Anybody-Should I Contact AMA about this Doc???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by nancyw, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

    Had my first appointment with the Rhuemy today. I brought in a whole notebook of my medical tests, blood tests, speclsts notes, CAT scans, MRIs, etc. and I don't think she looked at any of it. She started off saying "not many people have fibromyalgia" and that "it's usually just depression that causes these symptoms. She never checked me for the tender points and did not discuss any of my problems except the not sleeping. She said my symptoms are very common for people who aren't sleeping well (no s..., Sherlock!). I ended up spending $370.00 (no insurance any more) for her to tell me 1) I should find a church to attend because God will take care of my depression (she was not happy when I said I was not raised with religion and don't go to church); 2) she thinks I'm just depressed and I should go to counseling (records indicate I've been on anti-depressants for 7 years AND I've been to counseling on and off since I was 20-didn't help); 3) I should move in with my daughter if I'm out of money (my house is paid for and I don't WANT to give up my independence); 4) she THINKS I'm having trouble sleeping (my list of medications show 4-7 different medications to try to sleep); 5) and then said I should have breast reduction surgery because that's probably the cause of my back problems!!!!! When I said the counseling doesn't help and I'm not going to church, she had the GALL to say it just sounds like I'm throwing up roadblocks!!!! I wanted to ask her where she got her degree in Psychology, but I was crying by this time, couldn't talk any more, and just plain pissed. She kept saying I "needed help with my depression (duh!) and then asked me if I wanted to go to a shelter?????? This is probably one of the best times in my life (except for illness) because I get to see my daughter and grandkids every day. I told this yah-hoo that I've probably been depressed most of my life, and she says "there you go; you've diagnosed yourself. At this point I couldn't even respond because I would have lost it. NOW THE BEST PART - she charged me $370.00 for this intial visit!!!!! FYI: I've been diagnosed by two other doctors before going to her in hopes she'd be my "main" doc and support my disability claim which I filed last week. Guess I can forget that!!!! Now what do I do - I can't get a job because I can't carry on conversations or remember what I said 2 minutes ago, I don't have insurance any more, and I have run out of money (using credit cards). Not married so I'm on my own. Does anybody think this is weird or what? Should I call the American Medical Association and report this? Help!!!!!!!!! Any suggestions/responses would be greatly appreciated.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/09/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/09/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/09/2003]
  2. Bellesmom

    Bellesmom New Member

    I'm so sorry for what you're going thru. I have no advice because I'm basically in a similar boat in the same sea. I did make an appt at a clinic where they won't tell you how much your bill will be until you go in because it's the sliding scale thing (?) and so the clerk told me I didn't qualify anyway. I said how about if you have way more bills than money? Then she could only put the ballpark figure out there that it might be up to $213 plus, plus, plus for the 1st time and this is only a family physician!!! She was very caring but she definitely won't be paying my bill.

    My atty told me I have to have some medical backup so it's money out of my pocket as I haven't had health insurance for over 2 years. I think these folks are programmed not to help and then charge as much as they can (physicians and attorneys). I am now scared silly to go to this "new" doctor as I don't know what she's going to say to me. My atty would not give me any idea where to go and I thought they were supposed to be helpful but in the end WE do the legwork and they collect the fee anyway.

    I feel so sorry for you that I can't say anything to help because there are no words. I've been coming to this board for quite a while and even tho I get good advice here no one has ever been able to tell me what to do in the end. There doesn't seem to be ANY help out there - I just wish you the very, very best and know that when this bumps up again some really intelligent and caring person will no doubt say something that WILL help you.

    I'm sorry - I just get so upset when I see people going thru what you and I are. There is no end to it so we must take tiny, baby steps and pray all the way (even if we don't go to church) because only God has an answer for this mess.

    I care and I hope I did not say anything to hurt you.

  3. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hi nancyw~~It seems that so many of us are in the same boat that it's sinking.

    A while back someone listed several organizations that might be able to help financially/medically, but I don't remember what they were or what post it was. Maybe if you put up a post on asking for Financial Aide Resources you could get a good list and find at least one that might suit your needs.

    With all the medical problems I have I haven't even tried to get disability because I know I don't have enough tests, reports, and medical documentation to make a case. I can't "build" a medical profile because I don't have insurance and cannot afford to go to all the specialists, have the tests done, and get all the backup evidence I would probably need. I am not married and have no financial support other than myself.

    I do work three days a week because I have to earn a living. I have no choice. I can't even file for disability unless I quit my job--and how would I survive waiting months into years to find out if I ever got approved or not?

    How do disabled people who are on their own make it financially until their disability comes through?????

    I wish I had the answers for all of us that are in the same boat, but one thing I would definitely encourage you to do is find another doctor. Infact, you could probably turn this one you saw into the AMA because it is unethical for a professional like her to tell you to go to church. That is not a medical diagnosis, treatment, procedure, or script. And I don't see what she did for you to pay her $370. I'd request an itemized bill. But, for your own health care, you need to find a good physician that will treat your illness and help you with documentation for your disability claim.

    Without my job I would be bankrupt in a month. And welfare wouldn't begin to pay my bills. So, no matter how I feel or what my disabilities are--I have to work even though all I can do is part-time.

    I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but maybe posting a question on financial resources will give you a good list to start from. Maybe it would help alot of people here.

    Blessings to you, Carol....

  4. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    I am so sorry for you...I have been in that same boat before and it really sucks!
    I tried my small town docs, I tried every "ologist" (in 2 hr. drive away)to a major medical clinic and hospital, also---spent bundles of moolah, and am not insured to come away each time with exactly the same appointments you are describing.

    I had almost given up entirely---thinking there was no way to get treatment, that I would just keep being label depressed.

    I finally pulled my self up out of despair, determined to try again.
    The smartest thing I ever did, was a search for "Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Specialist <my state>"
    in the internet search engines, and search the Good Drs. List here at Immune Support.

    It is a days drive to this specialist---but well worth it. He charges $60-80 an office visit--for a half hour to 45 mins. Longer appts. can be scheduled. He treats with prescription meds, supps, and vitamins. He stays atop the latest research, has a large client base from which he has gained lots of experience, is compassionate, a wonderful listener---a great advocate. Each patient gets individual treatment regimes as he knows with these DD's what works for one, doesn't always work for another. I have made such progress. He knows I am unemployed, and uninsured, and gives me samples and goes out of his way to make my visits less of a financial burden.

    There are good Docs out there-----don't stop trying to find one. I know it gets discouraging ....but keep on....
    You deserve treatment----don't stop looking for it.

    Hugs, LL
    [This Message was Edited on 04/09/2003]
  5. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

    Thanks to everybody who responded. I feel better reading your replies today. I was so upset yesterday with this lady I couldn't see straight. Oh well. I'm not a quitter so after I "blew some steam" off yesterday, today I will start again. Maybe my disability will come through for depression instead. Thanks again!
    [This Message was Edited on 04/09/2003]
  6. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

  7. steeleraine

    steeleraine New Member

    Hi Nancy,
    I feel for you! I know exactly where you are coming from. I have a VERY similar situation. Told me I was depressed...told me I am an addict...that I needed to be hospitalize...ya da ya da ya da...I could write a song. But let me say this -- it was my own fault -- I should have walked out of his office the first time I met the fraud. I was 43 years young and he told me I need to be on birth-control!!! Why? (I have never taken birth control pills and had my tubes tied at age 23.) I told him I was not taking bc pills PERIOD. But studpid me kept going back...actually I think I enjoyed arguing with him. Until the day of being informed that I was depressed...I think he was showing off 'cause he had a med-student in the room. I hate crying in front of Doctors! But I couldn't stop...Everyone in his office heard his tirade -- I was soooooo embarrassed.

    I have learned a few things about doctors and depression. I NEVER used the term depressed when I talk to doctors...its too easy to label...

    Also I listen to my friend's 5 year old. He says doctors are dangerous and kill I run from now on...I go by my first impression...if I am uncomfortable in any way I don't return.

    I'm sorry this is so long! But I really don't like doctors and I have figured out (finally) that they are just people, like us, with problems and fears, and especially pride, only they wear white coats at work.
  8. AnnetClo

    AnnetClo New Member

    I wish I had some advice or words of wisdom but I don't. I know the stress I'm under with doctor bills and RX costs for both me and my husband and we both have insurance! I cannot even imagine how hard it must be for those of you who don't have insurance or someone to help with the bills. I want you to know that I admire all of you more than you know. I'm sure I would just crumble if I had to go to doctor after doctor trying to find someone who believed in fibro and believed that I was truly in pain and then paying through the nose to hear the same babble time after time. But you guys just keep plugging along. I sure hope you can find some help soon.
    I called the fibromyalgia/arthritis support group here where I live to ask about a rheumy who treated fibro. They gave me a name and I did see that doc but he knew less about FM than I did and at that time, that was almost nothing. Fortunately someone here on the board gave me the name of a doctor here in Charlotte who treated fibro and actually listened to his patients. But before her referral I had already made up my mind that I would go to a fibro support meeting and ask some of the people there and ask who they saw. I figured that the people who were actually being treated would be more likely to tell me the truth about the treatment the docs used, if they truly understood fibro, etc. And maybe some of those folks are in the same boat as you - without insurance. The meetings are free and if you can find a doctor it would surely help.
    As for reporting that nutcase you just saw, it's an iffy thing. I will say that I do believe in church and believe that you can be healed, but after having said that, doctor's do not have the right to include attending church or praying as a treatment plan. But without written documentation it would be your word against hers so it may end up costing you even more energy and increasing your frustration level even more. But whatever you decide...good luck to you lady.
  9. sssupermom

    sssupermom New Member

    I had a similar experience, except I came into that office crying because at that time I did not know what was wrong with me and I was begging this woman for help. I reported her because she 1) told me I had too many kids under the age of three and the only reason I was sick was depression/stress 2)told me I needed to get my tubes tied 3) told me I need psychiatric help 4)it was my cry for attention for my husband and oh the list goes on and on...can't remember them all. She was so cold too.
    I reported her and now all MDs around the area think I am bipolar...I won't go into details but I think MDs have some sort of hidden club where no-one can say nothing bad about them or you will pay dearly(like me)
    today is a pretty bad day so I might not even make sense so excuse me for that
  10. scottabir

    scottabir New Member

    ac77 100%! The only problem is proving it.

  11. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

  12. evileva

    evileva New Member

    Since that so called doctor said that you diagnosed yourself, I would tell her that you were going to pay yourself the 370.00 and that if she wanted it she would have to take you to small claims court to get it. I can't see any judge making you pay 370.00 for what she did.
  13. gcalex

    gcalex New Member

    strikes me as totally unethical. The rest just sounds like typical weak medical advice. But the first thing ought to be enough to report this person, it is an outrage. I mean it would be one thing to inquire very generally do you have any spiritual practices, as there is evidence that people who do feel better. But to tell you to go to church because God will cure you is really pushing the envelope. I am outraged just hearing about it.
  14. goingslowlycrazy

    goingslowlycrazy New Member

    Nancy - I am gasping like a goldfish DARE she????
    I went to have a look at the Hippocratic Oath. All doctors in this country (UK) swear this when they get their qualifications. As I took this off an American site...I am guessing they do the same in the USA?

    Seems to me she has violated quite a lot of HER oath in one on....

    Extracts from Hippocratic Oath

    I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk,
    (well she failed that one by not even looking at your previous notes properly....)

    and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow….
    ( doesn't look like she has much knowledge to share, sadly........)

    I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
    (just where was the warmth, sympathy and understanding???)

    I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
    (big fat zero on both of these too....)

    Not sure what you could do with this but as someone else posted here, they are just people in white coats and as an ex nurse, I KNOW they hate to admit when they don't know something........Doctors and ego can go hand in hand....not always thankfully...but it sounds like it in this case.

    Wonder what she would have advised you if you were a Muslim, or a Buddhist???? *Sigh* jeeeeeeeeeeze

    Mary x
  15. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

    Thank you all for responding. Just reading your suggestions and thoughts really helps a lot. I am going to do something about the $370 I paid her because I really think I got ripped off. I had even asked her office manager when I called if she dealt with Fibromyalgia and was told she did. Anyway, I can't tell you all how much better I feel from your messages. {{{{{{{{all}}}}}}}