New doctor: the verdict

Hmm, I am in two minds about my new family doctor.


I saw my new doctor for a grand total of five minutes. Her first language is definitely not English so we were having some communication difficulties – perhaps she doesn’t usually deal with things beyond the usual coughs and colds?

Explained that I had Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and her first response was to refer me to a rheumatologist. Now, I have no objections to being handled by a rheumy for this because it makes more sense. I would have thought that a couple of questions about how it affects my life and the diagnosis history might have been in order, though.

Oh, well.

Her biggest concern was my grandmother’s breast cancer. Nope, not early on-set and from what I know of the protocols there is no need to start screening me for at least ten years even with this history. Oh, and my other grandmother’s bowel cancer. Which, again, I’ve been told is incredibly unlikely in someone my age.

Her next biggest concern was my chronic daily usage of NSAIs. She wants some blood work done to check my kidney function and monitor it, which I admit might be a sensible idea. Me pointing out that I’m willing to take the risks if it keeps my back pain down to a point where I can continue working didn’t impress her. Most doctors prefer to keep me in work so that felt like an odd response.

I’m going back in a couple of weeks for results and a couple of other tests so we’ll see how we get on at second glance.

One thing: can any Canadians tell me what the process is with repeat prescriptions? She’s happy to keep me on my current meds and dosages if they’re available in Canada (please let my painkillers be available here) but it sounds rather like I’ll have to make an appointment to see her every time I need the script refilled. Is that the case? Or will she be able to give me something that gets me X refills before I have to see her again? Because I’m not sure that I want to be seeing her every couple of months just to get a prescription and I’m not sure that work would be happy about that, either. Particularly if I have a rheumy appointment every six months as well.

Overall, I’m not too impressed with her but I’m willing to see where we go. If she’s the kind of doctor who will just write a referral for everything then it could be that I’ll rarely have to see her! I must remember to request a flu shot the next time I’m there, though.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christina
    Dec 02, 2008 @ 00:58:54

    I hope that your second appointment goes better…

    The way most of my doctors have dealt with rx’s has been to give refills once they have established that I tolerate the medication, it helps and the dose is stabilized. I get 6 months for some meds like my antidepressants and BCP and 3 months for my NSAID, pain meds, ritalin, lyrica… my insurance only gives my 30 days at a time so even if he writes for 90 days on one script it gets broken into 30 day refills.

    i hope that clears it up. oh… most doctors that I have seen don’t take refill requests over the phone or by email. Sometimes they will authorize if the pharmacy calls with the request but usually they want you to go in. They don’t get paid unless they see you in their office. I am always jealous when I read blogs of people in the states who talk about emailing their doctors or having phone calls returned!

    Christina

    Reply

  2. archerygirl
    Dec 03, 2008 @ 08:07:29

    My doctor in England used to have a slip that I dropped at his surgery with boxes ticked for what I wanted. A couple of days later my script would be ready for the pharmacy. I had to see him every now and again to get things like the painkillers re-authorised, but it was a good system and meant that I wasn’t having to take time out to see him every couple of months as well as going to see my rheumy regularly.

    That does help to clear things up, thank you. Hopefully once my new doc is happy that I’m OK on my usual meds we’ll be able to work something out so that I don’t have to see her too often. I’ll have to see what my insurance decides to do – it would probably be cheaper for them for me to get my NSAIDs in larger batches than to break it down into teeny refills. Of course, that consideration probably won’t be taken into account. Heh, it’s all going to be fun to find out, anyway!

    Reply

  3. Melissa A.
    Dec 03, 2008 @ 11:12:44

    My experience has been to get a one month or so supply to see how I’m doing, and then once my dose is fixed, I usually get 3 or 4 months of refills. Though recently I asked my dose to be upped, so I only got 90 pills, and I have to go back to let her know how I’m doing. So I’ll do that and ask for refills.

    -Melly

    Reply

  4. archerygirl
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 20:53:12

    I’ve been on all my stuff for at least two years (the asthma stuff for much longer), so it feels a bit weird to be starting again with this stuff. However, if she feels happy with my usage and dosage after a few weeks and gives me refills then I’ll be really happy.

    3 months of refills is still rather more visits to the doctor per year than I’m used to!

    Reply

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