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Tue May 22, 2018, 08:21 AM

maybe this is common and not only my experience...

I really like my new psychiatrist. He's very competent, actually spends time with me, tries to understand, reveals himself at times, and actually seeks my opinion about which medications to prescribe (?!!). If you know ANYTHING about psychiatrists, it's that, in my experience, they are kindly authoritarian and darn sure don't seek your input. They dictate and you either take the medication or assert yourself. He's extremely unique in my experience. He seems to genuinely care about me (which should be a given in his profession, but I've seen some fairly callous psychiatrists in my career).

At any rate, leaving him is not an option. However, as with most doctors, you have to get past the office staff to interact or schedule appointments, etc. That has been a ****show from the very beginning. Ok, scheduling the very first appointment was OK, I give them that much credit. However, it's been pretty bad ever since. Two examples: 1- They failed to call me back when I left a message asking them to do so and of course left my phone number, name, etc.; and 2- I had an appointment and when I showed up, I was told I did not. I very gently asserted myself and said oh yes I did. A few hours later, I finally saw him.

When I finally saw him during fiasco #2, I told him how unhappy I was with his office staff. Long story short, he said he had no control over them whatsoever since he was not their boss. I'm assuming he subcontracts with the office and someone else owns the practice ? I don't know, none of my business. I think he did speak to someone about them totally messing up my appointment and the next time I had to interact with his designated person, she was extraordinarily rude to me. I just shut up and took it basically, since I like my doctor so much. My gut feeling is to assert myself with them means, eventually, I have to leave my doctor since he has no control over them.

TL, DR: Great doctor, horrible office staff. You too ?

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Reply maybe this is common and not only my experience... (Original post)
steve2470 May 2018 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot May 2018 #1
steve2470 May 2018 #3
Sherman A1 May 2018 #2
steve2470 May 2018 #4
Ohiogal May 2018 #5
steve2470 May 2018 #6
Ohiogal May 2018 #7
steve2470 May 2018 #8
steve2470 May 2018 #9
hunter May 2018 #10
steve2470 May 2018 #11
hunter May 2018 #12

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2018, 08:32 AM

1. Many professionals - doctors, lawyers, etc. - share office space, and

contract with a company, possibly the owner or manager of the office space, for clerical services. Find out who manages the clerical staff and let them know what's been happening. You shouldn't have to leave any kind of service provider you like because of their office staff.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Tue May 22, 2018, 08:37 AM

3. for now, I'm trying to "kill them with kindness"

I'm hoping eventually, they will be motivated to consistently do well with my case. I will consider talking to the office manager or whoever is in charge eventually.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2018, 08:33 AM

2. My spouse has had several medical issues in the past

and sometimes finding a doctor that has even heard of her problem is difficult. She has gone through many a medical practice over either the Doctor just being uniformed regarding her particular problem or the office staff being impossible with which to deal.

I get that working in a doctor's office of any type would be challenging with the myriad of patients, their expectations, HIPPA rules and the puzzle of that is our arcane insurance system, yet some seem to do wonderful work and others can't find their plate with their fork.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Tue May 22, 2018, 08:39 AM

4. this is the first office staff with any doctor I've ever had any issues with

I understand that they don't have an easy job with everything. I darn sure don't expect perfection. I do expect a basic level of civility and competence.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2018, 08:49 AM

5. Oh yes

I like all my doctors, but two of them have office staff that is horrible. At the one place I actually wonder why this woman works with the public. She is his nurse and she is the one who takes you back, weighs you, takes your blood pressure, any new issues, etc. She has all the warmth and personality of a stone and answers you with one word sentences or gives you one word commands. I like to joke around when I go to a medical appt. just to make it less nerve racking but I think this woman was missing the day the good lord passed out personality.

Another place, my husband and I go to the same one -- he has been feuding with their billing dept. for 6 months now.

My former mother-in-law had a doctor whose staff was from hell. I used to take her to her appts. She was in her mid 90s and they'd keep her waiting in the inner room for an hour or more! I'd complain and complain and they'd give me attitude. She refused to switch doctors so what could I do.

As far as your doctor saying he doesn't have any control over his office staff, that is BS. They should absolutely raise issues with the staff over complaints like yours. I find it appalling that you had to deal with this person after she knew you complained and you were treated so rudely. I don't know if this is just an American health care issue? Who needs to put up with this horrible treatment when you need to see a doctor?

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #5)

Tue May 22, 2018, 08:58 AM

6. sorry to hear of your bad experiences

I think he has *some* control but from what he said, he cannot fire or discipline any of the staff. That, apparently, is up to the office manager or whoever is in charge. I don't know all the politics of what's going on, but it's my impression that he has had many complaints about them and is just at the end of his rope. IMHO, he should open his own small office or go to another practice but of course much easier said than done and also none of my business.

The rudeness, she was just civil enough that if I complained, she had plausible deniability. She did not curse at me, call me names, completely ignore me, etc. She just demanded my credit card immediately when I spoke to her. What the hell, I'm not a child, I know I have to pay but a smile or small talk or at least a polite pause before immediately demanding my payment. I think in all sections of the country, that is the norm. All we adults know we have to pay our co-payment and come prepared with check, credit card or cash. She was just extraordinarily demanding and abrupt. I've been all over the world, and I've never had my payment demanded this way. Meh, her problem obviously, I forked over the credit card and just silently resolved to never speak to her again unless I am forced to.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #6)

Tue May 22, 2018, 09:11 AM

7. If anything,

Medical office staff should absolutely understand that the patients coming in may be ill, distressed, or upset, and may not be totally up to dealing with their demanding protocol. It's not all about THEM! I know in the days after I first got diagnosed with cancer, I probably acted like a glassy eyed zombie when I went to my first surgical and oncological visits. (this was ten years ago). I even apologized to the staff at the surgeon's office once I was much better and they were all so sweet and said they'd seen much worse and not to worry about it.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #7)

Tue May 22, 2018, 09:18 AM

8. oh I agree, totally

I admit, when they didn't call me back after a long period of time, I did go down there in person and said my piece. I didn't swear, threaten, or say anything inappropriate, but I damn sure made it plain I was unhappy about not being called back. My theory is that they remembered this incident and instead of cutting me some slack, developed a grudge, especially the person who handles his appointments and phone messages.

So I HAVE asserted myself and just received some extraordinary rudeness in return from this one person. I'll figure it out, but I'm not leaving my doctor unless he grossly offends me or does something incompetent, etc.

Also, sorry to hear of your suffering but I'm glad the staff was really good about things. We humans are many times not at our best when going to doctors and hospitals. It can be very difficult or impossible to be pleasant and socially appropriate in some cases, to say the least LOL

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Wed May 23, 2018, 02:37 AM

9. latest ****show, a surprise and my ultimate victory

Last edited Wed May 23, 2018, 03:26 AM - Edit history (1)

I saw my doctor yesterday. When I saw him, he said he had received NONE of my phone calls and so had never called me back. He also had not received my medical test results which had been faxed to him personally by my family practice doctor.

I asked him a huge favor, for his desk phone and/or email. He gave me his personal cell phone number. I'd call that my ultimate victory and solution to all the ****shows.

Such a horrible office but now I have the solution! Victory is mine, and it tastes soo good lol

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Wed May 23, 2018, 06:51 PM

10. I'm ashamed and confess my doctor's office staff sometimes seems to be protecting him.

Optimistic self says hunter's meds are working well, approve refills.

Paranoid self says, don't want to see Hunter around here again, approve refills.

Fortunately I'm actually in some kind of possibly rational in-between space.


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Response to hunter (Reply #10)

Wed May 23, 2018, 06:52 PM

11. glad you're well, hunter ! :)

I started on Lithium Carbonate ER today per my doc, wish me luck.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #11)

Wed May 23, 2018, 07:00 PM

12. I wish you luck!

In my experience the ER (Extended Release) meds are anti-ER (Emergency Room) meds.

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