An open letter to a rude doctor

Not long ago I was referred to a doctor who I took an instant dislike to. I questioned the doctor

Not long ago I was referred to a doctor who I took an instant dislike to.

I questioned the doctor on the amount they wanted me to pay, before looking at my file.

The doctor walked out, and I left the surgery.

After a few days when I had settled down, I sent the doctor a letter…

Dear Doctor,

I did not ask to see you, I was sent there because you or the system did not trust my doctor or thought my doctor (who I have every faith in) was thought to be unworthy of his diagnoses.

I first visited your office to put in some forms and was treated rudely and was told that they would ring me when you felt like seeing me.

After more almost 2 months I rang your office to see that the paper work was not misplaced. And was abruptly told “we will get to you when we are ready”. Not a confidence booster.

We eventually received a call and I was instructed to get a list of tests done, and you would see me. The letter also demanded $406 extorted from me.

I questioned the costs as it occurred to me that this was far beyond a fair and reasonable amount, but I would ask someone to justify it before I paid it as I may have been wrong.

So I thought I would test whether your office was run on medical or money principles.

Your face when I said (in jest) that I had no money to pay you answered my question.

You flew into a rant. “I was told that you were going to extort money from me”. Telling me that I had no right to be there without bringing the cash.

I had the money in cash in my pocket but when I asked you to justify your price you became indignant that I questioned you. I could only see ‘dollar signs’ in your eyes.

So I told you that I would pay you, using this week’s rent and you lost it.

You could no longer see any dollar signs coming from me, as an ongoing future cash cow. You looked down your nose at me as if I was peasant with the plague.

You very unprofessionally stormed from the room telling me to go away that you did not want to treat me, and told me ‘to go to the public system’.

You then ran to the back room and hid, like a spoilt child, until I was gone. As I said, very unprofessional.

Almost as unprofessional as having a snotty nose school kid carrying his school bag amongst the paying patients, in the waiting room.

Funny if you had reacted differently when I first suggested that I didn’t have the money.

If you had shown the slightest compassion, empathy or concern, or caring at all, really, I would have told you that I had the money in cash in my pocket.

But I was, and still am convinced that you are only interested in my money not my medical condition.

To that end, I will be checking with Medicare and Medibank to see if you made a claim for 15 seconds of your time.

If you have, I shall be informing them of this letter and the reason for it.

I will return to my doctor (who, as I have said before have the greatest respect for). He and I will have a good laugh and we go through the results of the tests, all of which I have had before.

The doctor and I will find another doctor. One that is interested in, people as patients, not for the depth of their pockets. Interested in our well-being not our wealth, in the caring, not the cash.

Because we certainly would not find it with you.


PS. I would not expect any sort of an apology, because your ‘kind’ never do.

Was it the right thing to do? Would your specialist walk out like this doctor did?


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  1. Maria  

    I felt your pain with this one. My husband and I had the same experience, there are so many out there. I was brave enough to even tell a specialist that he had insulted my intelligence, he had no idea I had spent the last 50 years standing next to specialists in hospitals all around the world. I was then hospitalised and he had to attend, I was wired up to machinery, drips, so couldn’t move far, he came with four other staff members and two security guards. I had to call the Advocate just to protect myself, got me nowhere, they are supposed to hear our side of the story, she wasn’t interested. It was even said that “old people are the princesses ” it’s so, so sad because when I was working this never ever happened. I stood in awe many times at what I witnessed from people who felt so good just helping with their heart. Sad to leave this world when after 80 years we have gone so far backwards.

    • brian1940  

      Hi Maria.
      My x wife had same problem with a specialist at Southport Queensland she had a pinched nerve in her back and could hardly walk, at the time we just moved to the NSQ QLD. border and was not working, he said she would have to wait 12 months for the operation of if we paid ourselves will be done I 2 weeks cause of the bad pain she was in we had to pay up front, also the cost he quoted us was less than half of the actual cost this was about 1990

  2. Diana Ross  

    I too copped arrogance from a specialist. I am beginning to think it’s time to name and shame

    • Jenette  

      I agree, name them so others don’t go through the same thing.

  3. Kathy Leehy  

    I too experienced a rant from a skin doctor (not a specialist) for having the temerity of having a cancerous growth removed from my leg a week before my appointment with him. I was going for an overall body check with a 10 minute window for an appointment. The growth removal took an hour. He found plenty of other bits to spray and biopsy. He has left me with three separate stitches in for three weeks. He even said once he found out that I had worked for the tax office he wouldn’t have given me a needle for the biopsies. Not happy Jan. I won’t be going back. His nurse was embarrassed and said that the doctor was a very busy man. Not too busy to abuse me.

  4. Ann Day  

    I am on a disability pension and was sent to see an orthopedic surgeon who told me that he did not spend all those years studying just to be “used’ by the government to treat time wasters and that I had to come into the office with $1000.00 before he would even look at repairing my shoulder.

  5. Kat  

    My mother was ill for quite some time in the 1970s (yes, she got well, after an op or two) and her doctor had left instructions to call if she needed him and he’d be round (yes, a house-call). Anyway, I had to ring one afternoon and her regular doctor was off sick, so I got a locum. Well, he made every excuse in the book to not come. Even when I told him that I was following her doctor’s instructions, he got quite irate. Bear in mind, I was only 16 or so. Anyway, I decided I’d had quite enough, so I said, ‘Look, don’t bother. I’ll call the vet instead’ and hung-up. I didn’t, I rang my Dad, he came straight home and arrived around the same time as the doctor, who had mysteriously discovered that he wasn’t, after all, too busy to come. I was a bit worried that Dad might be angry or upset with me, but after he, too, had torn a strip off the doctor’s hide, he assured me that I’d done the right thing. He also informed Mom’s regular doctor of what had occurred. I believe her regular doctor had words to say to the locum as well…

  6. Neri  

    My GP sent me to a dermatologist about my skin cancers. No introduction, just told to get undressed and lay down. I felt uncomfortable but did as I was asked. He then ignored me, leaving me naked without a sheet to cover myself, on the examination table while he rang his stock broker. I listened for a few minutes before getting dressed and leaving. I did tell him he was rude and unprofessional and his only response was to say that I should find a different specialist, which I did. She is great.

    • Jenette  

      I’m on a roll here – NAME HIM so others know not to go to him

  7. colin  

    I find this hard to believe. having had no issues with any specialist or doctor. Maybe some people should look in a mirror , learn to smile. If some of it is true Your own doctor would be the person to speak with so he does not refer any more people to them. and anyway firstly they always ask for your Medicare and private health numbers. But IU think the story is embellished….

    • Lois  

      Yes Colin the story contains a bit of emotion. The writer is saying he/she was disrespected though. That’s what it’s about.Other comments are about disrespect from doctors also. Because it hasn’t happened to you doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened to others.
      I thank the people who shared their stories because now I know it happens to others and that’s what this group is about. Sharing our experiences.

    • How rude you are Colin. You have no reason to assume the writers here are not “smilers” or are liars. Personally, I find you not just rude but arrogant and unempathetic. I hope your next specialist can tolerate you.

      • Mark  

        From the tone the author’s letter, I think Colin has every reason to assume that the author has embellished his story.

    • gwen dawson-dunbabin  

      Keep reading Colin – they just keep coming – you should consider yourself lucky that you have not been treated the way some of us have………

  8. Edith Logan  

    I had the upsetting experience of a rude, arrogant so-called professional doctor at Easter last year. My grandson tipped a buggy, and broke his arm. My son rang the local hospital at the same time as my partner and I were driving there, with the patient. At the hospital, this arrogant son-of-a…… refused to speak to us, telling the nurse that we should have taken the kid to the Children’s Hospital, a couple of hours drive away. He refused to give the child pain-killers, and walked off without a word. I was so angry at our treatment that I lodged a complaint, both by phone and in writing, to the Medical Board, only to be notified that everything I said was a lie, according to the arrogant, lying doctor, and that they were not going to even chastise him! This has caused me a great deal of soul-searching…..are these rude so-called professional people allowed to get away with this sort of behaviour all the time? I was disgusted, and still am! Good on you, David, for putting your treatment in writing.. I only hope that you get justice!

  9. Barbara Strotten  

    I experienced the British National Health Service before I came over here, so when I came to Australia in 1970 I felt Australia had an excellent Top class health system, we could choose our own Drs, specialists, hospitals etc I found the service everywhere was first class and no waiting lists, I could call a Dr after hours with no problems. I experienced professionalism, compassion and empathy everywhere. My health fund covered everything. Health funds in those days was I felt very reasonably priced. Then along came Medicare, and since then it is reminding me of the British NHS but the attitudes of some Drs & Specialists worse. Just look at the NHS and see what has happened there, I think we are going down the drain faster than them. Since Medicare I have experienced specialists like you say and some Doctors. That is even with paying there high fees. I feel they are all in it for the money these days just like our politicians. Caring bedside manners seem to have gone down the drain just like this country seems to be going, Us oldies are experiencing the difference, Unfortunately for the young, its the only way they know so to them its normal behaviour. I am just glad that in my lifetime I have experienced the good days. Where people cared.

  10. Pamela  

    I am sorry people have had bad experiences.

    I have had such good treatment from my specialists (tho I am a public patient) I am on hugging terms with some or give heartfelt two-handed hand-shakes with others.

    I am also accepted as a public patient in their specialist rooms – and I state my appreciation often.

    Maybe some people need a better attitude!

  11. gwen dawson-dunbabin  

    About 18 months ago, I was having difficulty with my sight for a couple of days so took myself off to OPSM where I had been only a couple of times – the lady who I explained my problem to, went and spoke to the man who does the eye tests and I was taken in straight away – did a press the button test, which I wasn’t aware of – and when I had finished, this lovely man asked for the name of my GP – left the room and came back and told me I would be seen as soon as I arrived- there was no sense of panic just a caring smile as I left..Was seen as soon as I arrived at my GP and asked to go and have a scan at the hospital, which had been booked in before I left OPSM. The results were that I may have had a mini stroke – given medication and referred to a specialist – this man, didn’t acknowledge me when taken into his room, looked up after he finished reading and said ‘ you have had a stroke, there is nothing I can do about it “. I was so shocked with his rudeness after the care that others had shown. Still haven’t got over it. Some people should not be in the medical world.

  12. JIM  

    as true as this maybe…there is no point in it unless you name the doctor…only then you might see a change

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