Tell Us: What's Your Worst Doctor's Office Debacle?


Tell Us: What's Your Worst Doctor's Office Debacle?

treatment-room-548143_640In early December, my mom started to complain of back pain. She thought it was her sciatic nerve so made an appointment with the doctor as her pain and discomfort increased. The doctor agreed and prescribed meds for pain and to relax her muscles.

And, so begins our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad experience with the doctor's office.

The prescriptions don't make it to the pharmacy for another 24 hours, despite my mom's repeated calls to the doctor's office. Even with the meds, her pain increases so my mom calls the doctor, who then decides an x-ray is a good idea. As instructed, we go the hospital for an x-ray only to learn that the doctor's office hasn't faxed the order. The staff in the x-ray department calls the doctor's office multiple times. Finally, I call and get the nurse--who yells at me because her fax machine isn't working--to fax the orders.

My mom's pain continues to intensify so the doctor decides to admit my mom to the hospital. We arrive at the hospital and get admitted promptly only to wait almost five hours for the doctor to call with his orders. My mom's nurse shakes his head hourly as he updates us that, yet again, he left a message for the doctor. I finally call the doctor's office and basically beg the receptionist to have the doctor call in his orders. "He's done seeing his patients," she says, "so I'm going to give him his stack of messages." A few moments later, the doctor calls the nurse, who carries a cell phone so he doesn't miss any calls.

Unfortunately, we're not alone. We love my parents' doctor. We really struggle to understand how his office staff can be so sloooooooooow. And, I don't really mean slow but I'm trying to be polite.

So, what's your worst doctor's office debacle? Share your stories in our comments section, below.

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Oh, I have a million, from them NEVER addressing SIL to missing medications to the hot potato actions in the hospital as each team hands her off when they're done. Seeing a team and explaining her long list of chronic problems when the next day a whole new team appears. Mis diagnosis to nobody knowing what other team is the fun persists


Five years ago when my Grandfather developed MRSA/staph infection after his surgery for his brain bleed he was in ICU I went to the hospital on Memorial Day and he was not in his ICU room. NO ONE had bothered to call any of us to let us know he had been moved! To make matters worse none of the nurses had been there the previous day & didn't know how to work the computer program that told where people were in the hospital. \r\nI was SO mad!!!

John Parks-Coleman

Here's the hazard of being a Caregiver, and speaking with doctors, dentists, etc.: Yvonne, my Wife, is VERY VOCAL when it comes to her opinions about politics, religion, and everything else under the sun (just check the twitter feed and you'll understand). When it comes to medical appointments of any variety, she gets super quiet; which, is my cue to speak up. Although she is a Nurse (LPN), I know more about her treatments and medications, problem list and diagnosis (or lack thereof) so the doctors tend to speak to me (like she's not in the room). This leads to Yvonne wondering why she showed up for her appointment in the first place.\r\n\r\nIn trying to force the doctor's hand into communicating with Yvonne, the doctor and staff tend to get a little intimidated by the fact that I call them out on the fact that they are ignoring the patient. I remind the doctor and staff that a patient has rights and responsibilities; and, even though I am her Caregiver, she has rights...this includes the right to be heard. So, over the course of a couple years, there have been doctors that have embraced this fact, and they take their time with Yvonne. Then there's this other doctor...\r\n\r\nI'm checking the mail one day, and there's a letter from a hospital addressed to me, John. I won't say their name, just their initials: VA. It seems that in their rush to hurry Yvonne and I along, get us out of the room (you know, because we were standing on principle that the patient needs to be heard) there was a young staff member that confused who was the patient and who was the Caregiver. So, when I show up for my <b>mammogram<b>, I'm going to have to let them know that taking the time with a patient and their Caregiver does NOT mean hurrying them up in order to fit that 5-minute per patient schedule, it means taking the time and doing it right the first time.

Lillie Fuller

Just about 5 years ago my mom broke out with a rash on her forehead and her hairline, she said it was itchy and she had a headache. I made an appointment with her doctor, I knew we would need a referral to see a dermatologist. By the time we got to her doctor the next day her eyelid and and eyebrow were covered with blisters. My mom was miserable. The doctor gave her meds for shingles and sent us on our way, told us we needed to make an appoint with the ophthamologist. I tried to make the appointment told them my mom had shingles on her eyelid and in her eye, they told me they wouldn't be able to see my mom til the following week, I think it was Wednesday. The next morning I got up and got my mom ready and took her to her eye doctor. I told them we didn't have an appt but we would just wait for someone to see my mom. They were so rude, it was obvious my mom was in pain. When they finally let us go in to see the doctor, he was young and cocky and I felt like kicking him. He acted so stupid about my mom's shingles, like \"ewww, I don't want to touch that.\" I was so disappointed. They gave my mom some more meds to take, but nothing topical for any relief. They told us to make a follow up appt for Saturday but we would have to go to their other office and see a different doctor. By this time I was feeling like OH CRAP, another one of their stupid A## doctors! On Saturday when we went to the other office and were seated in the room, the nicest, most pleasant older gentleman walked in the room and treated my mom like a queen. He sympathized with her, he talked to us about shingles, what we needed to know, he gave us samples of medicine to last us a year in case we needed it. His name is Dr. Hand, he applied the medication to my mom showing me how to. I couldn't believe those other jerks we had to see. On follow up visits I never took her back to the other Doctors, who have a reputation for being the very best in our area.


I'm a caregiver that lives in Dallas and my 84-year old Mom lives in Atlanta. She is hard of hearing. I faxed the doctor a list of things I wanted him to address with her while she was in the office. Full blood work, get a referral, etc. When she got there, THEY LOST THE FAX! As a caregiver, you try so hard to dot your \"I's\" and cross your \"t's\" but to no avail sometimes. It's very frustrating. He did suggest that she get a prescription. I called the next week for the results of her test and asked about the prescription....THEY FORGOT TO CALL IT IN. You need to stay on top of everything......Yikes!