I’ve spoken openly about my frustration with doctors, especially fellows, etc. that don’t know me. I don’t mind speaking to them, but I really do dislike repeating myself, being asked which medications I’m on, when I was diagnosed, etc..all the things that are clearly listed in my chart. I remember once while I was doing in-centre dialysis, some unknown doctor who was the “fellow of the month” came in and asked me dumb questions about my anemia. He ordered blood tests and talked about how he was going to fix it. Man, all of my other doctors must have really been slacking off if this guy right out of school was going to cure all that ails me!

Anyhow, here is a story that my Lupie friend Jennifer posted on facebook in regards to her recent experience at a clinic appointment. Enjoy.

Just another episode about one of my many trips to one of my many specialists..

When seeing a specialist of any kind, more often than not you first meet with a “fellow.” A fellow is a Doctor In Training/BRAND new doctor fresh out of school, sort of like when a law student graduates, then articles at a firm before being able to branch out on their own. Ok, so instead of meeting with my doctor, I meet with this fellow…to protect privacy, we’ll call her Moronica.

Moronica starts off the visit with the usual, asking me some very basic questions that she’d know the answer to if she’d read ANY of my file. Its as if this is my first time at a doctors, and well, its not. So my first tip off is when I stated that I have rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus…she cut me off and asked which one I had, because you can’t have both. *deep breah*…I looked at her, and in a combination of miff, fury and sick just said, “wow…listen, I’ve been living with this for 15 years now. I’m very VERY aware of what’s going on with my body. Yes, it IS possible to have both.” to which she replied, “so if you have rheumatoid arthritis, then you don’t have lupus.” Now I was pissed off, but working VERY hard at keeping myself in check. White knuckled, I took another very deep breath in, and said to her, “Again, wow. Tell you what, I’m going to sit here quietly for a couple of minutes and give you a chance to read my file. Go ahead, I won’t interrupt because from what I gather, its going to take you a few minutes to take it all in.” I calmly folded my hands, and sat there looking at her. She became muddled, then asked me to tell her what joints were affected by my arthritis. I told her “all of them” to which moronica asked me to be more specific. HOLY SHIZ! Another deep breath, and very very slowly so that she could understand, I started listing ALL of my joints starting with my jaw and working my way down to my toes. Then we get a tad more serious and discuss platelets. Mine are low, and other than prednisone there has yet to be a way to raise them. So, moronica mentions my low platelet count (which I had pointed out to her; the effing reason I was there in the first place)…she says, “So, other than prednisone what other methods have you used to raise your platelets?” At this point I slap the table and TOTALLY mocking her say, “well golly gee! do you mean to tell me there’s a quick fix?? wow! And to think, all these years with all this highly trained medical staff, not ONE of them ever mentioned that to me! Tell me, what is it??” …and then I looked at her, with false hope filled eyes…she was obviously embarrassed and started laughing nervously and then began to back peddle…”oh, well, I didn’t mean it like that, I just meant have you changed your dose”….I cut her off and told her to move onto the next question. She resorted to asking me safe questions like my diet and exercise before finally realizing she was in over her head and went to get my doctor.

Finally my doctor comes in. I have to say, I LOVE this guy…he’s brilliant, straight forward and doesn’t sugar coat anything. Perfect. So he comes in with moronica and he’s clearly in teaching mode which is fun to watch. He asks me stuff and we banter back and forth like two intelligent people, then he’ll quickly turn to moronica and quiz her…each time she got it wrong. It was incredible. By the end of it, thanks to Dr. L, I left feeling pretty incredible and was anxious to share my good news with my husband.


3 comments on “A Friend’s Experience

  1. I have had so many appointments like that because my rheumy teaches too. AND…kudos to her!


  2. When I moved, I saw this neurologist in my new city. He was a relatively new doctor and he suddenly decided that my seizure disorder was NOT that and he was basically determined to change my diagnosis, medications, etc. all in one visit. All of this after I had my old neuro and a neuro at the Mayo Clinic confirm such things.

    I left the appointment and immediately called my neuro back home and said HELP ME!!!!! He told me to run far away from that doc because he obviously had an ego issue and was determined to be the one to change things up. It is pretty scary when you get doctors like that. Glad I ran from him!

    Also, I get super annoyed when doctors ask questions that they could easily find from my chart. I saw a specialist today that actually LOOKED at my chart and only asked me questions she really needed to. It was amazing! Someone who can actually read!


  3. WOW… just wow! I hate dealing with residents (fellows) and unfortunately am forced to do it way too often, but luckily haven't had to deal with anyone quite like Moronica. It sounds like your friend is pretty funny.


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