Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What happened with Dr. G

I was referred to Dr. G by my therapist. At this point I was desperate for help for my anxiety, because I would have to drop out of a class if I did not tackle it. On the plus side it was easy to get an appointment with him, and the appointment was very long. However on the first appointment he seemed annoyed with me. I took it personally at the time, I assumed I was annoying.

I had been having itchy palms, which I was convinced was a psychosomatic response to my anxiety, like hives. I kept bringing it up and he ignored it, he did not tell me “I don’t think that is related, you’ll need to see your primary care physician about that” He instead finally huffed “see a dermatologist.” I was offended, but at the time I was desperate, so I stayed with him.

In the following visits he sometimes acted nice, sometimes acted superior, but he prescribed me a drug that worked very well for me, was easy to get appointments with, and was thorough, so I stayed put.

Months later my finger started twitching, a serious side effect of the drug I was prescribed. I left a frightened message on his voice mail and he returned my call the next day. He said I should come in and he will look at my finger, and I said “either way I want to get off the drug” He said that was great and told me to cut my dose in half and call him in two weeks. I mentioned to him that I was also lactating (another side effect) and he laughed heartily. I have a good sense of humor so I was able to laugh, but that was really insensitive.

As instructed, I called him back in two weeks, expecting we would make an appointment (he has no receptionist) instead, the first thing out of his mouth was “I know you are trying to save money, but I can’t keep giving you these free consultations over the phone, I should really be getting paid for my services” (the way I write it sounds polite, but the words and tone he used were full on accusations, the way he saw it, I was calculatedly trying to get free services- like I was a thief) I tried to remind him that he told me to call him in two weeks, but he would not stop. He must have repeated it half a dozen times, at one point I had to say loudly “I GOT IT! Stop!” And to hang up. The whole issue could have been avoided by telling me he can not give me instructions or answer questions over the phone without a fee, he never did that, and he apparently forgot that he told me to call him. He has forgotten things before, but that could be normal.

I don‘t think Dr. G is a good fit in the mental health field. He seems smart, but he sometimes behaves annoyed and superior, which can intimidate a psych patient, and discourage them from getting treatment. I also wonder if he takes his patient’s subjective opinion seriously. He once made a comment about my “So-called Social Phobia” I may not seem to have it now, because I am doing well, but it shouldn’t be dismissed, it has been a very real and disruptive part of my life.

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