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My Parents' Doctor Fired Them. Hurray!

December 17, 1999 found me so happy that I was jumping up and down and laughing. I'd just been laid off from my last engineering job, a job I could have done as a high school sophomore, a job so dull I felt a piece of myself dying every day as I sat through seven light changes to get out of the office park. No more. I was free of that miserable job.

This should have been the reaction (in spirit) of my mom when her doctor fired her as a patient last week. She asked her nephew, an M.D. (who also left engineering) if a doctor could do that. Certainly--if you were a doctor, would you want to be forced to treat patients you felt you couldn't help? Call it at-will treatment.

My parents' now-former doctor changed my mother's diabetes medication without giving her any advice to monitor blood sugar levels carefully or adjust her insulin, and my mother ended up with blood sugar levels in the 50s some mornings. My father didn't want to take a certain medication because of potential permanent and embarrassing side effects, there was some miscommunication about pill dosages, neither of my parents were willing to take statins, the doctor's office got a social worker involved at one point (Mom's mother-in-law, returned to life, would have gotten a warmer welcome), and in all fairness to the doctor, my parents missed some appointments. But Mom would wait 15 minutes on hold to reach someone at the office and wait for an hour after the appointment time at the doctor's office to be seen. No more. Everybody is free of this miserable relationship. What's not to like about this breakup?

We looked for another doctor. "I want a man doctor," Mom said. "Or a woman doctor." Flexibility is good. It took a few minutes for Mom and me to find someone new. He's highly-rated, he's a gerontologist, he's nearby and he's on her insurance plan. He's a man or a woman. My parents need someone who understands that people of a certain age are more delicate and need more hand holding.

Comments

tess said…
ending relationships of every kind that aren't working -- YES! :-) if it isn't a win-win, the association was a bad idea all along.
Lori Miller said…
It seems the pendulum has swung back to relationships for their own sake. Time out, bad idea.
It is my understanding that Doctors in the UK can also 'fire their patients'.

I also believe 'a patient' can ask for a second opinion.

A relationship between Doctor and patient can at times be a tight bond. Over my lifetime both personally and with other close family members the Doctors and nurses I have come into contact with have been amazing people. When my mother was dying her medical team were so supportive and caring, we couldn't have asked for more.

Alas, this is not always the case.

I hope your parents relationship with their next Doctor is a good one.

All the best Jan
Galina L. said…
What, they now could get social workers to get involved into statines issue ?
According to the TV commercials of different law firms, the statines/diabetes 2 connection is the new lucrative area for lawyers to milk population.
Lori Miller said…
No, it didn't have to do with statins. My father fell during the night and had to call the fire department for help. They suggested he have a physical, and that led to the doctor calling a social worker. She left me a message, but short of quitting my job and moving in with my parents, what in the hell am I supposed to do for them that I don't already do? I've done more for my mother's diabetes than any doctor has.

I hadn't seen the lawyer commercials. Better call Saul!
Lori Miller said…
I'm glad to hear it--I hope my parents have a good relationship with a new doctor.
Galina L. said…
I am sorry, Lori , about all that. At least your dad didn't brake any bone, and he has the right to choose where he wants to live over the safety , which is not necessary what others would choose for him. Too many old people suffer from the inability to make choices according to their preferences. People can fall in a health care facility as well, it is the age.
Lori Miller said…
Exactly--they can still fall, they can be assaulted, and they can be robbed. It's better for my parents to hire the help they need.

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