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You're Fired

I have talked about this issue before but felt it needed revisiting or maybe I just needed a release as it just recently happened. I'm talking about firing my doctor. Giving him the pink slip and thanking him for the little he has done and calling it quits.

I'll back up a bit and state how I was referred from my primary doctor to a specialist concerning a HIV related issue. Usually when you go to a specialist you're starting a new relationship and sometimes a different mode of how they operate. Yet if you've been referred by your primary they usually do it knowing the specialist will be a match.

For me that was not the case. When I arrived it was great to experience a welcoming reception room where sometimes it can be a horrendous experience. Yet in this case they were real pleasant. So I felt good about seeing this new doctor.

I should have know by the first omen when the doctor called me and as i was walking to the door to follow him, it literally starting closing in my face and if it wasn't for my quickness i would have had an instant nose job. But still I gave him the benefit.

I shouldn't have done that as when we sat in the examination room he came at me quick with questions.
"What are you here for and why do you need to see me"
"Where are your records? You're wasting my time with no records"
"When did you experience symptoms? Please I don't need the long story just tell me the date"

This was literally within ten minutes of sitting down. As if we were on a timer. Usually I don't get agitated but he started to bring me to that place. The thing that pushed me over is when I told him I had been living in New York for about nine years and he leaned into me and stated

"If you plan to stay in New York you have to be quicker with your response. I'm not just hanging out with you at a party"

That was it!

My tongue came untied.

If he wanted to see the New Yorker, then ask and you shall receive. No foul language was used but without jumping out of myself I told him about his professionalism and his treatment and how not only did I not care for it but I wasn't going to allow it. Now since I'm paying you, you're actually the customer and I have no problem taking my business somewhere else.

I just wonder why do you need to call someone on their stuff that motivates them to suddenly be nice to you. In other words something set off a trigger in him that said, "He's not like the others" 

And if he was used to treating people like a commodity and not speaking back, then he was right, I'm not like the others. In the end I was like the others as he did have me out the office within thirty minutes, probably to satisfy the medical insurance companies
'Get them in and get them out,' like cattle.

The moral or reminder for me is that a relationship between medical providers is important and no one should be made to feel like herded sheep no matter what credentials the doctor has. There are many good specialists out there, but then there are some who have gotten high on their fame that you can't tell them the sky is blue.

When it comes to my health I don't care how many awards you have on your wall. Your friends may give you medals but I refuse to reward you!

So at that moment when stated we need to schedule a new appointment, I politely gathered my coat and straightened my tie and in a clear calm voice told him,

'No thanks. By the way you're fired.'  

I would be the fool to come back and be subjected and when it comes to health; we must be empowered to speak up in our own defense. Like Maya Angelou stated, "When they show you who they are, believe them." I saw enough and walked away to find another specialist who's looking for my business.

You may steal my co-pay but you won't steal my joy!


Show Comment(s)

Comments on Aundaray Guess's blog entry "You're Fired"

Good for you!

And is it any wonder why so few Americans living with HIV are being retained in medical care?

Excellent post, Aundaray.

Superb! There are medical practitioners out there who really have no business being in the same room with a patient.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I just left a "big time" HIV practice where the medical director was a judgmental jerk. I actually believe she was "bullying" patients to the extent that they expressed fear of her to me. I think she thought her lab coat was a Superman Cape and she was invincible. I so applaud you courage and self advocacy. Just remarkable!

Very good post. living with HIV we are referred to specialists all the time. And its a downfall because a lot of them have this chip on their shoulders and lack of professionalism that makes you not want to even continue the care. After all is not forever they are only specialists in one particular area. Awesome posting this really speaks the truth about what we really go throught and not just in NY. Nation wide problem.

Recently I was in the hospital in October and December on the recommendation from my nurologist. I have fired her because I felt like a "lab rat". Nothing new was discovered except a hospital bill I can not pay. The hospital is supposed to be the best around but in the ER room a nurse asked me how I acquired HIV. I was dumb struck and shocked a professional would ask me a question like that. It only went downhill from there. So now I checking out a new nurologist who hopefully will treat me with some respect and diginity.

great post i could relate with so much of what you had to say! It seems like all my doctor wants to do is send me to someone else when I have a problem.

Been there done that. I just fired my PCP for basically the same thing get them in, get them out. What we need to realize that a clients even though we are not paying cash at the time the clinic is billing what ever company is covering you so you are not asking for charity and we don't have to act like it. Stand up and demand good service from your provider.


When I was first diagnosed, I saw a doctor who used to speak to me while she was busy writing in my chart. It frustrated me, as I'm used to people looking at me when we are talking. It kept happening, and I got a bit frustrated, and mentioned it to one of the nurses, who suggested that I could speak to the dr. about this. The next visit, as she was talking, and writing, I did not react, or reply to anything she said. Then there was a silence, and she said she had asked me a question, and I said, "Oh, I thought that since you were looking at the chart, that you were talking to the chart, because if you were speaking to me, you would have been looking at me." After that she didnt speak and write at the same time. :)

You all are strong individuals and show that when it comes to your health, no person will dictate how you should be treated simply because of their title. Each had unique ways of addressing it and makes me proud not only what I did but also to be among everyone who has stood strong to their pride!

the name! you should publicly write his name so that other people can avoid this kind of so-to-say professional

Well doen you they need to be told we are human beings we can not be shoved.

Very nice post, and glad you took the position that you did. There are just too many that act like sheep and refuse to stand up for themselves, and that only emboldens these specialists even more. I have a good relationship with my specialists and primary - but only because I set the bar and tone very early. Good blog.

Thank you for your blog! I am lucky, I have a good relationship with my doctor(s), but it is a concern and a conversation I have had with clients and friends alike:
You can break-up with your doctor!
And thank you for your welcome.

Nice going! Very empowering. I know more about my health than my physicians.

You are the man!!!!
I just needed keep your head up sort of advice and it works .Thank you. Please keep writting.

I love my id doctor she nor I pull any punches when it comes to my medical care and the nurse practitioner does much the same and in fact they actually welcomed the idea of when either of them walks into the exam room and they see my little note pad laying on the table ( I begin making note's nearly as soon as the correct check up is over with so nothing ( pain symptom or other question is forgotten between check ups).
They both know from the time I walk in the room after having my lab's done that I like them are there for my health and none of us wants to miss out on the latest and greatest thing coming down the line ( well I did after all wait until my viral load was undetectable over a year before asking about going on the one a day cocktail's ) and they realized I meant business so much so that upon a joint consultation it was mutually decided I I could go on the aforementioned cocktail and I am happy to say thus far the lab's have come showing even stronger result's therefore taking thing's into my own hand's turned out for the best overall .
Now whereas we didn't begin having such a rapport at first unless you voice your opinion nothing will change so speak up to the person telling you that you can''t or should not do something and then when they say it simply make the query of why not .
( and too think the nurse practitioner actually had a heart to heart on my last check up about her taking her early retirement at age 62 or if she shooed wait until age 65 which I was an advocate of her doing since I don't want to have to break in a new nurse practitioner just yet :) )

I have fired more than one Dr. This was an awesome post/blog on this topic. No matter what your seeing a Dr. or any professional for always remember YOU are their CUSTOMER; NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND, you or a representative of yours pays them! My Primary is a rural Dr. that probably knows more about HIV/Aids than a lot of so called Specialists. He takes the time to listen and answer questions so I can understand them. He and My ID Dr. share my files and lab Work and work together as a team. In this I have been more lucky than many. If you don't feel your getting the care, dignity, and respect you deserve from your Drs. then don't be afraid to get up thank them for the waste of your time and leave!

I couldn't agree with you more. I am going to play a part in my own treatment, and if a doctor doesn't want to include me...well, then, off to find another doctor. I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and to be given the information necessary to make sound decisions regarding my health. And I'm not going to have it any other way.

I have been receiving care for HIV/AIDS from the same HIV specialist since 1995. He is an amazing doctor. When needed, he has referred me to another doctor for other needs than HIV. I was speaking on the phone with the referred physician's nurse. She got all my information such as name, address, insurance, etc. Lastly, she asked for my PCP doctor's name. She paused a moment, then announced that their office does not accept patients from my PCP. He is well known and highly regarded in our community as an HIV specialist. So, I was rejected for medical care by the referred doctor because I was a patient of a community-wide known HIV specialist. Even the medical community discriminates against us. Be aware too of what hospital you go to. Some hospitals are HIV friendly and others are NOT. I went through hell in one 2 week hospital stay. I actually heard the nurses fighting in the hall over which one would treat me. One nurse even shouted I have children! What I went through in that hospital was shocking and unbearable.

I use to work in the medical field. I can sit here and write paragraph after paragraph about the treatment of hiv/aids patients that I saw and heard in this particular hospital. For instance, staff loves to alarm the whole entire hospital staff that they have an hiv/aids patient admitted to the hospital. One doctor said that people did not want to go into the medical field any more because of aids. I listened to therapist talk about how they withheld treatments from patients with hiv/aids. I listened to them talk about how they did not want to touch people with aids. These patients were often neglected and treated very badly. I have experienced some pretty bad treatment myself. I was pregnant when I got my diagnose. The treatment I received is a whole different story. Nevertheless, I have been positive 20 years with no meds or illnessess. I consider myself very blessed.

Kudos to you Aundaray.
I had a similar experience and it was horrific and appalling. The first visit, I thought perhaps maybe it was me viewing the Dr's. comments in a negative light but by the third session, I threw the towel in. I went as far as going to the director and following up with a four page letter berating the Dr. It is very sad that a professional would act that way. I cut it short and demanded a change. To those that have had or are experiencing the same set of circumstances. Keep one thing in mind, your health is on the line and sometime patients and medical personnel are not always a good match. So dont tolerate the BS and find another provider who will provide the essentials that are need for you to remain in good health. And if the circumstances warrant the need, file complaints with medical ethics committees, etc. Just dont tolerate an unprofessional professional who in the end is only concerned about payment.

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This page contains a single entry by Aundaray Guess published on January 31, 2012 5:16 PM.

Brother Can You Spare A Roof was the previous entry in this blog.

HIV and the Black Community is the next entry in this blog.

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