Please share your doctor waiting room... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Please share your doctor waiting room stories;

Darryl profile image
DarrylPartner
38 Replies

Please share your doctor waiting room stories; your waiting for phone calls stories; your resident returns call when you would rather speak to primary doctor stories; etc; etc

38 Replies
FCoffey profile image
FCoffey

MD Anderson. Appointment time: 8:30 AM. Clinic opens: 8:30 AM. At check-in a well-worn sign reads "appointments are currently running 2.5 hours late." Once the initial check-in rush is complete, I talk to the receptionists. It is like this every day. Not emergencies, not doctors taking extra time with certain patients, just casual, systemic, planned abuse of patients and their partners.

Professionals like lawyers and accountants have reception areas. Every customer/client is greeted and offered refreshment. If the wait exceeds 5 minutes there is an apology and explanation.

Doctors have waiting rooms. Being a doctor means never having to say you are sorry for deliberately wasting your patients' time.

RayNoel profile image
RayNoel in reply to FCoffey

Jess. . Z

Ahk1 profile image
Ahk1 in reply to FCoffey

Wow

FCoffey profile image
FCoffey

After waiting 15 days for the results of my prostate biopsy, I come home from a business trip to find a message on my answering machine. It is the urologist's office. "Mr. Coffey, you have prostate cancer. We've mailed the pathologist's report to you." Click.

Never heard from them again.

tallguy2 profile image
tallguy2 in reply to FCoffey

Unbelievable.

Ahk1 profile image
Ahk1 in reply to FCoffey

Is this at MD Anderson? It’s supposed to be the BEST in the country. I know of someone who comes from overseas for their service. He never told me how it goes there

cujoe profile image
cujoe

After 2 1/2 years of every-3-month doctor visits (post RP and IMRT) with PSA labs, I always got a phone call from my surgeon with the good news that my PSA was still "undetectable". The first time my PSA rose above the "undetectable" (< 0.1) level, instead of the usual "good news" phone call, I got an email message with the bad news. Gotta love that personal touch for good news and not so much for the bad. Be Well - cujoe

middlejoel profile image
middlejoel

While working out at the gym, my heart rate went into overdrive and I nearly passed out. I was driven to ER and spent 2 days in hospital. Informed that I had A-Fib. Made appointment with Dr. Rahul Doshi, cardiologist at USC's Keck Medical Center. He came into the room after nurses etc., had taken vitals and told me that I needed a pace maker. I was shocked in that my wife also has A-Fib and her "treatment" is a blood thinner. He told me that before he installed the pacemaker, he would do a heart ablation to burn off the lines that are used by the heart to accommodate unwanted electrical currents. He described how he would go in from my right thigh, up the blood vessel to the right heart chamber, punch a hole through the chamber wall to enter the left chamber then do the ablation etc., Then after telling me to make an appointment with his staff, he left the room. He might have been in the room maybe 15 minutes. I made an appointment that day but as I came home, I started to think that I needed more info. During the next two weeks, my attempt to get that info through several phone calls and written messages was futile, I couldn't even get a second appointment with the good doctor, that was 2 1/2 years ago. Following another appointment with another cardiologist, I was prescribed blood thinners as a way to control possible clots.

Dr. Rahul Doshi apparently has a reputation as being one of the top cardiologist in America, he certainty has the resume. My advice, stay away from him.

jal

WSOPeddie profile image
WSOPeddie in reply to middlejoel

I have a-fib too and had flutter ablation surgery. My quack cardiologist refused to authorize a-fib ablation surgery and spun some cock-and-bull story about open heart surgery to accomplish that. As a layman I knew that was wrong and a lie -- was he getting incentives from the insurance company to avoid surgery? Anyway I got the flutter ablation surgery (scope much less than full a-fib albation) after I ended up in the hospital. I'm still taking meds for a-fib, which I wouldn't need to do if I had had the a-fib ablation in the first place. With regard to your experience -- why would you need a pacemaker AFTER ablation surgery??? Wouldn't he want to see if the ablation fixed the problem first?

middlejoel profile image
middlejoel in reply to WSOPeddie

Well, like I said, I never had a chance to discuss anything with the good doc. For about 2 weeks I kept getting calls from his staff, mostly administrators and RN's that wanted to know why I wanted to talk to the doc, They kept pushing the procedure. Eventually I went elsewhere and that cardiologist didn't think either an ablation or pacemaker was necessary. Today I treat my A-fib by using a low-dose blood thinner as well as a combo of Nattokinase and Taurine and Arginine as prescribed by Nalakrats on this site.

WSOPeddie profile image
WSOPeddie in reply to middlejoel

Don't forget Magnesium and CoQ10 -- they are supposed to be helpful too.

monte1111 profile image
monte1111

Ok guys. These are such sad stories. And here I am just laughing out loud. As to Kaiser wait time etc. usually very good. Way better than my dentist. Meetings with my MO are short and sweet. But if I have a bone or CT scan or ultrasound when I get home I just go online and order the report. Get it in a day or two and its free. Absolutely no follow up on scans from MO. Nothing, nada, zilch. As if I had dropped off the planet. Good thing? Bad thing? Don't know. But if I ever get a phone call from my MO I think I can start playing "This is the end, beautiful friend." (No reflection on Kaiser. Love the Kaiser. Please don't sue me Kaiser.)

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to monte1111

youtube.com/watch?v=nD_fMIe...

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Thursday 02/14/2019 5:29 PM EST

monte1111 profile image
monte1111 in reply to j-o-h-n

Have no idea how you come up with this stuff. Googled it thinking it may be high school history curriculum. Apparently it is college level. Enjoy your evening.

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to monte1111

I've got a score of writers... enjoy your evening too.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Thursday 02/14/2019 7:33 PM EST

GoBucks profile image
GoBucks

I love my MO office. I can never read in the waiting room since I am always called back quickly. When the medical assistant is done asking questions she says I'll tell the Dr you are ready. I have never waited more than 15-20 minutes and don't care if I do. I remember my first appointment when my Dr, spent 90+ minutes answering all my questions and helping ease my anxiety. If he is running late I know he is helping someone else. The only thing I don't like is their broken scale-it keeps weighing me at higher numbers.

monte1111 profile image
monte1111 in reply to GoBucks

The broken scale - we've all heard that one before. The thought of a diet never entered my mind until 2 years after dx. with cancer. I now officially look like a pot belly pig.

tallguy2 profile image
tallguy2

OK, 98% of my caregivers have handled everything personally, and with compassion and the information I needed. For example, when first diagnosed in 2012 my urologist asked me to bring my wife with me (I knew that couldn't be good news). Then, last April my urologist broke the news to me that I now had metastatic PCA. He did this personally, and gave me a hug. (Normally when a urologist makes physical contact it's not in a pleasant place, but this was okay with me.)

However, I'll share the story of the CT-scan that confirmed what an MRI suggested...that my abnormal lymph nodes revealed metastasis. After the scan I was told to go into a separate waiting area, where I found about six chairs and a telephone on an unstaffed desk. I was totally alone in the empty room, no music, no TV, no people, nothing but that phone to stare at. I was told that when the phone rang I was to pick it up and I would be told what to do next. 30 minutes of sheer anxiety. When the phone rang, I was told to go home and that my urologist would call me. Great. (He did call me with the mPCA news later that evening and told me to go on a previously planned vacation and see him in 3 weeks, which I did.)

ctarleton profile image
ctarleton

I was pleasantly surprised in recent months when my MO's office got a super-high definition monitor in their waiting room and started playing the very beautiful, calming, and relaxing nature videos with relaxing music called "Moving Art", which can be streamed from Netflix, or otherwise obtained via the Internet. I was amazed at the relaxation response that I felt in my mind and body. It was a sharp contrast to some of the anxieties and frustrating mix-ups I remembered feeling during the first couple of years I had been in the waiting room for the exact same people.

monte1111 profile image
monte1111 in reply to ctarleton

Kaiser has the nature videos and with what I term funeral music. Some good natured comments led nowhere, so filed a written complaint. Actually got a call back. The funeral music continues. So I still feel like I am in a room filled with people and all of us saying, "Hail medical establishment, we the condemned salute you."

ctarleton profile image
ctarleton in reply to monte1111

Nice Gladiator reference, monte1111. I can empathize. (I just had this image pop into my head of some Stage IV prostate cancer guy walking into an infusion center for chemo, decked out in a full Gladiator costume. Take that, Cancer!)

(Could be worse? One office I visited frequently a few years ago alwaysnhad nothing on but chatty people constantly nattering away on HGTV. Probably appreciated more on average by women with various cancers, I'd suppose, but it did get on my nerves sometimes, .... despite the Lupron - Ha. Ha.)

Soccermom28 profile image
Soccermom28

i have to say we use all UPenn Doctors in Philadelphia and have had no bad experiences at all over 11 years! The Dr would personally call when necessary. Never a wait. They have a patient portal. You can read your results for all testing instead of waiting for a follow up visit. You can read all correspondence between all your Doctors. Even what they send to Doctors out of the system. The Doctors have all been compassionate and caring. I am guessing we have been fortunate!

Trengle profile image
Trengle

I see Dr Dan George at Duke. The facility is incredibly nice with a lot of chairs, couches and tables. Dr George is a great MO and very busy so I know if I have an afternoon apt he will run an hour late (sometime a little more). He does not rush patients always giving you the time and compassion needed. So the wait time is consumed with a book, my lap top and the TVs that are everywhere. They even have a person playing a baby grand in the lobby...Duke is great!

tom67inMA profile image
tom67inMA

When I had my first cystoscopy which found a bladder tumor, it hurt so bad my wife could hear me screaming in pain in the waiting room. A week or so later, after surgery I had urinary retention. Late night trip to ER to get a catheter, more agony, more screaming heard in waiting area.

So if you find yourself waiting for an appointment and hear a tortured wail, come on back and say hi to me :-)

Stegosaurus37 profile image
Stegosaurus37 in reply to tom67inMA

First time I had my Foley catheter changed, you could have heard me scream in pain in Portland when they removed it. However on insertion the urologist nurse used lidocaine and there wasn't any pain.

tom67inMA profile image
tom67inMA in reply to Stegosaurus37

That was with lidocaine! On the three month follow-up he gave me a double dose of lidocaine and that was at least tolerable and my urologist didn't suffer any hearing loss :-)

monte1111 profile image
monte1111 in reply to tom67inMA

Oh my god. Oh my god. So sorry. Heard my brother in law scream when they pulled "dead" skin off after a burn. I will demand anesthesia for anything down there. I need some anesthesia just thinking about it.

SUPERHEAT12 profile image
SUPERHEAT12

Best was Dr. Myers. Great facility, nice staff and always on time. He spent literally hours with patients. Miss him.

leo2634 profile image
leo2634

Good morning Brothers I'm sorry for all of your negative experience with you doctor's waiting rooms so I'll tell you a positive. My Doctor is one of the head docs at New Jersey Urology he is also a surgeon, Oncologist. One would assume that with all of this experience under his belt you should have to wait a long time to see him. I could honestly say I have never waited more than 15 minutes from my appointment time and his staff are nothing less than professional and compassionate. I credit this man for saving my life or at the very least extending it. His name is Dr. Gordon Brown if your are in need of a great Doctor in the South New Jersey area look him up.

Cancer2x profile image
Cancer2x

I have Diabetes as well as two primary cancers. I left the Joslin Diabetes Clinic in Boston after consistently absurd wait times. I finally instituted my own personal rule - i give any doctor a strict 30 minutes past my scheduled appt time, then I leave, informing the front desk/secretary I do NOT expect to be billed for the visit, and might ask for the parking fees as well!

Typica visit was to arrive 30 mins prior to appt time; wait 45 mins to an hour to be taken to exam room, then wait another 20-30 mins for the doctor, who spent 90% of the appt wading through computer screens checking boxes after a cursory exam. Very little eye contact even. I left several times, stating that either they should be running an urgent care facility, or monitor the people doing the scheduling for way overbooking. Ridiculous.

I understand there could be the occassional emergency, but systemic issues this bad should not be put up with. I don't anymore, for any doctor. MY time is valuable as well! And with cancer, even MORE valuable to me! They get 30 mins, I leave at 31. Period.

FCoffey profile image
FCoffey in reply to Cancer2x

Good for you! I've done the same. The Uro who left a message on my answering machine about having cancer never heard from me again, but I throw shade his way at every opportunity.

MD Anderson was fired after multiple abuses like you and I both described. In another case an MD Anderson MO cancelled an appointment made 2 months in advance with less than 40 minutes notice.

So they got fired. Now I get my care at a community oncology clinic. No, it doesn't have big name doctors with hyperinflated egos and prices to match. But my MO is fully up to date on all the trials and new papers, and is compassionate and caring to boot. She's willing to work with me when I want to discuss some of the new treatments on offer. She reads papers I've read, comments, and offers me more to read. I've never waited more than 10 minutes past the appointed time except once, when I got a profuse apology and explanation about a particularly difficult patient seen before me.

Doctors and big clinics get away with this abuse because patients put up with it. I don't. If everyone got up and left after 31 minutes, this nonsense would stop in a hurry.

WSOPeddie profile image
WSOPeddie

Wait time after being brought back to the exam room is routinely 30 minutes or more. There is a sign near the check in window that warns (not these exact words) that irate or abusive patients will be refused service. When I went in to get the results of my biopsy I had to wait over a half hour. You'd think on this particular occasion they would have made an effort to be timely ... and I could hear my urologist casually chatting outside the door for much of the time. Giving props to human nature I can understand that this would be one of his least favorite tasks -- telling an old guy the bad news. I live in the Phoenix area. When all the 'snowbirds' descend the wait times get much worse.

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n

I wait soooo long now in the waiting room that they charge me rent.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Thursday 02/14/2019 5:24 PM EST

407ca profile image
407ca

My waiting room story.....

When my PSA indicated possible recurrence my primary suggested seeing a urologist. I went to see him and he ordered all the typical scans.

When the results were in I happened to be near the uro office so I dropped in to make an appointment so that we could review the results.

The office workers told me that I had to call for an appointment. I was right in front of them but was told it had to be done by phone.

I went to my car and called. "We are to busy to make appointments now". I was told to call back in half an hour. I did so and was told to call again in an hour.

This went on for a few hours until the answering service started picking up the calls. This was still two hours before closing !!! The answering service was mistified as to why the calls were directed to them during office hours.

All told I attempted to make an appointment 8 times over a period of 5 hours, all to no avail.

I eventually did make an appointment, which I had no intention of keeping. Instead I found a different urologist.

p57rosie profile image
p57rosie

Hi Darryl

Whatever happened to the anxiety live online professional support person you promised to have in the anxiety forum last year on a daily basis in the anxiety forum rooms, for us to talk with? Some of us have been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting....well you get the point!

Darryl profile image
DarrylPartner in reply to p57rosie

Unfortunately hardly anyone expressed interest and we only received three donations (from a 40,000 member community) to support that effort.

p57rosie profile image
p57rosie

Oh my gosh....that's shameful! Maybe you can try again?

Darryl profile image
DarrylPartner

Perhaps....we’ll see

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