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What to do when you can't get through to the Doctor...

12 years 1 month ago #15866 by fearandfight
Up at the Univ of Penn they always have a resident on call and I will always get a call back. If it is something he is not sure of over the phone off to the ER. One lesson I did learn the last time I went to a good local hospital but I thought maybe I had a UTI and so did my wife. Penn was just about another 25 min ride that night and that is where I should of went. It turned out I had mrsa and an abyss on my left kidney and at least this Dr. was honest enough to admit he didn't think he could treat me right since I had the Indiana Pouch etc. I thought this was real nice of this Dr. to be honest and when I got to Penn the next day the phone rang and it was him wondering how I was doing so there are good Dr's out there. Joe

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12 years 1 month ago #15863 by Patricia
Just to show my age.... :P...i actually remember when my doctor made house calls!!...Anybody ever hear of that? Now that actually makes you pretty spoiled when you have a doctor today that can't be bothered with answering phone truthfully i only have one like internist...I think his favorite phrase is "Go to the Emergency Room"....My urologist locally is soooo busy that his nurse practicioneer handles any patients that need to get in before 6 weeks. But to this day 5 l/2 yrs later i can still call The Cleveland Clinic and get a urologist on call on the floor if i have an urgent question or i can talk to a stoma nurse. And my surgeon always answers my emails.
My one son and his wife have a "boutique doctor" as they are called who charges his patients $l500 a year to have his undivided attention...and he really does give it to them night or day..whenever. He limits his practice to a certain amount of patients so he can do this.......I wish i could afford him.
The times have changed....and i'm really not grousing here...its just a fact.

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12 years 1 month ago #15862 by wsilberstein
Dear Rosemary,
Well, pediatrics is very different. We see most illnesses the day they call... but then, I don't have a surgery schedule to deal with. I think it's true, as Zach said, that the doctor can't tell you much over the phone, but the truth is a lot of things that make patients anxious aren't emergent, and a call from the doctor could calm you enough to wait for an appointment if he says it's OK. I would ask your urologist how he wants it to be handled when you feel you need to talk to him.

TaG3 + CIS 12/2000. TURB + Mitomycin C (No BCG)
Urethral stricture, urethroplasty 10/2009
CIS 11/2010 treated with BCG. CIS 5/2012 treated with BCG/interferon
T1G3 1/2013. Radical Cystectomy 3/5/2013, No invasive cancer. CIS in right ureter.
Incontinent. AUS implant 2/2014. AUS explant...

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12 years 1 month ago #15850 by gina sorry for your experiance!...honestly though...i experianced similar this week as well!! i was having more symptoms after the bcg...i was a bit concerned for sure!....i left a message at the uro's nurse line and received a call within the hour!!...needless to say, i was very surprised!...i must have a great doc/uro..cause i had several calls that day and even tonight...two days uro called as she was leaving town...wanted to "check in" on me!! boy, i feel special!!...oh..well...rambling on here...glad that you figured out your situation..keeping you in my thoughts..gina

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12 years 1 month ago #15841 by Julie
This is a significant problem here. Where we lived before I knew i would get a call back the same day. Here they tell us we will hear back in 24 to 48 hour. They tell us to go to urgent care. Well any time we go to urgent care they shunt us over to the ER which means interminable waits.
It seems to be easier to get through to a Dr. by waiting until after hours and phoning the on call Dr. Last weekend I heard back from the Pain specialist within 15 minutes.

We had to learn how to manage within the system here. It is harder to get through to the Primary Care Dr. than any of the rest as there is a shortage of them here and all of them are overworked. I wind up leaving the message with the clerk who answers the phone and it is there judgement as to who gets the message the nurse or the doctor.
His oncologist has everyone go through his nurse and we have her paging number.
I think the best we can do is to ask our Doctors when do they want us to phone and when should we go to urgent care. Also ask what is the best technique to get a response from them.

Volunteer Coordinator

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12 years 1 month ago #15840 by Zachary
When I've had a couple of concerns (one of which put me back into the hospital for five days), I never tried to get to my doctor personally, since I knew how difficult that was. Instead we called the cancer hospital where I had my surgery (USC/Norris) and asked to speak to the urologist on duty. We always got a callback very shortly.

Afterthought--of course since the doctor can't really diagnose anything over the phone with 100 percent accuracy (and they're two hours away), they'll more than likely tell you to go to the emergency room. I--in fact--did end up in the emergency room. By ambulance. In Rosemary's case, there is no way they could have told her over the phone exactly what was causing her bleeding. In my case, there was also no way they could have told what was causing my bleeding (an upper GI bleed; an ulcer perforated an artery and I was bleeding like crazy). A tough position to be in for all involved.

"Standing on my Head"---my chemo journal
T3a Grade 4 N+M0
RC at USC/Norris June 23, 2006 by Dr. John Stein

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