Dear Doctor D,
I wanted to let you know that I will not be returning to your practice in the future, and I felt it was only fair to tell you why. I’m letting you know via letter, as I am afraid of what would happen were I to call.
First, I do want to tell you that I really appreciate the speed with which you first got me into your practice. When I cut my thumb open and needed a doctor for the wound care, the fact that you got me in to see a nurse the same day I called was really appreciated, especially since I was a new patient at the time.
From there, it kind of went downhill though. Since Google and the phone book still list your old address, I might suggest alerting new patients to your current location so that they don’t try to enter an abandoned medical building and have to call to get directions.
And when I arrived at the medical office and saw no one in the waiting room, I was pretty stoked to be able to get in and out pretty quickly. Granted, I was somewhat behind on my Sports Illustrated reading, but I had other things to do than reading. Oddly, no one came in or out of the reception area while I waited the half hour to be called back, but I’m beginning to think you have a transporter in there. That must be why I waited so long for the nurse to look at my finger for seven minutes before sending me on my merry way.
I did realize that I was probably overdue for a physical, so I made my appointment with you this time, Dr. D, instead of the nurse practitioner. I had a bunch of things that I wanted to discuss and make sure that they weren’t concerns, and I’m just biased towards doctors for these things. Again, it was great to be able to get an appointment fairly quickly; friends of mine have horror stories of waiting weeks to get in for a physical.
I had the fun experience of waiting by myself in the waiting room for a good twenty minutes. Funny, I thought 8am was the first appointment, but I guess I was wrong. I did see the sign as I was signing in that any paperwork was $X to fill out, phone calls were $Y, and so forth — that’s why I’m writing you a letter instead of calling. I don’t take kindly to being charged for complaining.
In the room, a nurse took my vitals after only a few minutes, then I got to stew — naked under that paper gown, of course — for awhile, hoping that you’d show soon. When you arrived, you introduced yourself and did ask if I had any concerns. I told you my concerns, but that was it as far as you were concerned. You decided that I needed a blood test and were ready to walk out and be done. When I asked what the next steps were, you said that we’d figure them out after seeing the results of the bloodwork.
Oh and I almost forgot to thank you for writing down the word Mirena on a prescription pad as information for me to look up, since that was your birth control solution to me, although your office doesn’t handle them. No questions about preferences or anything, just asked if I was taking anything now and wrote that down for me. I feel so informed.
When my blood results arrived, a nurse called to let me know that everything was normal. While that was a relief, that did beg the question of next steps because I assure you that my concerns aren’t in my head. The nurse was confused for a moment, as she wasn’t your nurse calling me back. For whatever reason, my lab results were assigned to a different doctor’s nurse. And I had to ask her three times for various labs because originally all she told me was that my iron level was fine. I’m afraid to ask for a copy of the lab results for fear of what you’ll charge me, as I think it was near $15 per page.
Regardless, she said she’d pass along my question to your nurse and that someone would call me to talk about what we do next. Three days later, your nurse called me and asked what I wanted from you. I explained, and she said that she’d pass the message along to you.
Two days later you called me. You said that blood work was fine and so I didn’t need to come back again for another couple of years for another physical. When I started asking questions, your tone got much more clipped. I reminded you that I’m trying to figure out what’s going on with me – for example the fact that I am burning around 2,500 calories a week at the gym and yet somehow gaining a half pound or so a week for the past few months. While I didn’t give you my calories burned total in this conversation, I had mentioned it when we first chatted. Your recommendation was to ramp up the exercise and ramp down the calories. My hope pretty much died there, since I can assure you that isn’t the issue. I can’t get to the gym more than four or five times a week, and I eat quite healthfully and in moderation.
I pretty much wrote you off at that point, and I didn’t bother to bring up my heart rate issues again. Or argue with you about my caloric intake or outtake. Or discuss my exhaustion even when getting eight plus hours of sleep. Or mention my recurring issue with low blood levels that weren’t for whatever reason evident in the sample I gave. I can assure you that I won’t be back to see you again. And I won’t be recommending your practice to anyone I know.
Oh, and my work happened to send me an email about testing my resting metabolic rate right after this all transpired. I paid the small fee to have it tested. My RMR is around 1,550. When you couple that with the calories I’m burning on a daily basis, I’m actually not eating enough food. I’m literally unintentionally starving myself — so thanks for your advice and the deep dive you took to decide what I should be doing.
Lastly, when my PAP results arrived and a different wrong nurse called me to let me know that they’re normal — so my information was passed to yet another unnecessary person in your office — that really was just the icing on the cake. I don’t question my decision whatsoever.
Good luck with your practice,
PS Yes, I’m cranky today, but I am highly disappointed with this doctor and practice. They forgot the patient aspect of care.