Don’t seem to care about Care

I’m starting to think that Illinois’ health care system or should I say services, sucks. Doctors here don’t seem to think that part of their job, part of the service they provide to their patients, is to call them back and answer their questions outside office visits.

Both my gynecologist and the internal medicine doctor I went to have done the same thing. During the visit, they seemed pleasant and nice enough, but then after, when I had questions and concerns, and called to talk to them, they never called me back.

The gynecologist’s secretary or nurse, took my message, this was back in December. The Dr? Never returned my call. No one from the office did actually.

The internal medicine doctor’s secretary or nurse took my message, to then have the Dr ask another nurse to call me back and see how she could help me. I was furious. I want to talk to my doctor, who the heck is this nurse. I’m not paying for insurance, and my insurance is not paying the doctor, to have the nurse answer all my questions. What the hell?

In NY I had the email and cell phone of my OBGYN. He always, in every visit, told me to call and contact him at any time, with any concern I might have. Nothing is too silly if you are worried about it, he would say. I loved him. And the thing is I never actually called his cell. I emailed when I had questions, and he responded when he had the time. It worked beautifully.

Here, apparently, it’s against policy to give out cell phones, and emails? Oh no, they don’t do that. My response was, it’s 2011 for Pete’s sake, I’ve been using email since 1993!

Since I complained, the Dr has called be back, but of course now we’re playing phone tag, because I can’t step out of a meeting in the middle of a work session to ask her questions about my blood flow in a hallway at the office. And when I call back, she’s always with a patient and can’t talk to me. News flash, email would resolve this situation in an instant! But no, it’s against policy.

I so miss NY, for so many reasons, this is just one of them.

4 responses to “Don’t seem to care about Care

  1. Super frustrating. I totally agree with you – I don’t get why doctors don’t provide email addresses where they (or their staff, if necessary) can respond to patients. And I understand the frustration of playing phone tag with a care provider.

    But, I don’t think that’s the case for all doctors. My uncle has a host of health issues and has a number of doctors whom he talks to on a regular basis and who he also emails. Maybe it’s just the doctors you’ve chosen. And I agree that it might take a little work to find a doctor who responds to you outside of office visits, but I do believe they exist.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. One of the things I dreaded when I moved was having to find new doctors, since I really loved the ones I had in NYC, and it’s been my experience, caring MDs are hard to find. I’ll keep looking.

  2. I agree with your frustration… but I do think Nilsa is right. It depends on the doctor and on your persistence. I’ve had the experience that if you are persistent and firm with a doctor, he’ll respect you and make arrangements to accommodate a phone call or email message.

    • Yes, I think persistence is key here. I’m just appalled at the fact they don’t consider it part their job, part of the service they provide their patients. It shouldn’t be a matter of persistence, it should standard service for everyone.

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