I ask the nurse that schedules the appointment to schedule me for the best time to get in and get out fast. It is usually the first appointment after lunch/as long as the doc is not a long lunch person.

The poor scheduling of patients can be a result of a doc that spends too much time on each patient or an overscheduling so they maximize their income for that day... I let the doc know that I will not wait more than 20 minutes and then I will either leave or deduct that time (I am a consultant that charges hourly for my time) from my payment as I leave. They get the message if you tell them some way.

I do not have insurance and thus shop around for my med services. I go direct to lab for bloodwork instead of paying doc or hospital overhead. We have a choice whether they want us to or not.... the insurance companies own the docs but they do not own us.

No gowns anymore except for X-rays. Pull down your jeans to get a pain shot at 6mo. checkup. Heart checked thru street cloths. He's also on the computer while I try to talk to him.

Get a flu injection from the nurse and I'm billed a nurses fee.Talk to a nurse and I have to pay a co-pay. Was told by ofc. person that I couldn't see the Dr. if I didn't pay the last visit fee. I never rec. a statement and told her so and that I would pay it before I left. I got some static from her and then I got loud and mad. Look up my records and see if I don't pay my bills. If you can't wait until I see my Dr. for your $11. co-pay, tough!

They are more interested in that almighty dollar then the patient. I wouldn't pay that co-pay until I was finished with my appointment! $75.00 for a 10 min. appointment. We should all be so lucky to make even 1/2 of this for 10 min. of work!!!!!!!

Things won't be getting better anytime soon.

Doctors habit of prescribing drugs instantly, never looking at your chart before hand. Then when you remind them of something revelant, they say, oh yes, I forgot that. That was my doctors reaction to my telling him about a horrible reaction I had after taking a medication he prescribed, within ten minutes after taking it. Actually, he said, oh, I didn't write it on your chart, (the pill he had prescibed)

Why don't they check your chart before seeing you? I find Florida doctors have a strong habit of taking "senior" patients with little regard.

I waited one month to get results of my blood tests. She told me she was very busy and didn't have time. Very difficult to get a call back from the doctor, if at all. All messages are taken by an operator and given to the doctor.

Also, we are now being charged a "facility charge" for visits to the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic.

Doctors do not believe you when you read an article in the paper regarding medications, etc. and look at you like you have 2 heads.

My doctor is fine. However, I recently got diagnosed with diabetes, and was assigned to see a diabetes educator. I was told immediately-- before having a chance to talk to this person, that I was in denial, and had to try to cut back on junk food and take a little walk because I would be on insulin "in less than no time."

At the time I was starving myself and exercising compulsively because I was so frightened by my diagnosis. I am less overweight than most diabetes patients have never eaten fast food, and have never been inactive. I work out regularly at a gym.

I then got the same lecture from the pharmacist who had obviously talked to the diabetes educator. I felt in both cases the person could have asked about my habits before lecturing me.

My pet peeve is not actually with my doctor, but with having to deal with people who stereotype me, and not being able to choose who is on my team because the doctors and nurses come as a package deal. I will have to see the same nurse who saw me as fat, lazy and complacent because I have diabetes (practically everyone in my family gets it) again if I do not want to change doctors.

Why can't I choose the members of my own team working with people I trust?

My sister had a heart stent inserted this week. Her doctor rattled off at a speed of 90 mph what he did and what she needed to do. When I looked at him in a questioning manner, he exclaimed - "You look puzzled!" DUH. So, a pet peeve: Doctors - SLOW DOWN! IF you are explaining something to an elderly patient, WRITE important points down (legibly) for the person as you talk.

I agree with the post about seeing the PA.

Now, this is a good one: My brother waited & waited for his doctor - first in the waiting room, then in the "cubicle". Eventually, when NO ONE came in to check on him, he went to the front desk. THE DOCTOR HAD LEFT & GONE HOME.

Laughable. My brother really likes the doctor. I spoke to the same doctor while taking a friend to see him and told him how much my brother thought of him & brought up my brother's being left behind. The doctor told me that it happens and then went on to tell me about a patient that had been delivered to his office from a nursing home. He was placed in a cubicle to wait. The cleaning crew found the man that night after everyone had left the office.

I swear, I did not make this up. I have wondered why the nursing home never sought out the patient prior to the cleaning crew finding him????

That's another topic: nursing home care.

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. Mine 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 to 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 when they should take the whole prescription.

Asking 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 GP's) 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 from 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!

Refusing to get out of the med school "box" and entertain conversation about alternative medicine or research that may conflict with their "cast in stone" opinion.

I recently read The China Study, an amazing book by a highly qualified researcher whose research results seem irrefutable but I cannot get my doctor to consider reading it. I know they are well educated and busy but they could perhaps learn of something new by listening to their patients. They seem threatened by patients who try to keep abreast of the latest information and take charge of their own health.

I would love to have an integrative medicine physician but they are few and far between it seems and I can't find one in my area.

I changed to a new Dr because my former one was a pill pusher and laughed at a question I asked. I know I had legitimate information and he was way off in his judgment! My husband still sees him and all he cares about is cholesterol. My spouse is in pain nearly all the time, he smokes cigars, and gets very little exercise or activity. Wouldn't you think the Dr would address other things besides cholesterol?

Frankly, I have to agree that "the enemy is us", but NOT for any of the reasons stated. I don't think patients should be expected to research their own conditions before they see the doc--more often than not, self diagnosis confounds things. Better if they are able to describe their current problem, or bring along someone who can.

Complaints about wait time are abundant here, but how many of you expect the doc to give you all the time you think you need? And with your "$11 co-pay", how many people do you think he needs to see in a day to be able to pay his staff salaries, his rent and equipment, his malpractice insurance... and still make a living wage?

Complaints about paying to see a Nurse Practitioner or a PA are ridiculous. Do you think they don't need to be paid? They are fully qualified to deal with your problem, and know when to invoke the physician.

Most of the things that piss me off about physicians are NOT their fault, but rather the flawed system we have. It causes the doc to prescribe a treatment whose side effx might be worse than the syx rather than let it alone--because he can be sued for letting it alone, and because deep pockets (either the gov't or the insurance company) are paying for it anyway.

That said, these are the things I have experienced directly or almost directly that have caused me to fire my physician or recommending someone else doing so (and not just on their hearsay, but knowing it directly):

1. A poorly run practice system where test results are not handled properly or followed up. Lost test results can be as deadly as an incompetent physician.

2. A physician who charged my insurance company for a full physical when what she really did was look at my current problem and prescribe an MRI (about 90 seconds). That's fraud.

3. A bone specialist (pretty prominent in his large urban practice) who told a patient her fractured collarbone wasn't healing because she smoked. When she asked him about the Actonel she was taking for osteo, he dismissed it entirely. Her PCP told her to stop taking it, as it stops bone remodeling, and her fx healed right up. An orthopedic surgeon should have known that--it's a bone condition and a bone med. He had such a bias against her for being a smoker that he appeared not to care whether she healed or not. He was a real prig. She fired him.

I too like my M.D. but his staff is not what I would want working for me.

The "Nurse" or probably a medical assistant, who calls me back to see the Dr. never smiles, acts as if she hates her job, does not tell me my blood pressure after she takes it, unless I ask what it is, irritates me no end. The office staff is no better, in fact I wonder if some of them are related to the MD as they can be very incompetent.

I have talked to the Dr and told him his staff can ruin his practice and he said he would have a meeting with them. That was months ago and at my last visit, three weeks ago, there was no change.

I too agree people working in the back office should have a badge that tells the patient exactly what their title is. As a retired LPN, I resent the fact that medical assistants are called Nurses.

The one thing that irritates me the most about doctors, is the fact that they think they know "our" body better than we do...

No different then driving the same car every day for years, we get to know the car, we can hear every little change, different sound, strange pull etc. Well, it is the same thing with our body, we live with it and we know when it does funny and strange things... so why wouldn't a doctor listen to these very exact complaints? It will only give him all the hints he needs...

I am a nurse by trade and as a professional and now patient, these are the things I really wish they would learn in med school. I used to work for a doc, he told his patients: "well that will be the day when a patient tells the doctor whats wrong with his body... I tell you whats wrong with you."

That attitude and pompous behavior has no room in the medical field.

The other things that irritates me about the docs is:
They don't want you to be educated about your own problem, now they will have to explain why they want you to take a certain medication.
As a nurse I know a lot of meds and what they are used for, so don't insult my intelligence by just saying: take this it will help you... or I think you should see a counsellor, wow, see a counselor? Just because you don't want to find out what is ailing me? Not everybody is mentally unstable just because you don't know what I suffer from..... well, it turned out to be I am suffering from a very serious auto immune disease... but for many many years, all they wanted to give me was antidepressants, which I actually by now I needed due to their lack of caring and being brushed off for so many years and by so many doctors.

Today, I have a HERO as my specialist that diagnosed me and listened from day one, I owe him my life. I wish he would not be such a rarity...

From a nurse's point of view: I wish patients would NOT look at their doc as being a god... these days should be over... they should question their diagnosis and how they can back it up and the same goes for the treatment, especially ask what these meds they are being given are actually really for...

So many patients I have seen and talked to, they had no idea they had Hypertension (high Blood pressure) and heart disease, but they were loyally taking the meds they were prescribed... and having no idea some of the "things" they were experiencing were actually side effects from the meds...
Ask questions until you are satisfied, if you don't get that, get a second opinion or ask to be referred to a specialist...

Just remember, they more meds the docs prescribe the more perks they get from the pharmaceutical companies.. big huge business :)

YOU THE PATIENT HAS TO BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE, nobody is more interesting in your health than you... it is your body and your wellness :)

In response to SNH. His points 1, 2, and 3 are very valid. But, I did not say research your condition before you visit, though there is nothing wrong with researching your symptoms and understanding that many problems may have the same symptoms. When the doctor makes his diagnosis, then you are prepared to ask why arrived at that diagnosis versus other possibilities. One example is I complained of body aches from Lipitor. The doctor suggested testing my Vitamin D since low vitamin D can cause body aches.

Sure enough my vitamin D was low and initially it seemed to help my body aches due to lipitor. Later on my body aches got worse and I also developed difficulties with decision making. After two experiments of my own where I quit lipitor, got better, started it back at a lower dose and the symptoms returned. Just to be sure I quit it again and on a followup with the doctor she agreed I should switch and try crestor. That will be the last statin I have tried over 8 years. I have my fingers crossed.

SNH also commented "but how many of you expect the doc to give you all the time you think you need? And with your "$11 co-pay",. I expect him or her to take enough time to convince me and earn my trust once the doctor earns my trust they will not have to devote as much time on each visit. Plus the doctor does get a bit more than that 11 bucks.

My last visit switching from lipitor to crestor was billed at $140 and the negotiated rate between the doctor and my insurance company was 110$ I spent about 20-30 minutes in the waiting room, but not all of that was with the doctor. In my case I pay the whole 110 since I have a high deductible which I hope I will not meet.

DWD
There was a previous post that mentioned their $11 co-pay (and I believe also complained about the doc taking too long with other people).

As for patients researching their conditions, I think that's fine, after the doc makes a diagnosis. That's different than self diagnosis, and there's a lot of that going on.

Your experimentation with statin side effects demonstrates why people would do well to take an interest in their condition. Most docs won't go probing for those, so it's up to patients to help figure things out.

BTW: I had a similar experience with lipitor (muscle weakness). I quit taking it. My cholesterol isn't very high, so I'm better off on nothing. However, COQ10 depletion causes the muscle weakness, so it helps to supplement with it if you're on a statin. Hope your new Rx works better.

For things like sore throat, bronchitis, & flu shots I go to the health care provider that is available at a local retail pharmacy on a walk-in basis. Most of the time it's a nurse-practitioner, sometimes an actual M.D. Wait time is minimal, you see only one person. The individual providers always impress me with their caring attitude, eye contact and information provided. We discuss what preventive measures I can perform (e.g. saline nasal lavage). They give me printed information from CDC website, printed summary of visit, printed instructions... none of which I receive from my regular physician visits -- they only give me a bill/receipt and perhaps a prescription. I will still see my internist for annual check-ups, referral to specialists, needed special tests, etc. but the rest of my health care business is going to the N.P. or M.D, at the retail pharmacy.

HEATHER K:
Your post illustrates the difference between health care that people have a stake in (you pay and your provider wants to keep you) and health care that is government or insurance company provided (in which neither party cares about the cost).

When we all paid for our doctor visits, they were affordable. Still are in practices that don't do insurance. When deep pockets started paying, people felt entitled (it needs to be "free") and providers raised their prices to get what they became to feel they were entitled to as well--why not get the max?

Unfortunately your perception of physician assistants is completely clouded. Physician assistants are only reimbursed by insurance at 80% of what the physician is reimbursed. So although you are complaining about a bill, PA's typically spend more time with patients, are able to make completely competent and accurate decisions whether your condition be surgical or non-surgical, and are often under-estimated in their ability to practice medicine.

PA's are board certified just like physician's and their supervising physicians would absolutely not allow them to practice independently as they do unless they completely trust their judgment and have years of experience and training behind them. The nice thing about PA's is that they KNOW THEIR LIMITS and whenever they feel like something is beyond their scope of practice, they consult their supervising physician.

You would probably never realize that most of the follow through, surgical planning, prescription decisions, and overall medical decision making is done by a physician assistant. All in all, the general public is very uneducated on the importance and role of a PA in modern medicine. In my opinion it is a very close minded view from a patient perspective to discount the knowledge, experience, and judgment of a PA. Most of what the physician knows about his/her patients comes from discussion with their PA's.

Do you have any realistic idea of how many patients Physicians and PA's see? How can you expect anyone to remember exactly who you are and what your problem is? First of all, front desk staff changes constantly so don't ever expect them to remember you.

Do you have any idea of the sense of entitlement that patients walk in the door with? Of course your vet's office is more welcoming - no dog or cat or dog or cat's owner is as demanding and rude as a modern day patient! I work as a PA in orthopedic surgery and am physically and emotionally DRAINED at the end of the day because of rude people, outrageous requests, and the incredible sense of entitlement that the human race has seemed to develop over the last 20 years. Do you think 20 years ago a patient would walk into a doctor's office and tell the doctor what THEY needed? of course not! Try to put yourself on the other side of the fence before making ridiculous comments!

Most average people do not know the fact that physicians and physician assistants that are board certified will have LONG white coats on. Any other members of the office staff such as RN's, MA's, lab techs, etc... SHOULD NEVER wear a long coat since this denotes status. Maybe that can help you determine who's who in the future.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WOULDN'T NAME TAGS BE HELPFUL?

Unfortunately you could not be further from the truth. An obviously un-researched comment such as this is truly un-respected by me. The primary reason that there are antibiotic resistant "superbugs" out there is because patients don't take antibiotics as directed and the antibiotics that are over-prescribed by medical professionals.

Let me explain - when you stop taking an antibiotic before it is completely gone (there is a reason for a 10 day or 14 day prescription) the bacterial infection is not completely eradicated from your body and it is able to build resistance and mutate into a species that will not be destroyed by that particular antibiotic in the future. (Similar to evolution) When millions of people each year do they same thing, superbugs are produced and no longer do they respond to the appropriate antibiotic.

Another reason - when you go in to see your physician or PA and "demand" and antibiotic because you don't feel good, BACK OFF. If your infection is viral and NOT bacterial (only for the medical professional to decide, by the way) and an antibiotic is prescribed, AGAIN your body builds up a resistance or tolerance to this antibiotic and it will not work appropriately in the future. So, the bottom line is that UNNECESSARY ANTIBIOTIC USE is extremely detrimental and just feeds the production of superbugs and antibiotic resistance.

Sorry to disappoint you, but not washing your hands before you come into a room is the last thing on the priority list that you should be worried about. If you're compliant as a patient, and have a competent medical professional, that is all that you can do. Blame this problem on the people out there that think they know better than their doctors.

Little do you know that when you are seeing a physician in a multi-physician practice, your physician or PA never sees a penny from your co-pay. This usually goes directly to the practice or only a small percentage goes to the physician. I can tell you, as a PA myself, that I never see even one penny of your co-pay even though a PA can bill at 80% of what a physician can. Just FYI.

Co-pays typically are in place because of how much or how little your insurance company reimburses so you can take that complaint straight to your insurance instead of griping about it to people who have no say about it. Even being in the medical field, I have insurance with $150 copay for an emergency room visit and a $1500 deductible. So if you think that we are getting special treatment, think again.

Let me clear up your complete misconceptions and the legal vs. moral reasons for your observations. See below...
So many....
1. Having to explain over the phone why I want an appointment; embarrassing when you have office mates. - BE BRIEF _ FRONT DESK STAFF DON'T NEED TO KNOW DETAILS - THEY ARE TRYING TO GET A FEEL FOR HOW LONG THE APPT. WILL TAKE SO THEY CAN SCHEDULE APPROPRIATELY.

2. Doctors that ask you when you were last seen for something; hello where are the records and why aren't they up to date? - WHEN YOU CALL AN OFFICE YOUR CHART DOESN'T MAGICALLY APPEAR IN FRONT OF OUR FACES AND WE DON'T KNOW YOU LIKE A FAMILY MEMBER SO BEAR WITH US - WE HAVE TO SEE LOTS OF PATIENTS TO MAKE A LIVING AND YOU UNFORTUNATELY AS IT MAY SEEM ARE NOT OUR ONLY ONE.

3. When I ask a question -- telling me that it's not important, don't worry about it. Or saying something strange like you see that in pregnant women sometimes -- I've been through menopause??? IF YOU TRULY FEEL LIKE YOUR CONCERNS ARE BEING OVERLOOKED, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS VOICE YOUR OPINION IN A NON-CONFRONTATIONAL MANNER. THE PHYSICIAN PROBABLY DOESN'T EVEN REALIZE THAT YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR PROBLEM WAS DISMISSED, BUT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN WE HEAR THE SAME COMPLAINT OVER AND OVER AND OVER ALL DAY THAT IT IS A NORMAL THING. THERE ARE MANY PATIENTS AS WELL THAT HAVE HUNDREDS OF COMPLAINTS THAT DON"T MAKE SENSE AND ARE VERY DEMANDING. IF THERE'S SOMETHING I CAN"T STRESS ENOUGH, THAT"S THAT MEDICINE DOESN'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS - SORRY.

4. Not keeping up to date with current medicine -- telling me I don't have a concussion when I have all the other signs but wasn't knocked unconscious. YOU'RE RIGHT THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS.

5. Showing up late for a nonessential appointment -- then not even apologizing -- goodbye there are other doctors with more bedside manner. - PLEASE REALIZE THAT UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES CONSTANTLY OCCUR FOR PHYSICIANS AND PA'S IN AN OFFICE SETTING. EVEN IF THE PATIENT RIGHT BEFORE YOU IS MORE COMPLICATED THAT ANTICIPATED IT CAN MAKE US AN HOUR BEHIND. TRUST ME, THERE ARE NOT MANY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS THAT CAN BE CAUGHT JUST SITTING AROUND JUST FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING YOU WAIT. THEY WANT TO GET DONE WITH THEIR DAY JUST AS MUCH AS YOU DO.

9. Getting two bills - one from the hospital and one from the office - JUST SO YOU KNOW A HOSPITAL AND PRIVATE PRACTICE OFFICE ARE TWO COMPLETELY SEPARATE ENTITIES WHEN IT COMES TO INSURANCE CONTRACTS. THE PHYSICIAN WHO IS CONTRACTED WITH THE PRIVATE PRACTICE DOES NOT SEE A PENNY OF THE HOSPITAL BILL AND VICE VERSA. PLUS WE GET PAID AT ABOUT 20% OF WHAT IS ACTUALLY BILLED OUT. AGAIN, THANK YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY FOR THAT. DO YOUR RESEARCH SO WE DON'T HAVE TO HEAR COMPLAINTS FOR THE SOUL REASON THAT A PATIENT DOESN'T TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEARNING THEIR OWN INSURANCE PLANS.

10. This has kind of stopped -- but male doctors suggesting female patients should see a psychiatrist when they couldn't figure out the complaint. - UH YEAH YOU JUST COMPLETELY MADE YOURSELF INVALID WITH THIS COMMENT. AND I'M NOT EVEN A MALE PHYSICIAN.

11. Doctors who refuse to help their patient when their work situation is causing health problems -- having to work required overtime in a dusty place and always getting bronchitis, but the doctor refuses to give a note so the employee can be excused. Excuse -- doesn't want to upset the business.
YOU HAVE NO IDEA THE LEGAL ISSUE THAT OCCURS WITH TAKING PATIENTS OFF OF WORK. IF YOUR INJURY OR ILLNESS OCCURRED BECAUSE OF WORK, THAN A WORK COMP CASE NEEDS TO BE FILED.THAT MEANS YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND FILE THE COMPLAINT WITH YOUR EMPLOYER. IF WE TAKE YOU OFF OF WORK AND IT'S NOT WORK COMP RELATED, YOU MOST LIKELY WILL NOT GET PAID FOR YOUR TIME OFF. THEN OF COURSE, YOU BLAME US FOR THAT TOO. SHORT TERM DISABILITY IS ANOTHER OPTION, HOWEVER YOU CAN NOT SEEK SHORT TERM DISABILITY IF YOU PROBLEM IS NOT BEING "FIXED" WHILE YOU'RE TAKING TIME OFF AND YOU PHYSICALLY AND MEDICALLY CAN NOT COMPLETE THE TASKS THAT YOUR JOB REQUIRES. GET THE FACTS!

THE BOTTOM LINE - PATIENTS NEED TO TAKE MORE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR OWN MEDICAL CARE - KNOW YOUR INSURANCE PLANS, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, KNOW THE LEGAL SYSTEM AND IF YOU DON'T TRUST THE OPINION OF YOUR DOCTOR, I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH - GET A SECOND OPINION!!! NOTHING BOTHERS ME MORE THAN AN IRRESPONSIBLE PATIENT. I CAN NOT HOLD YOUR HAND THROUGH LIFE. FIGURE IT OUT AND LET ME FIX YOUR MEDICAL CONDITION, NOT YOUR INSURANCE, NOT YOUR PERSONAL LIFE, ETC.
HOPE THIS HELPS SOME OF THE MISCONCEPTIONS OUT THERE.

LGC:

Sorry, but a long white coat has nothing to do with board certification.
They are legitimately worn by various allied health professionals besides doctors and PA's, but since there really are no rules about lab coats, they tend to be worn by all and sundry. it would be a mistake to ID people that way.

LGC: I assume you do get paid, so it's a confusing assertion to make that you never see a penny of co-pays. You are part of the practice, are you not?

One fibromyalgia patient (me) is sick and tired of being the only fibromyalgia specialist in the damn exam room! Nearly every "doctor" I've seen has a BARELY passing familiarity with this syndrome. *I* have done far more doctoring for my condition than ANY of the "physicians" I have seen in the past ten years.

NO WONDER THAT IT TAKES FIVE YEARS on average to get a diagnosis of FMS/CFS.

"Doctors" : DO YOUR DAMN HOMEWORK.

Your topics are always so excellent but please eliminate the nasty words such as P_ _ _
that was in the title "What do Doctors do that P_ _ _ you off!"
Bad enough hearing words like this on TV. If it doesn't stop with your newsletter, I will unsubscribe for sure.

so many.....

1. a doctor looking in my mouth in then commenting to me, "Do you have a seizure disorder" Me: thinking did you look at my fringing chart that says I have Epilepsy! There is a clue!

2. a doctor who I asked about my night sweats, his comment was "do you sleep with the air condition on" Me: No I sleep with the damn heater on thanks for saving my fringing life, why didn't I think of that. REALLY?????

3. Detoxed wrong from an opiate drug that a doctor prescribed to me and then when it went horribly wrong he wanted nothing to do with me.

4. waiting 3 hours to see a doctor for him to spend 10 mins with me to go "I don't know" and then looked at the resident and "goes do you have any answers?"

5. doctor: do you smoke? me: no doc: do you drink Me: no Doc: do you smoke: still No Doc: you do illegal drugs Me: no doc: Do you smoke: no but if you ask me one more time i am going to start.

6. doctors don't know the side effects of the drugs they prescribe and when you tell them you are having these side effects they go that isn't a side effect. well how come it says it is right here on the bottle?

7. Return phone calls!!!!!

8. Believe what I am telling you, I am not making it up!

9. Doctors you get paid to be there, we don't get paid to be sick! I don't get vacation or time off or sick leave from my epilepsy. Take a course in bed side manner, it goes a long long way!!!

10. It bears repeating, I didn't choose this illness so playing god with my life is unacceptable. I don't get vacation or time off or sick leave from my epilepsy. Doctors/nurses do and they get paid well!

Things the annoy me:
Doctors who DOUBLE-BOOK appointments. I ABSOLUTELY HATE THIS; makes the patient feel like they're going to be rushed out as soon as possible.

Doctors who give the patients only only 2-3 minutes to speak, and then jump up from their chairs (with the patient still in mid-sentence) to do a cursory exam...

CHAPERONES... Yes, I know why male ob/gyns use them, but it's humiliating.

What I hate the most:
Doctors who do not understand that "informed consent" is not just a suggestion, but THE LAW ! It doesn't elicit trust if you deliberately omit information about the procedure/surgery that I have a right to know..

What do you suggest a doc do about "chaperones" then? Perhaps you should see a female doc.

Consent forms list a pretty comprehensive set of information (by law). Patients can take the time to read it and no one can object. And you certainly have the right to ask questions. Not getting the problem here.
(?)

It would seem that some folks expect their docs to be more than human.
It's a fact that some people put the chip on their shoulder when they enter the doc's offices too. Seems like we all need to be reasonable.

I think this subject has been beaten to death already. Can we get on to another discussion???

When a doctor just doesn't LISTEN to you... when they have their own "opinions" of what you REALLY mean by what you say (rather than to just take it at face value)... when they have heard what you said, and then ask you the same question 5 minutes later, revealing that they weren't listening in the first place... or when they are obviously trying to hurry you thru the visit, so that they can get on to their next patient.

I do not like feeling like a "number", or a "faceless, nameless" droid, sitting in their exam room, more for their convenience and purposes, than for my own well being. Medicine is more about MONEY these days, than about the patient's health. If my doctor does not LISTEN to me, then it appears that I don't really matter to them. However, my insurance monies and co-pays certainly matter... that much is obvious.

It's clear that people expect a lot from their doctors. Superhuman is what's needed, obviously. I wouldn't want most people here as a patient if I were a doc.

I also HATE condescension. Actual conversation with my child's (former) pediatric neurologist:

me-"Can you tell me the neurochemical basis for mental retardation?"
"It's Very Complicated. You wouldn't understand it."
"I've had three graduate-level neurology classes, why don't you try me?"
".........Actually, we don't really understand how that works. Come back in six months."
"WHY? I pay you $180 every six months, and you've told me nothing even remotely helpful yet!"
"Well, Something might occur to me."
"If it does, you have my number. Give me a call."
Sheesh!

This is what is pissing me off with "Drs." nowadays.

1) I want a Dr. that actually went to medical school and learned something. Is that so hard to ask for?

2) Know what they are prescribing to you and knowing the side effects.

3) Not handing you a prescription for medication that you are allergic to and when you bring up about them not reading your chart, only to be told, they don't read patients' charts.

4) Walking out on you in the E.R. after telling you that they're ordering tests, but they don't.

5) Telling you that you need to see a rheumatologist for neck pain and demands that you take an anti-depressant because you refused to see their quack. I had a fractured C-5, C-6 & C-7 vertebrae in my neck due to a bus accident.

6) No more HMCOs aka Health Mangled Care Organizations.

7) Leaving you in the middle of an exam to speak with their pharmaceutical rep. I broke that up, wearing a hospital gown with the back out and giving both of them a piece of my mind.

8) Scheduling you for an 8 am appointment and showing up at 12:30 pm.

pet peeve.....defensive medicine; I have good insurance and when I go in for a sore elbow I don't need a ct scan, xrays, and and MRI just because my insurance will okay the procedures....the dr. says "all these are to rule out everything...and you have good insurance"....

another pet peeve......being kept in the waiting room for an hour when there are no patients in the exam rooms...is the doctor alseep? gone? playing on his computer?

one more.....the attitude by many doctor's offices that patient's time is worthless but the physcian's time is priceless

GerryG, THANK YOU!

Why do most Doctors fail to follow up, by calling the patient a few weeks later, and ask "How are you doing with the new medication"?

One of my pet peeves regarding Doctors' offices occurs when physicians and their staff ignore elderly patients and instead direct their speech to the younger person accompanying the patient. This happened often when I accompanied my (now deceased) elderly parents to their doctors' appointments. People of all ages are deserving of basic courtesy when they visit their physicians. I also know of elderly friends (without children) who have told me that physicians (or staff) treated them rather coldly. These people live alone and often the only people they see on a regular basis are medical people - a smile and a kind word means everything to people who are starved for human contact - and it costs nothing.

One of my pet peeves is the inability of some physicians to take and use constructive criticism. My husband and I had to change physicians because our last primary care physician was so bad during our last annual checkup with him. During that last checkup no vital signs were taken (except for my blood pressure); my blood (for my lab work) was mixed up with another patient's blood producing results which were obviously not mine; one of the women working for him dropped a pair of latex examining gloves on the floor and then stuck them back into the box from whence they came; the physician suddenly decided that I needed major surgery (which I did not need - but, I found out later he was trying to drum up business for the surgeon who had become his close friend). When we returned home and my husband told me that none of his vital signs had been taken - I was upset and called the office. They told me that we would have to return and pay for another visit and that it was our fault because we had scheduled our visits for the same day. The physician decided to prescribe medication for me based on the mixed up lab results. (I didn't fill it.) When I complained about all of the above - his office staff was nasty. We then received a curt letter suggesting we find ourselves a new physician. They should have saved themselves the stamp - we had already found one. My husband and I now have a wonderful physician.

File a complaint with the medical board just for the heck of it.

As a behavioral scientist who has published research on health and health care, I find it insulting for doctors to treat patients (we called them "clients" in the nursing school where I taught) as if we all have a fifth grade education. Once when I asked a doctor about something I had read, his response was., "I wish you patients would stop reading women's magazines." I replied, "Oh, I read it in this," and whipped out my copy of JAMA -- the doctor almost fainted.

I also find it insulting to be addressed by my first name -- I have 5 degrees and am ABD for a second doctorate. OK if I am not called "doctor" but it is condescending for a physician to greet me by first name and introduce himself/herself as "Dr so and so." Even worse is when the staff person younger than my children does so.

Honestly this thread is depressing.

I only want one thing from my doctors: competence.

My relationship with a medical doctor is that I am his/her patient. I don't particularly want to be his client (that's my relationship with a financial advisor or a lawyer, regardless of how lovely behavioral scientists think that term is). It implies first and foremost a financial contractual arrangement. But if behavior scientists think it's cool, let them use it.

If people are fixated on whether a doctor acknowledges all their degrees, there isn't much hope for satisfaction. I'd say if one has that much riding on being called by her proper title, perhaps one should be seeing a behavioral scientist rather than an MD.

I hope those aspiring to medical professions don't read this thread. Their every word (or omission thereof) will be cause for fault finding. It's quite discouraging.

I was referred for a colonoscopy at the local endo center. Not my idea of fun, but my primary care doctor wanted it done and I generally try to follow her instructions (or she threatens to hunt me down until I do it.. she's actually a super doctor and a good friend). I do not trust sedation done anywhere outside of the O.R., but the endo doctor told me that he had an anesthesiologist on site to administer all sedation and I reluctantly agreed. On the day of the colonoscopy, I notice that a nurse is asking all sorts of anesthesia questions and I ask where the anesthesiologist is and she tells me that she is a CRNA (nurse anesthetist) and that she is as good as any anesthesiologist...

I tell her that's her opinion, not mine, and that I'm not consenting to sedation administered by a nurse. I was promised an anesthesiologist and that's what I expect. The CRNA then berates me for questioning her expertise (she was one of the dumbest CRNA that I have ever met) and she gets the endo doctor. The CRNA then tells the endo doctor: "this guy thinks that he's a physician, then endo doctor says: "he is a physician" and the CRNA turns red.

I was promised an anesthesiologist, my insurance would have been billed for one and I'm offered a nurse... No thanks. Actually, any decent nurse can administer propofol (in my state they have to be anesthesia providers) and I might have accepted a CRNA if I had been told that initially. I hate being lied to; almost as much as the endo doctor hated having 1 hour of his time, the endo suite, IV fluids all wasted... for nothing because I canceled the colonoscopy. And a waiting room full of patients heard this unprofessional interaction and probably canceled also.

I actually like my doctor. I very rarely wait more than ten or fifteen minutes, usually less. I sometimes take a list of questions or what has changed since last visit. He goes down the list and checks them off as we talk about them.

His group recently joined with a local hospital. First thing I noticed is the complete office staff disappeared. I knew them all by name and I gave them valentine candy or flowers when they had kids.

The new staff is like a bunch of zombies - no smile, no good morning, no nothing. Step on the scale, the doctor will be right in. And his price for an office visit went from $90 to $195. Sure glad I have insurance.

As for test results. When I go for blood tests, I ask for a copy to be sent to me. Never had a problem. If I want or need a test result for something else, I ask the doctor and he gives me a copy. I understand that legally, they have to give you a copy if you ask. I have pictures of my ulcers, my EEG, my my EKG and lots of blood tests.

Ongoing things we've noticed over the years:

Doctors and nurses who don't wash their hands when they come in. Or who cough, sneeze, etc., into their hands, and then don't wash them. Gross.

I have arthritis in my hands, why do I have to fill out a health history every time, on a form that is clearly not designed to actually write very much on the little tiny minimal lines allowed? For me typing it into a console would actually be easier. Couldn't you email me a form that I can fill out at home, print and bring to you? Wouldn't that save you some time?

To us it seems the only reason to fill out another health history every single time you come in, is to obscure the fact that if you don't, you still will have to wait an extra 45 minutes to be seen, even if you showed up 45 minutes early to do the paperwork, to avoid this fate.

Keeping me waiting in a drafty cold examining room, with arthritis, I get so cold my muscles start cramping. Can't you put an infrared bulb overhead, so my arthritis isn't worsened by your badly designed room? I see you are wearing a shirt, tie, and jacket to keep warm. Animals get treated better than this in the vet's office!

Examining rooms that are so cheaply built that you can actually hear the doctor's conversation with another patient in the next room. Privacy rights?? FERPA??

Office support staff that put little handwritten notes to "Turn this Light OFF!!!!" on the restroom wall, not being informed enough to know that turning that fluorescent light fixture on and off 50 times a day uses more electricity than just leaving in on for 10 hours. And I REALLY don't want to touch that same light switch that 30 or more other sick patients, who may not have washed their hands, ALSO touched on their way out of the restroom.

No good way to keep up with writing/taking notes on what your doctor is telling you, especially if you have multiple questions and are sitting in a gown on a table, how the heck can you take notes well? Their service delivery is stuck in the dark ages really. And if you have followup questions for your doctor even five minutes later, you are stuck with an automated office answering system that takes 20 minutes to go through, only to find you really can't get a real person, only voicemails that seem to always get lost. Why can't they utilize email? Oooh, we can't! they say if asked this question, because, they say, their insurers won't let them..........

Trying to get the occasional printed records, and being charged astronomical amounts for truly awful photocopies, that any other professional would be embarrassed to produce as an example of their work and record keeping. Most other professions offer a reasonable amount of records to their clients without charging extra, and without sending out such horrible unreadable copies. It is as though health care providers WANT them to be NOT readable. And why are our records sent off site for storage, where FERPA probably doesn't protect them, and likely some unscreened temporary employee has access to them when they are pulled for copying?

Lack of specialists, and having to wait three to six months to see one. We need more specialists, why can't the medical schools step-up enrollment to meet this need? I can think of only one reason why not...............

Please don't say find another doctor. In many communities and with many health plans, this is the best and only service you can get.

No wonder people give up and only use the ER.

I had been to this gynecologist several times, however the last time I went to him he did a vaginal and rectal exam and he did not use lubricant. I was in shock about the pain and couldn't scream or complain. I was going through peri-menopause and was very dry, so I was in pain for a few days. I wrote to him about the situation and of course he did not reply.

When supposedly knowledgeable specialists at top university hospitals dismiss potentially life-threatening side effects with a simple "well, I've never heard of that before."

Never heard of it before? Does that make it any less real for me? And you want me to take the medication AGAIN?

(seroquel caused me to become delusional; namenda gave me severe, crippling muscle spasms and vomiting; moban the same; topiramate severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and sleepiness)

Later on, come to find out, there was a black box warning on the Topamax about depression... yeah, and the three doctors I was seeing at the time at the university hospital didn't catch on to it... including one you couldn't get a hold of.

And when neurologists try to diagnose physical disorders as psychological... even when reports from experienced psychologists do not indicate such a problem. Neurologists shouldn't read a little Freud and then decide they can do psychotherapy while doing a neurological exam.

Those are all ways to guarantee that I won't return to your clinic, period.

I agree with everything written here. But what pisses me off is doctor's private notes. At the end of every appointment you have, they can write anything they want without you knowing especially ignorant comments, so when they send you to a specialist they can read these comments. We are not allowed to see these. Most people don't even know about these so call doctors notes.

It marks you whatever doctor you see. I've seen some of my notes by accident when I went to specialist and it said that I was a difficult patient. That's all I got to see he pulled the paperwork aside.

If asking questions makes me difficult so be it. We should be allowed to write comments about doctors we see and be put in our medical record. This is unethical and shouldn't be allowed. If you want to know more just google doctor's private notes.

Doctors take too many CT scans/x-rays. Why don't they ask their patients about x-ray history and consider if they really need them before suggesting scans to make a diagnosis?

More doctors need to tell their women patients about the risk factors of Osteoporosis and that they need a bone density test right after menopause.

Too many doctors push meds on us instead of giving info on alternative treatment that may help.

Having to "apply" to a doctor's office.

I'm annoyed with the advice Learn To Live With It, from doctors who don't know what they're talking about. I dutifully went to several doctors for my irritable bowel syndrome, had tests which found nothing, was given a handful of Gas-X free samples, and was told repeatedly that some people just are this way. I paid thousands of dollars for this nonsense and wasted years being poor and miserable.

Doctors should learn about pharmacists/licensed nutritionists, experts who can often actually help patients with non-prescription supplements.

This comment is for every poster on this subject. When Drs make stupid comments, ignore patients, suggest unnecessary surgeries, lie to a patient, demand that you take something that you cannot take or is in a hurry. I always say this to them.

Why did you spend six figures on some form of education and you did not learn a d*&% thing and I walk out.

When patient reps come in and interrupt my appointment with the Dr. I walk in his office and introduce myself and sit down and tell all parties that they're interrupting my appoint and I am not paying for their butts to interrupt my appointment. My time is very valuable as well if not more.

He will get mad and I wave my checkbook and say, checkbook closed and walk out.

My biggest pet peeve about my doctor's office is the number of pharmaceutical sales reps he sees. Every-time I am in the office there are at least 3-4 sales reps and every time I see him for anything I get a prescription for something. Half the time I do not get them filled and I have not had any problems.

As a former Emergency Care RN, the golden rule was, MOM IS ALWAYS RIGHT! Nobody knows the child like the mom, and if mom says, something is wrong, and you haven't found anything wrong, you need to keep looking.

When health care became a business, it really began to fall apart. Doctors used to actually care about their patients, granted some still do, but far to many of them are more concerned about their retirement accounts, and their lavish lifestyle. How many times nowadays, do you hear of a doctor coming to check on one of their patients at their home. I know that isn't very practical, but then how did they do it when our grandparents were growing up?

I am of the train of thought, that those who visit doctor regularly, have the shortest lifespan. With the exception of emergencies, and necessary surgeries. We don't need to fill our bodies, with dangerous chemicals labeled as prescriptions. I was on a trip last year, and met a 90 year old Pearl Harbor Survivor, who post war, became a pharmacist, but after a few years, became disgusted with the way medicines were "evolving", he left and went back to school to be a machinist, he said it was the smartest move he'd ever made.

I brought my son to see an orthopedic specialist for chronic knee pain. We waited for more than three hours and then found out that the doctor didn't find my son's case interesting enough so saw a number of other patients with appointments AFTER my son's before he saw us. You can bet he's fired! His recommendation was "Try yoga or pilates."

We don't pay for Doctor's appointments here in Canada. We don't pay for procedures done in the hospital either. My doctor really upsets me too because he is rude and arrogant. However, I only go when I need refills for my thyroid pills and when I get out of there, I give a sigh of relief. My money is still in my pocket. Thank goodness for the Canadian health system.

We do have a separate medical plan for drugs, and eye appointments and dental visits and that is a group plan that the employer provides for the employees. The Premium is paid partly by the employer and part by the employee. Medicare or medicaid is non-existent here in Canada. It is a good system and it works fairly well. One down side is that hospitals want you to leave as soon as possible cause you are costing the Government money as long as you are there. Hospitals are owned by each Provincial Government. They are not federally owned.

Doctors are paid by the Provincial Governments in which they reside. ie... Ontario doctors are paid by the Ontario Government... not the Federal Government in Ottawa. (the capital of Canada) . Alberta Doctors are paid by the Alberta Government ..and so on..There are 10 Provinces in Canada.

Several points. Whether it's insurance or Medicare, the doctor's reimbursement for your visit is far less than you realize. IF we want doctors to stay in these programs, they must have additional help - at a lower cost, or simply bill you direct at the full rate. IF you doubt the diagnosis or treatment of an assistant, insist on seeing the Physician: not a big deal. Most problems - not all - can be helped along with just the assistant.
Second, as our nation complains over job loss, here is a sector begging for more applicants! Far more assistants are needed than qualify. At least someone is adding physical jobs instead of replacement by computers.

First - remember that the string of people you are going through are 'jobs' created in a recession. Thank goodness so many are employed there! Next - not all doctors have that many people - are you lumping all your doctor complaints as if they all do this?

Next - your list is so long, perhaps you are seeing the wrong doctor, or you are on the wrong insurance plan. I don't face these problems, but I have carefully, carefully screened all my physicians - and I have about 7-10 (really didn't bother to count them!).

They all know that I am knowledgeable about my body and my medical care: they appreciate that and talk to me person to person - not down to me. How well have you worked to find the BEST doctors for YOU???? I receive copies of tests and X-rays and each is brought to me and discussed, point by point - then told these are MY copies to keep. So, notes that are made by the nurse and doctor go into their computer and are written out on my papers to keep. ALL my doctors do this.

Very few of my doctors make me wait very long: and I realize that at some time in the past, I have taken more than my fair share of their time, so if a doctor is running late - someone has an acute need. Everyone doesn't have a 15 minute 'need.'

Last - as for the gowns. I have learned to wear things like loose, front-opening "warm-up" suits. Many of my doctors accept this as just as easy access as the gowns. I have also learned to take an extra 'sweater' that 'covers' my rear - for any doctor that insists on gowns. Very few doctors need or ask for me to wear a gown that opens only in the back. For one doctor, you wear 2 gowns - one put on one way and one the other so you feel covered. I have NO problems with any of my doctors on this.

My personal best advice for your complaints is that you need to 'shop' for a doctor that interacts better with his patients. They are out there!

Using word on your computer, make out a list of operations, a list of prescriptions, and a list of any OTC drugs you are taking. When it's time to fill out that form (which NONE of my doctors have me do repeatedly, I might add, then you have info to hand to them that covers much of the information they want. Be sure to keep the lists updated!

All of the above, especially paying to see an MD and getting examined by a PA.

I always ask if I am going to see the 'doc' and say 'no' to a p.a..... no offense intended... reduce the cost of an office visit and I won't complain!!!

We were last I looked rated 39th in world for quality of health care. I think that's too high a rating. We're too un-traveled and filled with national hubris to challenge the largest union in the country, the health industry. PS, include dentists.

1. Doctors who don't listen. I know when things aren't right in my body, and I do a good job of describing what is wrong. Example, I kept describing a digestive sympton that felt like a dull pain, almost hunger pain. Absolutley no burning sensation. Doctor insisted on treaing me for acid reflux.
2. Doctors who schedule all sort of tests just to cover themselves or make more money for their clinic group. Example, my primary care physician recently insisted on a stress test even though I just was given a clean bill by a cardiologist less than two months previously. Of course the test came back normal.

My greatest frustration with the medical profession is that they are so focused on themselves - their expertise, their superior positions, their communication among themselves, and their professional status. I get my care at the VA, and the way this arrogance translates is that what I say doesn't matter at all, especially if I mention that I know anything about my situation, and most especially if I mention that I heard about something on People's Pharmacy. I get this knowing smile, and then the stock answer that "We recommend you just listen to what trained professionals tell you. We can't vouch for what you hear anywhere else."

The VA system is unique in that it is a mass system for medical care, and as such it is what I refer to as "cattle call." In serving large numbers of people it has similarities to herding and mass production. I talked to a pharmacist there an hour ago about the BPA Phthalates concern brought up on last week's show, and was told "I'm sure the FDA wouldn't allow anything like that in our medicines."

She also looked at the ingredients on the medicines I take, and assured me there is no problem with these substances. I take a hard coated potassium, Valsartan (Diovan) and an AREDS vitamin for my eyes. I have allergies, which sometimes are affected by the medicines I take, and sometimes take Fexofenadine for them, which also has a hard coating.

Another aspect of this arrogance is that my lengthy medical history often gets misread, and doctors and nurses do not like to be corrected. They get into a stance, and will insist something is the case when it isn't. I tell them to reread the history or ask the doctor in question, and invariably will be told "I don't have to ask anyone! It says it right here.!" This happened today, and has on numerous other occasions.

John H's post prompted a few brain cells to fire. I am probably what the medical profession calls "a non-compliant patient" because I will not hesitate to challenge an opinion and offer counter arguments.

Some health professionals do take my patient questions in stride.

I am having a recurrence of atrial flutter, and Monday I made the statement to a Nurse Practitioner that while I might be considered non-compliant, I was really actively involved in my health. This NP I must admit was quite willing to work with my questions. We went through a stroke risk questionnaire to determine if I needed to be on Coumadin or not, and it determined I did not need it, but she explained that based on my profile I needed to be on a full 325 mg aspirin each day instead of two 82 mg doses. She also convinced me I should be on a bit higher dose than the 375 mg of magnesium I was taking. So now I take 250 mg twice a day.

I expect a hospital visit in a month or two. I am going to practice the new phrase that John H's post helped me to formulate.

"Please don't think of me as obstinate and non-compliant, but think of me being actively involved with YOU to get the best health outcome available for ME. OK?" And as I say YOU I plan to point to the medical person and as I say ME I will point to myself.

You guys are actually making me feel better. I have had most of these experiences myself and thought it was my fault, that I wasn't doing a good job of communicating, listening, describing symptoms, etc. I'm sorry that it's happening to you too, but it tells me that the system is messed up, not us. And at this point, after a few instances of misdiagnoses/incomplete care, I am definitely a non-compliant patient. I'll try DWD's approach and see if it makes a difference.

I will NEVER go to a male gynecologist again! I had a replacement Dr that was obviously very nervous. It made me nervous! He washed his hands & put on gloves & sat there JUST BEFORE he did my exam then combed his hair!!!! WTF!!!Yuck!

A obesely fat woman replacement Dr gave me so much flak about smoking. I wanted to tell her to look in the mirror before she lectured me about taking care of myself.

I got really bad allergic reactions that landed me in the emergency room or a hospital stay, when I took my college exams, my brother got married or before I moved to another state. I was refered to a specialist. This Dr asked me the usual questions, but when I mentioned that I got these reactions when I got into stressful situations, he BLATANTLY ROLLED HIS EYES & replied that it wasn't true!!!! I felt like giving him a swift kick in his you know what (as I was at the right height)! Sometimes the best clues are what the patient is feeling or noticing about herself.

My wife has seen the same male gynecologist for over 30 years. She dreads the day he will retire. From what she says he is gentle and listens and never rushes and apologizes when he gets to uncomfortable parts of the exam. Hopefully he will continue for a while. He changed practices to get away from the lousy hours ob part of the job recently so hopefully he will work longer.

So there are good male ob/gyns out there. She thinks our female GP is too brusque sometimes. Go figure.

I am disgusted how Drs. treat ppl. My overweight son- 54 yrs old, needs hip replacement. He called 2 different surgeons and ask receptionist if the Dr. operates on overweight patients. Both told him he had to make an appointment for office visit-only to be told [by both] that he was too big. One charged him 250.00 and the other charged 200.00. to be paid up front before being seen-neither did anything to help and only talked to him a very short time.

I think they should tell ppl over the phone that they do not operate on lg. ppl.. He has very little income from his job and no insurance. Something should be done about this. I would like to report them but don't know how to do it.

Was given an unexpected thyroid screening a week after a high intensity CT scan [for a lung issue] that presumably used highly iodinated contrast fluid. TSH was 20 something, read as indicating a seriously underperforming thyroid, although T3 and T4 were in the normal range.

Was put on 25 micrograms levothyroxine for two weeks, then 50 micrograms for two weeks, then two weeks off followed by another screening. As a result of the second screening, was again put on 50 micrograms for four months, to be followed by another screening.

In the middle of this four-month period, the doctor's office made a followup appointment for another CT scan. I was appalled. I cancelled the appointment and faxed the doctor a copy of the article I learned about on the Peoples Pharmacy about the dangers of the sudden administration of highly iodinated fluids used in CT scans for thyroid functioning, 90 to several hundred thousand the normal recommended daily uptake of iodine by the thyroid.

The article came from the 23 January 2012 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine; People's Pharmacy interviewed one of the authors, Dr Steven Brunelli, in April 2012 and reported a summary in the 4/30/12 program, with links to interviews with thyroid experts. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/04/30/the-mysterious-thyroid-epidemic/

Most doctors are not endocrinologists, but if thyroid medications are among the most prescribed in the US, shouldn't they be aware of what can cause serious thyroid dysfunctions? And should doctors or office staff not work at cross purposes with a given patient's current testing regimen?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: You have identified one of the weak links in current medical care. Very often the only one paying attention to "the big picture" is the patient him- or herself.

That's why the Society for Participatory Medicine is so interested in making sure patients have access to their own health data--all of it--and the ability to share it with the providers they choose.
http://participatorymedicine.org

It pisses me off when I go to the Dr and have to make another trip a week later at the same price because he didn't fix the problem the first time. If it was my car the second trip would be free. Sometimes I think Drs purposely under treat you to get that return fee.

Your copay may be the same, but the insurance companies don't reimburse a PA or NP as much as the physician, unless they are billing incident to the visit. However, the PA or NP is diagnosing and prescribing for you like the doc does. They are there to help the physician get the patient taken care of in a timely manner. I say if you want to see only the doc, wait til they have an opening but don't complain about having to wait.

I find it frustrating when you fill out all the info. on the computer before your appointment and during your appointment they ask you all the same questions over again that you put on the initial online questionnaire and they never even looked at what you filled out online!!

Incorrect information has been put on my patient online record a few times. I don't know where they got some of the info. that was put on my chart. I asked my doctor to remove a condition that I was never seen for from my online record. He was baffled and said he didn't know where that came from and he would remove it.

Also, specialists tend to have an arrogant attitude about them and they do not listen or make eye contact and stay at the computer. I feel like they already have a diagnosis of what's wrong with you before they examine you sometimes - if you do not fit into the particular way they were taught about this diagnosis in school, they get frustrated with you. A particular plastic surgeon and ENT doctor come to mind. They thought they were God. I didn't go back to them.

Doctors, treat your patient as a human being, make eye contact and remember, politeness goes a long way with me. Also, remember most patients are a little nervous coming to the doctor and a little TLC from you goes a long way.

PD brings up a good point. I don't think any of my doctors do online questions before hand, but if they do I am going to print out my answers and take the to the appointment. That way if I get asked the questions again, I can say something like, "Well in your online questions I wrote.......". Making that response a few times might give them a hint to read the darn thing and use the appointment time to ask additional clarifying questions they may have.

And don't get me started on that darn Medicare required "Are you depressed" set of questions asked every year that are insulting. Next year I am either refusing it answering all the questions as if I was depressed to see what will happen. Of course doing the latter may get me thrown in the looney bin. :-)

7-12-13 -- I had the exact same problem with my doctor. He was nice but the staff were horrible. I left him and my next doctor as well because the PA's tried to make me take new asthma drugs instead of the old ones that worked fine and were still available. And of course the last thing they want to do help you get generic drugs--I suppose they get a kickback for pushing the new meds. The quality of medical care is atrocious and no one is doing anything about it.

My primary MD considers every complaint - headache to hemorrhoids - requires extensive electronic testing and at least one medication to which I am allergic or resistant. When I refuse both, she still agrees to see me and treat any actual problem (under my direction.)

Thankfully, I LOVE my doctor -- all the more so after reading the comments here! She's just absolutely wonderful, and the whole staff is, too. But I worry about what will happen when she retires because I live in a rural area and there just is not much choice of doctors. There's only a handful around now, and almost all of them are over 60. I will probably end up driving long distances and trying to find a doctor willing to see me by Skype for minor things! You're lucky to live somewhere where just going to a different doctor is another option.

Doctors who will not wash their hands! Even in a hospital. And by the way, when you politely ask hospital staff to wash their hands before examining you or giving other treatment, they'll give you a dirty look or challenge you. This, despite all the evidence about serious infections in hospitals and clinics.

I have encountered this several times. I got the name of the nurse or Dr. and report them to Medicare, Medicaid and the appropriate boards.

They did not like it and I did not care.

I am a chronic pain patient after back surgery 20 yrs ago I was able throhgh therapy to return to work unfortunately I have developed a condition severe spinal stenosis with a suggestion of achronids shots and meds not working much so many people in Ohio are dying from heroin and pain killers the DEA is in everyone's business and while I agree there are Dr feel goods some people just need to function with these meds. Recently my pcp retired I returned to a neurologist and pain clinic I'd left for shorter waiting times all inclusive medical care prompt attention by a doc who listened when to me the neurologist instantly changed meds as well as pain clinic. Ok I can survive some pain but the neurological drugs were changed repeatedly and over prescribed antidepressants new drugs that co pay was more then when my tox screen came back it read as it should have since I was taking Valium for two years and weened myself through Christmas. There are metabolites that Valium turns into before coming out in urine per manufacture Roche I was so bothered that he flagged me stating I was taking three kinds. I said no you know me I always comply he saw me for 4 years before "I believe you but my program wont allow me to give you the controlled meds you're flagged."

I took another urine same day at pain clinic no problem there so I asked if we could check those results no my system won't recognize it wtf. I am going to see a surgeon to correct condition hopefully but now I might have to postpone my daughter is pregnant with twins and has 15 month old she'll need me how do I find a Dr who understands the reports my desire to take as few pills as necessary to function what is wrong with being dependent when you have debilitating condition that simple tasks are impossible most days.

I just posted a rant then I read some of your posts I think what the medical professional is forgetting is we are employing them the patient is the reason for their employment so instead of treating us all like we are stupid and uneducated even if its so I know my body and I research my conditions. Why do they seem to work for the drug reps instead of sticking with tried and true treatments. Also they should be reminded that they work for you for that 5 to 20 min. of that day

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