A few days ago I had one of those “oh no you didn’t” moments with someone who I never expected to have it with, my doctor.
No, she didn’t poke something somewhere I wasn’t expecting. Actually, I wish she had because at least then I would have an explanation instead of being left scratching my head.
Because I didn’t have insurance I haven’t seen my doctor in several months which means some of my
subscriptions prescriptions had gone unfilled. So once my insurance kicked in I got in touch with her to get everything refilled.
I called her the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and we talked for a few minutes about her kids and what I’d been up to with my new job. When I brought up wanting to get my prescriptions refilled and asked if I could stop by her office, she told me that she no longer was in that office. In fact she didn’t even have an office anymore.
She told me that she had something in the works for a new office and to call her back after the Thanksgiving break, so I did.
I waited a full week after Thanksgiving before calling her. We talked again and at one point I thought she was going to cry when one of her boys broke something that she had warned them not to break. She kept talking with me during her near breakdown and eventually told me to call her on the following Monday.
I said I would call her early, after she saw the kids off to school.
I called at 8:15 that morning and left a voice-mail. I called again at 10:45 and 1:30 but didn’t leave a message. So I was kind of surprised when she actually picked up the phone when I called around 3:45.
That’s when things started to get weird.
Me: Hey, Doctor [name withheld], it’s Jason.
Doctor: Oh hey, I’ve been sick.
My first thought was that she sure didn’t sound sick, but whatever. Why would my doctor make something like that up, right?
She then proceeded to tell me about how her youngest son was wanting hot dogs and that he likes to put ketchup on them (which is sposed to be a big no-no in Chicagoland).
Doctor: He likes to put a LOT of ketchup on his hot dogs.
Me: Oh, really?
Doctor: I mean a LOT of ketchup. He covers the entire thing to where you can’t even see it. But I don’t think we have any ketchup in the house. He’s not going to be happy about that.
Me: Yeah, you’re prolly right.
I waited a few seconds before bringing up the prescription question again.
Me: So, what do you think we can do about the prescriptions? The insurance I have is going to end soon (when my freelance position ends) and the only reason I got it was so I could get my prescriptions refilled. I can meet you somewhere if you want, like if you have to go to the hospital or something.
Silence, like 60-90 seconds of silence.
Me: Hello? Doctor [name withheld]?
I looked at my phone to see if we were still connected and saw that we were, which confused me because things would have made a little more sense had we been disconnected. I put the phone back to my ear and started to hear my doctor’s voice in the background.
She was talking to her kids, asking them if they wanted pizza for dinner and telling them, loudly, that they needed to get things cleaned up.
I didn’t remember her telling me to hold on, but maybe she did while I was talking. I decided to keep holding with the thinking she’d eventually come back to the phone.
I waited and waited.
I told myself that she was coming back.
Although I couldn’t make out what she was saying, I still hear her talking and after about five minutes I started to get upset.
Three minutes later I checked the phone, saw I was still connected and started to get mad. At the 10-minute mark I was fuming and hung up the phone.
I couldn’t believe that my doctor for the past 10+ years had just put down the phone and walked away… for 10 minutes. I kept thinking she would call me back, but she never did.
She had kept me on the phone when one of her kids broke something, so why would she put the phone down to get ketchup for a hot dog?
The more I thought about it the more I couldn’t believe what happened.
Seriously, that’s the kind of thing I used to do to telemarketers.
I mean, really, who does that to someone they know? Especially a doctor?
I tried calling her back, once, the next day. I haven’t tried since and haven’t heard from her either.
So, today I’m off to see a new doctor, one who hopefully won’t leave me sitting on the table talking to myself.
Sounds like you just found out why she no longer has any patients or an office. That type of behavior is unacceptable and unprofessional. Is she still licensed? If she isn’t, you can file a complaint against her with your state attorney general’s office. Not that that agency will seek any action against her right away if there is one or two complaints but if there are numerous patients filing complaints against her they might take a look into it.
I don’t know that I’m ready to go as far as filing complaints just yet… Just would like some answers.
Holy crap! That is strange and rude and shocking all at the same time. I think you are right in that you need to get another doctor.
I know, right? I still don’t know what to make of it and obviously don’t have any answers.
Sounds like she flew the coop, J…
She’s always been a little flighty, so it’s possible.
Yea, Jason, I agree with the previous posts. It sounds like losing her office is a symptom of the bigger disease.
She DID mention that it was because the rent was too high so that could be some of it. But after going to a “real” doctor I was amazed at how different her office looked in comparison.
Maybe she didn’t want to tell you why she no longer has an office. Maybe she isn’t allowed to write you any prescriptions. 😉
That’s what I’m wondering if she can’t write an Rx because she doesn’t have an office, but it would have been nice for her to tell me that directly instead of putting the phone down on me.
Nervous breakdown. That’s what is going on- she has been writing herself too many Rx’s…
She does have two adopted kids that I know are a handful, but I didn’t think they would be enough for her to actually close her office for good.
The whole thing is weird. I’m sort of surprised you have her home number. She must have lost her practicing privileges (and maybe her mind) and isn’t sure what her next move is. That may be why she didn’t know what to tell you. Probably didn’t want to lose a patient but didn’t have a clue where she was going next.
She was a very personable doctor, which was one of the things I liked about her. She made her patients feel as if she cared because she spend time talking and listening instead of the normal “get you in and get you out” type of thing. The number I have was because she left it on her office answering machine, so it wasn’t like I had something private. Even still, according to Tammy that’s something that most “normal” doctors don’t do. haha…
Until her I had never really had a doctor so all of her oddities were normal to me… until now.