I went to see my Rheumatologist this past week. I usually see him every 6 months but it had been over a year this time. He is a young doctor but one of the few very caring doctors that will sit and listen to you. (or so I had thought) So when you book an appointment with the secretary she always gives you the appointment time then tells you to be there an hour or so later because he is usually that far behind. 90% of his patients know this and adjust their schedule accordingly because they would rather have a doctor who sits and listens and talks with them than one who rushes you in and out like a herd of cattle. Now don’t get me wrong here, he does get a lot of patients through in a day, you just have to be ready to wait.
So my appointment was for 11:30am, I get there for 12:30pm and the waiting room is packed. Standing room only. Now I’m thinking, he has never been this far behind before. Luckily most of the people in the waiting room were there with other patients so it did empty out fast.
I have a question right here. If there is one patient with 3 family members, that makes up 4 all together taking up space in the waiting room. Instead of other patients standing shouldn’t one of those 3 family members give up their seat and stand? Not a patient? Most patients seeing a rheumatologist have problems with their joints.
I will continue. I finally see the doctor at 2:30pm. Yes my appointment was originally set for 11:30am. We talk about a procedure which is very expensive. I had it done 2 years ago. It will cost a few thousand dollars for both joints. I tell him I cannot afford to pay out of my pocket which I have to do first then submit to my health insurance. I said I would need a receipt first to submit to the insurance so he can get paid. He then comes out with “you know I am running a business here” and “when you come up with the money to pay me first then I will start the shots.” I was flabbergasted. I never heard anything like that from him or any doctor here in Canada before. And I hope I never will again.
I feel that was uncalled for. I don’t care what profession you’re in. All he had to do was write up the receipt for the insurance so he could be paid and I could have started the series of shots this week. As a patient I don’t care about his administrative duties. He took an Oath. What ever happened to that?
At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:
- I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
- I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due;
- I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity; the health of my patient will be my first consideration;
- I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession; my colleagues will be my brothers;
- I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient;
- I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception, even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity;
- I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.
This is exactly one of the reasons why I started this blog. He really didn’t care. He just cares about the money. His bottom line at the end of each day. He just gives the impression that he cares so he can bring in more patients to his practice. His secretary stated that on an average week he sees 5 new patients per day. That does not include his existing patients. For every in-office procedure he adds on his own fees on top of the actual cost for the drug, injection or whatever you might be having done. My insurance company has deemed his additional fees excessive and way out-of-line with the general fees and therefore will not cover them. As a result, some of the few thousand dollars is not covered and will still be coming out of my pocket.
For those of you who are still reading my rant, I thank you. And my doctor just moved into a nice new office on his own. Before he was sharing an office with another doctor. So his business must be doing quite well.
Have a Great Day!!
Note: The Physician’s Oath was taken from Wikipedia
- The Role of the Rheumatologist (everydayhealth.com)
- Doctor Guide: Who Should Be on Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Care Team (everydayhealth.com)
Great blog post Surprising… You need to write an answer letter to the FT!