The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Posts
    2,816

    Default Formal Medical Complaints -Anyone done them?

    I am seriously contemplating filing a complaint against my former surgeon with the state medical board. Short version is he overlooked the fact I couldn't walk and said I was fine. MRI was clean so I was good to go. Within 2 months I had 2 other surgeons (including 1 in the same practice) recommending significant surgery, despite the MRI.

    I doubt the situation rises to malpractice and my communication skills, or lack thereof, surely played a part in this mess. However, this guy is well respected and that's the part that gets me. If he was known a hack, then I just made a poor decision seeing him. Being told your previous doctor (who made your large city's Top Doc list) was "looking at the wrong joint" and debrided the wrong joint in a prior surgery is not a good feeling. (Nice to know that someone did figure out what the actual problem was though)

    So should I just let it go, chalk it up to a very painful learning experience, or hold the guy accountable? I basically lost at least a year of my life because of this. If I file a complaint, what's in store besides pulling together copies of medical records and addresses? The complaint website doesn't mention anything beyond that.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2009
    Posts
    233

    Default

    Just be careful. I know surgeon who is sueing a patient for defamation and loss of business or something like that.
    What I lack in preparedness I make up for in enthusiasm


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2012
    Posts
    5,051

    Default

    Doctors have some of the most spectacular egos I have encountered in this world. They think they "know too much" to listen to what "laymen" are saying, and they jump to conclusions and rubber-stamp the script way, way too much.
    The mistakes, infections, and stupidly wrong diagnoses are inexcusable and yet they moan and groan about their malpractice insurance costs.

    As far as I'm concerned, "health-care" is SELF care to stay the hell away from them as much as possible.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4

    Default

    I sort of did. A few years ago, my son didn't have health insurance, and went to the free clinic for what appeared to be a boil. The dr. there sort of wrote him off. A few days later, we had a family function and my sister who is an RN said it looked like MRSA to her.

    He went back to the clinic with me in tow. Same dr. wrote him off and I said I wanted it cultured for MRSA. Dr. got really snarky with me - said if I thought it was MRSA, we should be at the ER. I told him, no MRSA is not an emergent situation. Long story short, got the culture, it was MRSA, then he wrote a script for vancomycin, which is REALLY expensive. Got into a blowup insisting on getting the IV form, which is a lot cheaper and can be taken orally, even though it tastes nasty.

    I think the dr. just didn't like having an educated advocate present for my son.

    I sent a written complaint to the medical board (also detailed the filthy clinic, including the dead roaches in the exam room) and cc'd the hospital administration. Nothing ever came of my complaint to the medical board as far as I know, but his privileges were suspended at the hospital, probably in part because I'm friends with the CEO.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
    Location
    All 'round Canadia
    Posts
    5,958

    Default

    Just a caution, there's a difference between operation on the wrong joint, cutting the wrong thing, prescribing the wrong drug, failing to diagnose cancer - and not recommending an operation for certain things, For ex, for backs (back pain), the general rule is that if a surgery is done, a year later 1/3 will be better, 1/3 will be the same and 1/3 will be worse - so it is perfectly possible for one surgeon to recommend against surgery, and his colleague(s) to recommend for. It's a matter of simple clinical disagreement, and a complaint like that would be dismissed.

    Obviously I have no idea what your surgery was for, so it might be much more clear cut. But if he can defend himself with "well, in this case I recommended against surgery for x y z reason, as shown in study v", the College won't punish. It wouldn't matter whether or not you improved after surgery.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Posts
    2,816

    Default

    It was a situation somewhat similar to what MGP said, basically he wrote me off as a crazy woman. I'd been seeing his cohort for a few months, I ended up seeing this guy b/c of their packed schedule. The guy pulled up the summary of the MRI, did a quickie exam, and said I was fine. When I went to the next guy, he did a VERY detailed exam (about had to pull me out of the overhead) and came up with an answer that made a whole lot of sense, especially in hindsight. Later, I woke in post-op to "I don't know why he didn't do this when he was in there last year" Not exactly what you want to wake up to after suffering for a several months.

    I don't expect much to come of filing a complaint and I'm sure he can come up with some plausible reason for blowing me off. I'm at the point where I think he should have to present that plausible reason to someone. Maybe he won't be so quick to blow off the next woman who shows up with a problem.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2003
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    5,515

    Default

    OMG! Yes -- my younger sister and I were very concerned and alarmed at the number and amount of medications my older sister was taking and had access to through her internist's liberal policy on prescriptions. We actually got her records from the pharmacy and sat down and did a spread sheet. She actually had a 'script for 99 (YES -- that IS 99!) refills for prednisone! She had duplicate meds for depression, anxiety, antibiotics, steroids, etc. etc. She was sleeping 90% of the time and was self medicating herself using these scripts. We took the information, made an appointment and visited the doctor who was an absolute asshole! He was very arrogant and condescending -- at one point I stood up and my sister grabbed me because she was afraid I'd hit him! He promised to cancel the refills - BUT - claimed she was "paranoid-schitzophrenic" among other mental issues and had fibromyalgia, on and on. I worked for doctors for years, so I'm not intimidated or blown away by their crap. This is in B'ham, AL -- so naturally I asked why he hadn't referred her to a specialist and he responded "there aren't any good ones here" -- HELLO -- UAB! A world renowned, multi-disiplinary facility and many private practice doctors available as well. Bottom line -- he was on the gravy train with the pharmaceutical companies, getting kickbacks for selling their meds, junkets, etc. - prescribing many of the same things for every patient. Anything our sister "thought" she might have he would confirm for her with NO DIAGNOSTIC TESTING! Well, he didn't do as asked or stop seeing her so we documented all of it and sent it to the State Board. Heard back he had been "reprimanded" and didn't find out until years later he had actually had his license pulled although we knew his private practice had closed. He tried to work at what we call a "doc in the box" and got in trouble and later got his license back but was closely supervised and was in business with a larger practice. So, we got something done, but lost our sister later because of her prescription drug abuse. All of this before it became newsworthy -- so YES - IF you can document it, go for it! Everyone needs to be policed and adhere to strict guidelines and ethics.
    PennyG



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2009
    Location
    Heart of the Midwest
    Posts
    620

    Default

    Radiologist missed cancer in my 84 year old mother's mammogram, which was found a year later when she could feel the lump. Put the two radiographs side by side and it was clear it was there in both images. Even surgeon said it should have been caught a year earlier. I said go to the Medical Board, my sister said sue. Lawyers and independent reviewers said we had a strong case, but given her age they advised that it would not be seen as worth much in court. Medical Board wrung its hands, asked lots of questions, wrung hands some more and then opted not to go forward. Guy was a "hotshot" recruited from another state to great fanfare. We figure a resident read the radiographs. I would still go to the Medical Board again - insurance just pays and they go forward - does nothing to their license. The Medical Board has a lot more power as it is the only one that can place restrictions, level fines, demand retraining or yank their license. Hospital can simply fire and they move on. Good luck.
    pace, path, balance, impulsion and ??

    Don't panic! Ralph Leroy Hill



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2005
    Posts
    2,813

    Default

    Do it. A doctor in my town just lost his license for sexually harassing patients and overprescribing meds.

    You don't know how many other people have had experiences similar to yours. But the state DOES know how many complaints have been filed AND can open an investigation.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2004
    Posts
    2,355

    Default

    I did for something not a big as you have.

    I did it against a Dr. form the local ER.
    Who decided to write me off as a drug addict in search of pain killers and announce it to all the nurses and the other Drs. there. Then come in and tell me that he was not going to supply my addiction and I could leave.

    Long story short after I refuse to leave he called the cops who threaten me if I did not leave I would spend the night in jail , well actually the weekend as it was Friday night. So I left.

    I got on the state boards web site the moment I home ( despite the pain I was in) while I remembered his name. And wrote out the complant. About a week later someone from the state knocked on the door. They asked me some questions I guess to see if my story changed any. The guy told me if I am interested in the outcome of the investigestion I can look the Dr. up and see what if any action was taken. And I will remain annomoius. About a month later I looked the Dr. up apparently I was not the only one to file a simulaular complant but anyway his license was suspended he should just about be getting back... If he goes back to the same place He and the guy who didn't deal with my stroke properly are on my record not to even acknowlage me and never go near me again.
    Friend of bar .ka


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Posts
    2,816

    Default

    Thanks guys. I'm still on the fence. Part of the reason I'm hesitating is that I like the other doctor in the practice. He didn't do my surgery, I ended up going to another, more experience doc that's a couple hours away. I'd like to not burn the bridge to the guy who's less than an hour away if I can't help it.

    This involved my ankle, so several joints in that area, guy got focused on the wrong one and basically couldn't see anything else. The other guy in the practice had been basically checking off the boxes on the path to surgery, if for no other reason than to find out WTH was going in my foot, which was one of the reasons being told to suck it up and push through the pain was so devastating (not his exact words, but pretty darn close)

    BTW, when this guy did the first operation on this foot last year, some one did start on the wrong one. They caught it before they got beyond injecting the block. I did let the surgical center know & I'm pretty sure he got an earful about it.

    Well, off the gym for PT.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    254

    Default

    I would talk to a lawyer first. The extra expense is worth it. Not sure what you mean by formal complaint, but anything that is available to the public, or can become known to the medical industry (via gossip etc) like filing a lawsuit could make obtaining effective medical care more difficult for you in the future (this is terrible but true; if you think the doctor thought you were crazy before, he's going to "know" it now, and so are half the other doctors you see in the future), so be sure the potential outcome is worth it. That said, if this jerk was negligent, and your lawyer thinks you are in the right / have a case, absolutely do it. Be prepared for it to take a lot of time and emotional energy. I'm sorry this happened to you, and i hope things are looking up.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2010
    Posts
    594

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MyGiantPony View Post
    I sort of did. A few years ago, my son didn't have health insurance, and went to the free clinic for what appeared to be a boil. The dr. there sort of wrote him off. A few days later, we had a family function and my sister who is an RN said it looked like MRSA to her.

    He went back to the clinic with me in tow. Same dr. wrote him off and I said I wanted it cultured for MRSA. Dr. got really snarky with me - said if I thought it was MRSA, we should be at the ER. I told him, no MRSA is not an emergent situation. Long story short, got the culture, it was MRSA, then he wrote a script for vancomycin, which is REALLY expensive. Got into a blowup insisting on getting the IV form, which is a lot cheaper and can be taken orally, even though it tastes nasty.

    I think the dr. just didn't like having an educated advocate present for my son.

    I sent a written complaint to the medical board (also detailed the filthy clinic, including the dead roaches in the exam room) and cc'd the hospital administration. Nothing ever came of my complaint to the medical board as far as I know, but his privileges were suspended at the hospital, probably in part because I'm friends with the CEO.
    Well, I guess this might "boil" down to you get what you pay for. If you are unsatisfied with a doctor's opinion, most of the time it is best to get a second opinion, even if you have to pay for it. And I find it sad for those operating a free clinic for people who really need it to get thanked for their help by you basically trying to shut them down, and using your friendship with the CEO to slam this doctor when you could have taken your son elsewhere but chose to go there because it was free.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2010
    Posts
    594

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayCatFarm View Post
    Radiologist missed cancer in my 84 year old mother's mammogram, which was found a year later when she could feel the lump. Put the two radiographs side by side and it was clear it was there in both images. Even surgeon said it should have been caught a year earlier. I said go to the Medical Board, my sister said sue. Lawyers and independent reviewers said we had a strong case, but given her age they advised that it would not be seen as worth much in court. Medical Board wrung its hands, asked lots of questions, wrung hands some more and then opted not to go forward. Guy was a "hotshot" recruited from another state to great fanfare. We figure a resident read the radiographs. I would still go to the Medical Board again - insurance just pays and they go forward - does nothing to their license. The Medical Board has a lot more power as it is the only one that can place restrictions, level fines, demand retraining or yank their license. Hospital can simply fire and they move on. Good luck.
    Very sorry to hear about your grandmother. Something you may not know about mammograms is the 30% false negative rate. 30% of cancers are visible IN RETROSPECT after the next year's mammograms. It is very easy to see large tumors. Small ones can look indistinguishable from normal breast tissue, although they can be easily seen in retrospect. This is why so many doctors have stopped reading mammograms, because of the high liability of reading this very imperfect test when people expect perfection. A simple mistake from a doctor constitutes malpractice in the layperson's mind, even when it is not. And, in my experience, residents do not generally read mammograms alone.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2010
    Posts
    594

    Default

    As to the original poster, I can't advise you as to what you should do without the details of the situation, but if the guy is well-respected by other doctors, he is probably not a hack. Doctors can differ in their opinions of what constitutes the best treatment for any given condition. But if you want to maintain a relationship with another doctor in the practice. I wouldn't make waves. I guess you have to consider whether or not the pleasure or whatever you get out of reporting him would outweigh losing the doctor that you do like


    2 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    11,543

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by red mares View Post
    I am seriously contemplating filing a complaint against my former surgeon with the state medical board. Short version is he overlooked the fact I couldn't walk and said I was fine. MRI was clean so I was good to go. Within 2 months I had 2 other surgeons (including 1 in the same practice) recommending significant surgery, despite the MRI.

    I doubt the situation rises to malpractice and my communication skills, or lack thereof, surely played a part in this mess. However, this guy is well respected and that's the part that gets me. If he was known a hack, then I just made a poor decision seeing him. Being told your previous doctor (who made your large city's Top Doc list) was "looking at the wrong joint" and debrided the wrong joint in a prior surgery is not a good feeling. (Nice to know that someone did figure out what the actual problem was though)

    So should I just let it go, chalk it up to a very painful learning experience, or hold the guy accountable? I basically lost at least a year of my life because of this. If I file a complaint, what's in store besides pulling together copies of medical records and addresses? The complaint website doesn't mention anything beyond that.
    I am sorry you had such a hard time getting successful treatment for what sounds like a painful condition. But I would think long and hard before filing a complaint.

    Medicine is unfortunately not always as clear cut as we patients would like to think, and there is often as much art to it as science. For example, it is quite unlikely that a surgeon debrided a perfectly healthy joint in your prior surgery. He may not have debrided the joint that was causing (all of) your pain - but it is quite possible, in fact likely, that the one he addressed did need it, even though there was additional work that needed to be done to completely resolve your issue.

    As another poster mentioned, surgical outcomes can vary quite a bit, and any doctor will tell you that they are not always successful when they operate. Thus it is not at all uncommon to have varying opinions about the best course of treatment for a particular individual and condition, and generally they all involve trade offs of some kind.

    For what it's worth, "Top Doc" lists are really nothing more than PR vehicles. There is no rigorous selection process involved; it's just a form sent out to docs asking for recommendations. The physicians who are nominated are generally fine MDs, but they tend to be the ones who network a lot and have lots of friends in the medical communities. (In other words, it's something of a popularity contest.) If you want DATA driven quality measures, most large payers (insurance companies) maintain that kind of information, though it's not always easy to access. Or you can simply ask a physician directly for their level of experience, complication rate, and so forth.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    20,118

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bumknees View Post
    I did for something not a big as you have.

    I did it against a Dr. form the local ER.
    Who decided to write me off as a drug addict in search of pain killers and announce it to all the nurses and the other Drs. there. Then come in and tell me that he was not going to supply my addiction and I could leave.

    Long story short after I refuse to leave he called the cops who threaten me if I did not leave I would spend the night in jail , well actually the weekend as it was Friday night. So I left.

    I got on the state boards web site the moment I home ( despite the pain I was in) while I remembered his name. And wrote out the complant. About a week later someone from the state knocked on the door. They asked me some questions I guess to see if my story changed any. The guy told me if I am interested in the outcome of the investigestion I can look the Dr. up and see what if any action was taken. And I will remain annomoius. About a month later I looked the Dr. up apparently I was not the only one to file a simulaular complant but anyway his license was suspended he should just about be getting back... If he goes back to the same place He and the guy who didn't deal with my stroke properly are on my record not to even acknowlage me and never go near me again.
    Holy crap, you had a stroke and they didn't diagnose it?
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    I am sorry you had such a hard time getting successful treatment for what sounds like a painful condition. But I would think long and hard before filing a complaint.

    Medicine is unfortunately not always as clear cut as we patients would like to think, and there is often as much art to it as science. For example, it is quite unlikely that a surgeon debrided a perfectly healthy joint in your prior surgery. He may not have debrided the joint that was causing (all of) your pain - but it is quite possible, in fact likely, that the one he addressed did need it, even though there was additional work that needed to be done to completely resolve your issue.

    As another poster mentioned, surgical outcomes can vary quite a bit, and any doctor will tell you that they are not always successful when they operate. Thus it is not at all uncommon to have varying opinions about the best course of treatment for a particular individual and condition, and generally they all involve trade offs of some kind.

    For what it's worth, "Top Doc" lists are really nothing more than PR vehicles. There is no rigorous selection process involved; it's just a form sent out to docs asking for recommendations. The physicians who are nominated are generally fine MDs, but they tend to be the ones who network a lot and have lots of friends in the medical communities. (In other words, it's something of a popularity contest.) If you want DATA driven quality measures, most large payers (insurance companies) maintain that kind of information, though it's not always easy to access. Or you can simply ask a physician directly for their level of experience, complication rate, and so forth.
    This. And try to look at the positive side of things. You had something that was eventually be diagnosed and fixed. It is not some horrible disease that is going to make you suffer for years and then kill you. It seems like you had a painful inconvenience (I can relate, I've broken my left ankle 3 times and have residual damage that I suspect is going to need future treatment) and yes while it sucks to have lost a year, just try and be grateful it was only an ankle. When you think of all the horrible illnesses and injuries people suffer, it might help you to put it into perspective.



Similar Threads

  1. Medical Billing and Coding or Medical Terminology ?
    By CanTango1 in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Sep. 3, 2013, 10:01 AM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: May. 17, 2010, 04:05 PM
  3. Silly complaints
    By juststartingout in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Jan. 9, 2010, 09:24 PM
  4. B/O's: footing complaints- is there an answer?
    By Miss Motivation in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Jul. 29, 2009, 01:51 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness