Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dear Primary Care Physician to my parents:

I understand you’re busy. I understand that you have more patients than one person can handle. I understand that my mother has SCAN, which is akin to Acceptable Losses Insurance, and that you make pennies on the dollar with HMO patients. I understand priorities and triage. But what I don’t understand is abandonment, and this is what you’ve done to both my parents.

Why has it taken over two months to schedule a simple MRI? I’ll tell you why. Because you forgot all about the MRI order in the first place. After three weeks of not hearing anything from the imaging center, I got proactive and began calling you every damn day until you finally put through the paperwork. Most times I got your voice mail that told me the mailbox was full. Or I got your secretary who repeatedly told me you’re understaffed. I’ve heard it so much, that I think it’s now her mantra.

I thought I was in heaven when the imaging center told me the order had finally come through. Problem was, you wrote the order with contrast, and the insurance company wanted the MRI done without contrast. This required nothing more from you than a rewrite of the orders and faxing it to the imaging center. To date, it’s taken two solid weeks of calling to get your attention.

I was hopeful when I talked to you personally on Thursday that you would finally get this fixed. You didn’t. I called the imaging center yesterday, and they said you still hadn’t faxed the new orders over. I immediately called your office, but you were gone and your mailbox was…full. I can’t even scream into the phone. Instead, I have to wait until Monday. My mother’s appointment for her MRI is Wednesday. I wonder if I have to drive down to Palm Springs and sit in your office, to be a wart on your ass, just to get you to pay attention to my mother’s needs.

If that weren’t enough, you’ve also abandoned my father. Five months ago he asked for a cardiologist referral because the ER angels who cared for him told him he needed to be seen by a cardiologist once a year. To date, you’ve not put through the referral. Why? When I talked to you on Thursday, you told me my father is stable – as if this is justification for your inaction. It isn’t. I’m thankful he’s stable, but facts are is that he must be seen by a cardiologist, and you’ve done nothing but stand in the way.

Why the apathy? Why have you abandoned my parents – your patients? Why do I have to continually take time out of my day and hound you daily just to get a simple MRI appointment or cardiologist referral?

I guess at this point I’m not looking for excuses. Your secretary is full of them. I understand understaffed, but at the expense of medical care for my parents? No, I don’t understand this at all. If you’re shorthanded, hire more people. If you don’t want to treat my parents anymore, then tell me.

I’m tired of understanding.

*Reiki hugs= 0 (she is probably in serious need of many Reiki hugs, but she's a tool)

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