Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Greener pastures...

Lost a patient today. No, not that way. She transferred to another doctor.

Transfers happen a lot, both in and out of a practice. Often it's due to an insurance change. Second runner up is patients who see me or another doc in my practice very irregularly, or haven't been seen in years. There's also a group of people who were rude, demanding (usually of controlled substances or unneccessary antibiotics), or otherwise distasteful who are looking for greener pastures. I don't take any of the above transfers personally.

Then there are patients with whom it's difficult to connect. Perhaps I rub them the wrong way. Perhaps they rub me the wrong way and I'm not as skilled as I'd like to be in hiding that fact. Or the patients who experience something negative: a rude nurse, an incorrect diagnosis, a prescription error. If they don't have much history with you they are less forgiving of a small error, understandably. These two groups I do feel bad about. Not to the point of losing sleep, but enough to wish that things had gone differently.

But today was my first that really bothers me. Delightful lady, been seeing me for years. I look forward to her visits. She seems to enjoy me. I'm not aware that I've done anything to upset her, or missed something I should have caught.

So I picked up the phone to call her, to ask why the transfer.

And then I hung it back up.


SOCKS said...

Make the phone call - chances are there is a very impersonal reason and she'd appreciate a chance to tell you about it.

As you've noted, there are numerous possible reasons and it would behoove you, especially since you are taking it more personally than is comfortable, to find out if she had a bad experience with your practice/group. And would it hurt to let her know she would be missed?

PE Mommy said...

I transferred my girls from their ped to my family practice dr. There were lots of reasons. Lack of hours, I had an asthma specialist for my daughter and to get a flu shot he demanded to do an asthma check (even though she had a specialist) costing me more money (flu shots are no charge, asthma visit is a charge!), my 7 yr old daughter at the time had always had issues with eating (was Failure to thrive as a baby) and FINALLY she started catching up. He told her that she needed to eat healthier and weighed too much, which led to her not eating again for weeks, misdiagnosed rsv in daughter 2, he was older (must be near 70). I wanted someone younger and who would listen to me and not tell my 40 lb 7 year old daughter that she was overweight!

We get that with our pcp. LOVE HER. Every concern she takes seriously. Any issues are dealt with. She has caught some stuff that he never would have - migraines in my 7 yr old. Hubby and I both get them and apparently that has been passed down to her. She knows our whole family. love her.

He called when we left. But I felt uncomfortable telling him why we really left. I told him his hours were not convenient.

My obgyn I love. But he has a nurse that has been horribly rude, enough that I almost left him. No problems with other staff except the head nurse/manager. We got that straightened out a few months ago, when I pretty much told her off. I had had an er visit for an ovarian cyst rupture. She questioned the diagnosis. Didn't want to give me a follow up appt. Gave me a hard time because I had to go to work while sick. I finally called her and asked if there was a secret code that I didn't know about, some insurance issue, is there a reason that I was not allowed to make appts? ummm no. Then why do you not give me an appt when I request it? It's not up to you to decide. I didn't ask for one today, I asked for the next available. How dare you judge me for going to work? Some people don't have a choice. They don't work, they don't get paid. I had severe pe when I was pregnant. I told her so if I call the office and say my bp is high, gained 10lbs overnight, and have a headache when I get pregnant are you going to tell me to wait a few months. Oh no we would never do that. Then how do I know when you blow me off now even though I was told to follow up??? Do I need to make other arrangements? Because if I do, PLEASE tell me now before I get pregnant. Oh no, no other arrangements are needed. Surprised the heck out of her! She ended up scheduling a lap and scheduled it for a day he didn't normally do surgery to fit my schedule. She was beat red at that when she did it.

I havn't had a problem with her since. In fact it has been as pleasant as can be when I have had to come in. I don't have a problem getting an appt anymore.