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Enlarged liver, anxiety, high BP, acid reflux, hiatal hernia, gastritis, IBS, painful. Doctor treating poorly. What can I do?

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1989
Answered : 883 Questions
doctor ethics. filing a complaint and getting help in a very short window of timeHi. Who do I complain to when a doctor is treating me poorly? when I first started to get sick he said he will send a referral to a specialist but 3 weeks later, didnt. He only realized it because I made another appt, and said I'm getting worse. He keeps changing my pain medication. One month he will say he doesnt wantme on hydrocodone because of my enlarged liver and the next month that is all he wants me to have. Now he wants to cut my pain meds in half and begin to stop them because he cant find a physical reason for my symptoms and I'm still in very bad pain and he hasnt fixed anything. He said oh you can live fine with an enlarged liver. He has held my pain mediation over my head until he had his nurse verify I made an appointment with a gastro specialist I had previously asked to change because this one didn't tell me my diagnosis' and I couldnt trust him. when I went there the specialist said sorry I couldnt figue out whats wrong with you but good luck. and, that was it with the specialist. My doctor did not return 6 phone calls in a 20 day time span. He is now angry at me for complaining about these things and I have to apply for social security disability. After he became angry, he was supposed to refer me to an ortho dr and a pain management dr. thepain management referral never happened. I got a letter from my insurance denying my ortho referral because they say my dr didnt list a reason for it. now I have to count on him for social security disability? I feel he will try to sabatoge that too. I don't know what avenues I can take because of his behavior and my continued need. I have been off work due to medical leave since oct 4th 2011. healways writes my letter to my employer for amonth or 2 at a time. the long term disability coordinator said it now needs to read return to work unknown so my long term disability can start and I can get help through a department at work with my social security disability. I worry now, he won't do it. I dont know what I can do if he refuses with some excuse that he suddenly feels about my health or something. the neurologist I saw feels my health problems are due to extreme stress from work because of my severe multi trauma ptsd and growing agoraphobia. I have also had a psychiatrist and therapist in the past recommend social security disability before my ptsd effects my health which is what happened but this doctor could try to make everything more difficult. He has already sent me into a panic attack in his office and could in fact be hurting my health by causing me panic in his office and worry about what he could do to retaliate. hes already caused patient abandoment by not returning calls when each time I was told by the person answering the phone each time they are in his inbox but when my mother told him she worked for doctors 30 years and that is called patient abandonment, he acted as if he did not receive any messages. I've already had a XXXXXXX stroke/tia and had to go to the er by ambulance because I could hardly stand and my blood pressure was 80/70 when I take high blood pressure meds. ive also been diagnosed with acid reflux and a hiatal heria. I have not been given any meds or direction on over the counter meds or what to do. I also had Barrets esopagus but no malignancy now and chronic superfical gastritis. i told my doctor those where the diagnosis' the specialist didnt tel me about but had to find out reading it when i had to get medical records for disability. He said I also have IBS and none of these conditions are bad. I have no meds for any of these conditions or any direction. Please help before I have a major stroke. he is a 3rd year resident at a teaching clinic. I asked to speak with the attending doctor. He got mad and walked out on me and the nurse came in. I had to ask her for the attending doctor. I told him the situation with my mothers help since was having a panic attack and he was rude to me in his mannor maybe because it was 6pm and said he could only ask the doctor to change his mind. I am 46. I dont know if I have been lucky but I have always had exceptional doctors and doctor care. I am beside myself with the treatment I have had with this doctor and clinic. I am sorry for rambling. I am just so scared about asking him for the work statement and to fill out the form that goes to my disability through work. I don't know what I can do to complain about everything up until now and/or if he suddenly says his opinion I can return to work, which I obviously can not with an enlarged liver, distended abdomen, very bad pain, can't sit up straight long, can't stand long get extremely fatigued just walking a short period of time,etc., and refuses the statement and doctment. his last statement has me returning to work 04/01/12 but that is impossible. I'm not even close to being better and if my neurologist, past psychiatrist and therapist are rght, which makes sense to me now, I cannot return to work ever unless my ptsd and agoraphobia get better and is the reason for application to social security disability. I get 60% of my income while on short and long term disability which would stop if he doesnt take action. I would lose my job, the 60% and my health care. I would also be alone applying for social security because I would not have any money to retain an attorney. I would lose my house. my mother, daughter, 5 month old grandson, her fiance and I would all be homeless. This kind of poor ethics destroys peoples lives and there has to be some place that could help me with what he is doing and could possibly do. I just feel that is his plan since this is my first denied referral to my insurance and the reason being he didnt provide any information for the need. I just see it all coming. I know I can change doctors but i have 2 weeks before he has me returning to work and sometimes it takes over a month to get an appt. as a new patient. also, his records still go to social security. I reside in Oklahoma if that means anything about what avenues can be taken. Please help direct me where I can go and what I can do in such a short period of time. I'm scared!
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 25 hours later

I may not be right expert who will able to give legally correct answer for this question. Let me try it.

From your description you seem to be suffering not only from a number of medical conditions but also severe stress related to them as well as your insurance and job. It is a very complicated issue. I would like to suggest the following.

1. Consult a new internist (General Physician) not a family physician. Do not give your medical background. Let him analyse your symptoms a fresh and carry out diagnostic tests to rule out various suspected diagnosis. This will reduce your anxiety to a great extent.

2. As per his recommendation consult the concerned specialist doctors so that all your fears of having various disorders will be allayed.

3. Lastly if despite all these measures if you still fill stressed and fatigued then consult first a psychologist so that you can speak everything out and if required a psychiatrist for medications.
In the mean time start regular exercises like walking, yoga or meditation. Eat healthy. I think you will be able to tide over your health crisis. Be positive. Don’t give up but at the same time go in the right direction.

Ideally you need to consult a local medico legal expert of same state where you belong and they should be able to give precise answer as laws differ from state to state.

If you think I have been of help to you please close this discussion and rate my answer.

Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Enlarged liver, anxiety, high BP, acid reflux, hiatal hernia, gastritis, IBS, painful. Doctor treating poorly. What can I do? 2 hours later
I have already had xrays, cat scat of my entire abdomen, ultrasound of my abdomen, neuclear galbladder emptying scan, colonoscopy, endoscopy, mri of my brain and an eeg next week. he is withholding my mri resuls. no one has gone over the results. he just sayd no one can find a reason. ive had severe multi trauma ptsd my entire life. it started as child and as a grew, major trauma after trauma has happened. ive been to psychiatrits, psychologists and therapists off and on since I was 14 until finally I was diagosed correctly with the ptsd. i am taking the recommendation of the previous psychiatrist nd therapist and new neurologist and applying for social security disability. my concern is i have just over 2 weeks to get this dr to sign a statement saying its unknown when i will return to work and fill out a form from the disability through work. I am afraid he wont because hes angry. i do also plan to change drs but i do not have the time left to start over with this situation. what i needto know is what avenue i can take if he refuses. i do walk as long as i can and eating healthy. my abdomen has gone down some which tels me yes its most likely the stress. but my pain is still high. i believe my only recorse is to get a psychiatrist immediately ifi can, get my records to him/her and have this dr fill everything out. but i also do not want to let the treatment ive been through go and dont want him to treat other patients this way. im going to file a grievance with my insurance. they said they have a form to file against dr neglect. can the ama or board of health and review do aything? i am also not sure what you mean by medico legal expert? as i stated, im living on half my pay and will have to sell my house i dont have much equity in even to retain a lawyer. there are lawyers free to help me with socal security because i work for the state. i dont know if they can act on my behalf for this though. I'm out of time. if i cant get in to a psychiatrit before march ends, i have to depend on this dr. you said i should change my pcp to an internist general physican. i can do that but again it could be april before i can be seen as a new patient. i need to know what is medico and what do i do about the dr i have if all else fails and he doesnt want to comply? i work for the state govt. i am not sure if I can complain to them and tell them what is happening and if they can do anything on my behalf with him if i sign hippa that they are allowed to be my agent. please give me moe insight to my questions and thank you for your help so far.
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 20 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
I understand the severity of your problem. I would suggest that you ensure that you have the signed final reports of all your investigations. It is your basic fundamental right to know your reports. If they come back normal, then accordingly you can seek help. You can first approach a good lawyer who deals with these type of issues and then your insurance company. You can then complain to the state medical licensing boards for registering a complaint.
You can have a look at the following websites for more information about filing a complaint about a physician
Warm regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Enlarged liver, anxiety, high BP, acid reflux, hiatal hernia, gastritis, IBS, painful. Doctor treating poorly. What can I do? 1 hour later
in you opinion, is this a grievable offense with everything I have been put through? I believe it is but then I havent taken a medical ethics class. couldnt he get rid of or alter information if i complain? am i entitled to every page in my file? maybe it would be a good idea to request a copy of everything in my file first. however, would he have to sign off for me to get it and not send me ctain things? i am also not sure hat you mean about signed final reports from all investigators? I am glad you gave me a link where to go with the ama. I was told they would do nothing but I thought surely that can't be true. I hadnt thought about the state medical licensing board. the other one I did think of was the board of health and review or health board of review. I dont remember the name. I apologize the top of this message is full of questions but I'm starting to gain knowledge. I have one more question to add to it and its strictly your opinion type of question. if he refuses to sign the things I need before I have time to complain to all these places, since i have 2 weks, is it unwie to tell him if he doesnt act in a professional manner and ethically sign the document becaue he did before, i'm going to file complaints to all these places? or, is it in my best interest to shut my mouth and just do it?
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 5 hours later

Give the concerned clinician a chance to sign and give the reports.

If he refuses or starts avoiding you then you may proceed legally for your right.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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