This lady, Karen DeCoster, fired her health care provider this week. This is her story.
If you have fired your health care professional, why did you do it? Under what circumstances? And was there any reponse from the fired person?
Or why were you fired as a patient by a Health Care Professional?
Fuck yes I got rid of my last doctor. This lovely lady, who obviously was too busy to keep things in order, mis-diagnosed me in 2011 with a serious disease. During my last ditch 2nd opinion hoping and crossing fingers, the family friend referred doc discovered my file was mixed with someone else's. If I had 20 middle fingers to extend in salute to that old doc? They would still be flying high. I will never again not ask to read my own files. If there is pushback, I'm out.
I have a new one that I love to pieces, referred by Doc Lifesaver. The thoughtfulness, thoroughness, empathy, and professionalism is off the charts.
I fired my primary care physician last June. I'd been with her for over 10 years, and she's watched me go from over 220 pounds with high triglycerides, asthma, and a full cocktail of anti-depressants, to 150ish pounds with trigs of 32, no asthma, and no medications. Nevertheless, she insisted my improved health over the last four years, due to low-carb and then zero-carb eating, was an illusion, and that it was masking deteriorating health.
The full story is here, and it was PaleoHackers who helped me decide to fire her (thanks, you guys).
I fired my PCP 4 years ago after he refused to refer me to a specialist for further testing and a second opinion regarding a large-ish lump I had recently discovered in my breast. He felt the area and said there was nothing there and asked me if I was getting any psychiatric care for what he deemed was paranoid delusions and hypochondria. I was dumbfounded to say the least. He finally agreed to send me for a mammogram, just to prove me wrong according to him. I had the mammogram done, in which the radiologist immediately sent me for an ultrasound of the area due to concern it may be cancerous. I asked them to call me when the radiologist finished reading the mammogram and ultrasound info and went in and picked up the films and report personally. Both reports showed a mass that was roughly 3.5cm x 2.5cm x 1.2cm. I made one final appointment with that PCP with the sole purpose of proving him wrong and firing him. I took the reports and films with me. After the nurse did her typical vitals and left the room (leaving my chart on the table) I went through my chart. He had written in my chart that I was delusional, hypochondriac, and manipulative. I snapped a picture of that page for evidence. When the doctor finally came in the room, I got real serious with him. I told him that now it was my turn to talk and he was gonna listen for once. I showed him the films and told him he was fired. I also told him that I had looked in my chart and saw what he wrote about me, and that if those baseless accusations weren't immediately and appropriately deleted, and/or if that false information was transmitted with my records to my new doctor that he was going to have a lawsuit to deal with. He never once apologized or even looked me in the eye. I made an appointment with a new doctor and within 2 days I was in surgery to have that lump removed and tested. Thankfully, it wasn't cancer. But what of it had been, and I blindly let that doctor convince me it was all in my head? For him to blatantly declare there was NO lump there and then essentially tell me I was crazy?? Thankfully I've been told he has since retired, so thankfully he can no longer be a detriment to his patients that put their blind trust in him.
I don't think "fired" is a good description. Switched works better for me. Anyway, twice in recent (last 7 years) memory.
First was my OB with my first pregnancy. After giving me a test without informed consent, she tried to strong-arm me into an amnio. When I said I wanted a level 2 ultrasound first, she said no. I said "I'll be over tomorrow for my records."
Second was a primary a couple of years ago. Had something to do with my thyroid but I can't remember what. I think it's that she had no interest in monitoring it during my second pregnancy and I was like "Um, I'm pregnant, remember?" and she didn't seem to think it was an issue even though low thyroid can cause miscarriage. Just never went back.
I fired the doctor who absolutely refused to let me try Armour Thyroid instead of synthetic T4, despite my constant complaints that I felt like sh*t all the time, and deteriorating biomarkers. When I asked if we could try to get my TSH lower--where I usually felt better, she wagged her finger and admonished me that "we don't chase lab values,"--while continuing to base my entire treatment plan on a TSH in the "normal" range.
I did my own research, found a way to get Armour without a prescription, and began self-treating--including ordering my own labs. After fixing myself, I finally found an MD practicing integrative medicine who was happy to continue treating me with Armour. This was a life-changing experience--and pretty empowering.
I fired my GI at NYU. This is just one reason why. I was experiencing symptoms of nausea after eating, he told me I had gastric reflux and put me on a proton pump inhibitor. After I went on the PPI, the only thing I could consume (for serious) in the 3 weeks I was on the PPI was 2 cans of ginger ale each day. Seriously. So I stopped taking them and told him about it, I also told him all along that I didn't think that I had an acid problem (I had already had a stomach endo and ultrasound, later on a CT scan, no problems and all bloods normal) and that I stopped taking the PPI. He then asked me how I was feeling, and I said, better. Then he said "see what a little pill like a PPI can do to help?" And I was like wtf?! And then I reiterated that I had STOPPED taking the PPI and felt better, so he then prescribed me another one... and this guy is on the faculty at NYU medical school! So, fired. Then I switched to Mt. Sinai and all of the doctors there ACTUALLY listen to me like I know what is going on in my body, and have been so happy ever since.
My PCP misdiagnosed my SIX WEEKS OF ACTIVE WHOOPING COUGH as an asthma flare. I don't even have a history of asthma. This despite five visits in a month, seven prescriptions that obviously weren't helping, coughing induced black eye, weight loss and vomiting, laryngitis, and absolutely scaring the shit out of the poor staff every time I dragged my sorry butt in.
I ended up figuring it out and self-referring to the health department. Boy, they were not impressed. Turns out they'd already sent out a letter to all the local docs that they were seeing confirmed cases of freaking pertussis. Good thing that I exposed everyone in town to it anyway, right? Including my respiratory-compromised husband? At least HE got the antibiotics in time. I finally got the "good" cough syrup. God forbid they give opiates to someone in actual need.
She called to apologize after the health department requested my medical records. I don't think she got the response she was looking for.
I Fired my Dentist!
After having severe tooth pain for 4 days, I arrived at his office on a Monday Morning at 0730 (His office is closed on Fridays). He took one look and said you need a root canal. Great, do it! He referred me to another dentist who could only "take a look" at 5pm that day. The root canal would have to be done later in the week.
At this point I was in agony! I couldn't eat or go to work with the pain so I asked for some pain medication. He gave me a RX for Lortab which I am highly allergic to (its on my chart). I reminded him of this, and he said, "that's all I can give you".
I said, so let me get this straight, just to be clear of the plan, I will have to wait in my car (outside the new dentist office) for 9 hrs either in severe pain or take the Lortab and throw up and itch my eyeballs out, and then NOT get the root canal until later on in the week? He says, well you can go home... take the Lortab, then drive back.. (we are talking about a 1.5 hr drive each way)... So I'm to DRIVE with the Lortab on board, throwing up and itching all over? and in pain? just to get an estimate?
I started crying, went to the bathroom at his office, and it took about 30 minutes to compose myself. I went up to the front desk and told his secretary that I will NEVER be back and I did not appreciate the way I was treated.
I got in my car, called my son who had just had a root canal in another town, got the number called, and was getting my root canal done at 12NOON that day!!
I've considered it but where I live, a Boston suburb, PCPs aren't accepting new patients. He hasn't told me to leave but he's pretty dismissive of my symptoms and tells me I should only see him every 5 years since I'm "young and healthy". I've seen a lot of specialists as well and have learned that out of the ~18k known diseases, they suck at treating or even identifying all but a few hundred or so of them. So I do Paleo, Tai Chi, and suck it up until I can identify something in that small sliver which the bloated medical system is good at.