Chief of Medicine
October 23, 2005
To whom it may concern,
I would like to take a moment to express my deep displeasure with one of the interactions I had with a physician in the Church Street location. I use the term “interaction” loosely since the doctor in question, Dr. Jordan, never actually saw me. Apparently he was too busy.
Last Thursday I was shopping in downtown Evanston when I felt the sudden onset of severe abdominal cramps. I ran into the nearest restaurant and spent the next thirty minutes on the toilet. After finishing I felt much better and packed up to leave. As I exited the restaurant, I noticed your clinic across the street.
Thinking that this was my lucky day, I entered the waiting room and asked for an appointment. Since this was my first time in the office, I was asked to fill out numerous forms. A few minutes later a nurse brought me back to an exam room.
She asked a lot of questions about my diarrhea and abdominal pain and then examined me. She then left the room for a few minutes. When she returned she explained that Dr. Jordan was the only doctor in the office and currently seeing other patients. The nurse made up some excuse about another doctor calling in sick. He could see me but it would have to be at the end of the day.
My jaw dropped. That would be like four hours later. Why couldn’t I see him immediately? The nurse explained that she had evaluated me and my vitals signs were stable. She said my abdominal exam was normal. She then tried to shoo me away by saying that most diarrhea is self limited.
By now I was quite angry. I demanded that the nurse at least give me an antibiotic before I left. I could be dead by the the end of the day. The nurse left the room yet again and returned a few minutes later. Apparently Dr. Jordan felt that antibiotics are not usually indicated for most forms of diarrhea and he would prefer to examine me himself before he made that decision.
I stormed out of the clinic with my mind made up never to return to one of your facilities again. When I got home I took some amoxicillin which was left over from my root canal. I felt better within minutes.
I am lucky I had the antibiotic in the cabinet or I could have become very sick. I believe Dr. Jordan is a horrible physician and he brings down the quality of care that you are trying to provide. I hope you work to correct his attitude!
Written in neat cursive on the side of the letter was a note from an administrator:
“Dr. Grumet. Can you please call this patient and apologize. We definitely handled this one wrong.”
Jordan Grumet is an internal medicine physician who blogs at In My Humble Opinion.
Submit a guest post and be heard on social media’s leading physician voice.