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conflict with a doctor
May 21, 2004

Hello Doctors, This is a tricky question and I'm not sure which forum, if any, I should address it to. My ID (Dr.A) and my PCP (Dr.D) doctors are not only very fabulous physicians, they are highly regarded, wonderful, caring and loving people. Roughly, four weeks ago I had a hernia procedure with Dr.C. Two weeks following that, the day after my follow-up visit with Dr.C, I had an emergency appendectomy, also performed by Dr. C. I was released the next day. I returned to the ED the following day with infection in the belly button. I was released the next day. I was back in the ED two days later with awful infection and I had emergency surgery performed by Dr.D. I then spent fours days in the hospital. On my second day in the bed after the emergency surgery performed by Dr.D, the original attending surgeon Dr. C, scared me with some comments which I felt inappropriate. Dr.C also wanted to release me but thankfully, a while later, Dr.A noticed my condition was not improving and Dr.A proceeded with enlisting yet another Doctor (Dr.E) to dress my wound. I wanted no more care from Dr.C and shortly after that I had to tell Dr.C, face to face, that I wanted Dr.D to care for me. I knew it was a big deal to do it and that it was not a good situation for both Dr.C and Dr.D.

I felt bad for firing Dr.C since I know he's a fine suregeon (he did my hernia)but just a little too flippant with me during what I considerd a serious situation. I feel terrible for putting both Dr.C and Dr.D in a very uncomfortable situation. So, question: What kind of ramifications will this cause Dr.C, if any? Is it a very bad thing to have a patient under emergency care to reject the attending physician? What, if anything can I do?

Response from Dr. Lee

I feel a little like Miss Manners with this one, but let me reassure you that there are not likely to be any ramifications to Dr. C. It is not a very bad thing for a patients to reject the attending physician. All of us are human and personalities, etc. sometimes clash. There are times when a patient has to be more assertive to get what they need.

I am relieved that you are better and that you got the care you required.

I don't believe you should worry any more about this. It is really ok.

Be well.



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