January 11, 2019 at 8:45 am #815332
I am curious what I should do here.
I have a new (9 months now since moving here) doctor. He is flat out fantastic. 4 years of living with heart problems and he was the first to not brush me off and insisted the problem be solved, which is was! He is kind, has amazing bedside manner, listens, takes his time.
The problem is, his staff. I have a medication that has to be called in each time, he cannot write refills on it. The first time I was due for a fill I had a paper rx, but it expired since I left town for an emergency and didn’t fill it in time. I was totally out of my medication the day after I got back. Not taking this medication suddenly can make you feel awful. I called and asked for it to be called in and explained I was so sorry as it was on my end but I wasn’t able to get it filled and it would be so helpful to get it quickly (they ask for 3 days). Sure, no problem. Everyone was nice. A few days later I call and they say they are waiting for Dr to sign off etc. Two weeks total, many calls, me being nice, always being transferred to voicemail, no one returning my calls I finally called and got firm, not rude and said “please don’t transfer me to voicemail, no one is calling me back and I am physically ill without this medication, I really need this to be resolved.” I was standing in front of the pharmacist, and she said “Oh she just talked to him”. He was pissed, she DID not! He was the only one there. Amazingly two mins later the rx was there.
Next refill I call in well before, pharmacy sends them request, it is denied. I call them, I thought it may be an issue since pharmacy accidentally sent it under my maiden name, no call back for two weeks, finally he calls them and get a bit frustrated and it appears.
Third refill, three weeks. I have never spoke to anyone there regarding an rx but the receptionist. No one has ever called me back, even with saying they had (nope) or would that day. The only call I have ever received from them was to admonish me for changing my PT appointment (I was throwing up that day) and saying I had no show/no called 5 times, not even close to true.
I really love this Dr but the reality is I don’t have anything going on that I would see him that often minus a yearly check up or illness so most of my interactions would be with his staff. I am torn over continuing to deal with this BS or changing doctors. He changed my life by solving my heart frustrations or it wouldn’t be such a difficult decision for me. Four years of doctors, specialists, hospital visits and every one else blew me off and said it was in my head. I also am pretty sure they think I am the pain in the butt patient now because I have had to call so much, but I mean, that’s their damn fault. They could actually do their job or call me back.
I grew up in a pharmacy (my mom was a pharm) and worked almost 10 years in a multi doctor practice. I know how these things work better than most and I really went out of my way to adhere to their desires for refills, be kind, give them time, etc. I finally last call said that I clearly just needed an appointment with my doctor to get the actual rx and she fought me on it. She finally gave me an appointment for Feb. and I was going to chat with my doctor about it, but heck maybe once i do that, if he says something to them, I am considered even more of a problem patient.
What to do??January 11, 2019 at 9:14 am #815335
I would make an appointment with the doctor and explain where you are coming from and get him to understand your point of view and have him straighten out his receptionist.January 11, 2019 at 9:18 am #815336
That is my current plan. The whole staff may be bonkers. When I went the first time and they were taking my insurance the receptionist went off about why my husband is called the “sponsor” on our insurance plan instead of “primary insured” and how sexist she felt it was. She kept going for a while about it. Lady, talk to the government, I didn’t come up with the name nor do I care.January 11, 2019 at 9:30 am #815338
I’d probably just change doctors. Two weeks without a call back even one time is ridiculous. Multiple times is unacceptable. This is going to keep happening because it’s obviously how the office operates.January 11, 2019 at 9:38 am #815339
Absolutely, talk to the doctor. His staff is ridiculous, and I’m sure he’s lost other patients because of that.
Just tell him that you’ve been having a great deal of trouble getting your medication refilled, and that you need to know what you should be doing in order to get the refills in a timely manner and without numerous follow-up calls. Describe what happened on the last several refills, just as you did here.January 11, 2019 at 9:48 am #815342
I wouldn’t sugar coat it. Tell him that he literally changed your life and that he is the best dr you’ve been to but you’re considering a change because his staff has repeatedly put you in physical danger while ignoring you for weeks at a time. If nothing changes at that point his practice is hopeless and I would leave. I would also put a scathing review on google, yelp, and every single medical site that takes reviews.January 11, 2019 at 10:01 am #815343
I really like that wording.January 11, 2019 at 10:23 am #815346
I agree with juliecatherine. His staff is incompetent to the point of dangerous, so you can’t continue going to his office unless you see immediate changes. Sadly, if he doesn’t put his foot down with his staff, he doesn’t care about the safety of his patients (and he’s therefore NOT a good doctor).January 11, 2019 at 10:25 am #815347
I don’t have advice, just a commiseration. I love my OBGYN, but the staff at her office is horrible. The idea of calling her office makes my blood pressure spike. They’re rude. To everyone. The Google reviews of the office are all: great doctors, awful staff. I haven’t brought it up with my doctor because she’s part of a larger practice and I’m not sure there’s much she can do about it, but maybe I will next time. The idea of dealing with them when I try to get pregnant in a couple years makes me shudder.January 11, 2019 at 10:27 am #815348
Is it REALLY just the staff though? The Doctor also sound like a bit of a fucking mess…January 11, 2019 at 10:28 am #815350
PS — My post was directed to JD…January 11, 2019 at 10:36 am #815352
I’d consider changing over this. I’ve had to call to get the doctor’s okay for refills several times, and it’s always been very quick. (I am freakin’ obsessed with Northwestern Medicine, if you have one near you. They are incredibly efficient.) You could try talking to the doctor like others have suggested, but he may not even be the one responsible for staffing the office in the first place.