Friday, September 26, 2008

Doctor problems

A friend and I were discussing the family doctor situation in Calgary and they told me something that made my blood boil. The doctor they're seeing is in an office with many other doctors, but they were assigned a doctor that was still seeing new patients at that time. Now although it can be said that you can choose whatever doctor you want, that may be technically true, but not true in reality, as the doctor has to be accepting new patients in the first place. But it gets worse.

Let's say that over the course of a year you come to the realization that this particular doctor just isn't working out. The reason doesn't matter, let's face it, if you can't relate to the doctor and, more importantly, if they can't relate to you - you're not going to receive the best in treatment. Well, that's what happened in this situation. So, my friend decided to try another doctor in the same office at a time when the original doctor was unavailable. Doctor #2 was someone the patient could relate to from minute one. The patient started making appointments to see doctor #2 instead. But doctor #2 kept insisting that in this particular office, and considering who the patient's original doctor was, the patient must stop making appointments to see doctor #2.

Some time passed, the original doctor was still not making a good connection with the patient, and then the office announced that doctor #2 was officially taking on new patients. My friend thought, "Great! Now I can switch doctors." Nope. The office would not let the patient switch, even though things are not working out - due to conflict of interest. In fact, word around town is that if you already have a doctor, it's unlikely a second doctor is going to agree to see you.

This is just so much B.S. As a patient, I should have the right to find a better doctor if the one I'm seeing just isn't working out. Hell, if you know my own story from this blog, then you know I've already exercised this right once, when my last doctor wouldn't take me off of meds that I didn't need. I think the problem in this country right now is that we are so short of doctors, that they have developed this attitude of 'my way or the highway' - because they can. There's really no competition. And it sucks.......


Anonymous said...

I actually had to sign a paper stating that the doctor I was seeing was in fact my only family doctor, as did Mom and several other people I know who recently saw their doctors in Quebec. Not sure why, but I sense so we don't switch or something. Why else? heidi

Goddess of Madness said...

My doctor retired 3 years ago and referred us to another doctor. Well that doctor has been fine except in regards to my daughters chronic nasal congestion,enlarged tonsils and adanoids. 80% of the time my little lady cannot breathe through her nose and she snores like a truck full of chain saws. For three years he has told me "she has a cold" and refused to refer her to an ENT. The referral to the allergist never seems to actually get put in. So I took her to a walk in clinic and the doctor there gave me a referral. So 2 months later we see the ENT who immediately referred her to a pediatric surgical ENT, saying this should of been dealt with 3 years ago. Yay Calgary Doctors