Why I Fired My Doctor

 In Blog


Yesterday, I fired my family doc. He doesn’t know it yet. And he may never know.

Here is exactly why:

Sometimes, I feel like it’d be really hard to be a restaurant/food critic. Or a professional golfer. Or a rock star.

Food is a pleasureable thing. But when your career revolves around noticing every little detail of a restaurant experience, can you ever really enjoy a burger? Or, are you always critiquing and unable to get caught up in the moment of enjoyment?

I try really hard to get outside myself and my career when I have a doctor’s appointment. I try not to critique or even notice the same things I write about in my books about the patient experience. I realize we’re all human, same with my GP. But yesterday? Well, it was wretched and I will not subject myself to that again.

Annual physical. Appointment at 2:40p. I arrive on time. Spend 50 minutes in the waiting room. In exam room, it takes another 30 min. for the doc to actually come in. Got vitals taken, went over paperwork and talked about my medications with the medical assistant. Then, we wait. And wait some more.

Doc finally enters. Looks in my mouth, ears, checks knee reflexes, feels my neck, checks my lungs with a stethoscope. This took approximately two minutes, probably less.

(This is the part where it gets mildly graphic, so if it freaks you out, stop reading now.)

Doc asks me to get off the exam table so he can check below the belt. I’ve had this same doc for at least four years, he’s done an annual on me every year and he has never, ever examined anything that would make me disrobe. This exam takes, I’m overestimating, 10 seconds. While he examines me, he says to enjoy this last annual exam because next year when I turn 40, it’s the DRE every year. He makes a passing reference to a cyst, then, I pull my pants back up and sit down on the exam table once again. He exits.

I am dead serious when I say he was in the room four minutes or less. I didn’t even know the exam was over. Ten minutes later, he sticks his head back in the door and asks, “Marcus, tell me about your cigar intake?” Confession: I used to enjoy cigars a bit too much. Now, I have a stoagie about once every few months. Not really enough tobacco intake to worry about or even call me a smoker.

Some twenty minutes later, a medical assistant returns with an order to get blood work (standard for an annual) and an order for an ultrasound. Ultrasound? No one mentioned an ultrasound.

Unknown-1By the time we actually walked out to the car, I’d been in his office for two hours and 10 minutes.

Lack of respect for my time. Lack of communication. Lack of active listening. Lack of even asking a single question, other than the one about cigars.

This is preventative care in 2014. I.E., it’s not care at all. Hence, this doctor is fired. I will not set foot in his office again. I will possibly write a letter to the group explaining why I will not be back in to see him again. I will not drag his name through the mud on social media. It’s not worth it. I will simply find someone else who can do a better job than he does.

I hope if you endure this kind of physician appointment, you, too, will consider finding another doc.


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  • Desma Reno, Ph.D(c); APRN, GCNS-BC

    Congratulations on your firing him….I think they forget who works for who…You are so right…all that time and you get 4 minutes…I have seen literally less..what gets me more is when you go to the Emergency Room and you do not see a doctor at all. They send in their front men/women to do all the work and they take back their assessment and he gives them orders to do what ever…and then he/she might come in at the end…it is so bad..not at all how patients should be treated. The problem is for some is access..the access to health care providers is limited or none at all in some of our rural areas…when physicians practices are being bought by hospitals if you fire one you might end up not being able to get anyone as they are all in the same company so to speak…in a small town could even be blacklisted. For those of you who can do this and make a statement, I say go for it. Way to go Marcus.

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