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Frankly, I think my primary doctor referred me to a nutritionist because he didn't want to deal with the needed nutritionist advice and knew Medicare would pay for it. And he referred me to a endocrinologist because I asked for it and thyroid issues are difficult to assess, I have read. I have a history of rejecting medications he has prescribed for other problems, mostly blood pressure and arthritis. I can get an appointment with an orthopedic firm without referral because they have 60 doctors and seem to give appointments for all phone calls, even though it may take some delay. If you tell a doctor that a medicine gives you upset stomach or something, that helps to encourage them to give you to another doctor. Try using the side effects as a complaint, which you have already done, I think. I live close enough to a metro area that doctors don't mind you going elsewhere so much because they have plenty of business.
Right now doctors are not that busy in their practice so they will talk to you on the phone and be helpful, I have found. Dorisena

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Replies to "Frankly, I think my primary doctor referred me to a nutritionist because he didn't want to..."

@bustrbrwn22 and @dorisena, Thank you both for your responses.

Someone mentioned that specialists requiring doctor referrals here might be due to my having "managed care" ins. I've read that if a Medicare recipient, which I am, a patient should be able to see a specialist without a referral. I really don't know if this is just a local "custom" or for other reasons. Whatever the reason, it causes delays and puts the burden on the patient to receive additional care. My Reclast infusion stopped in August has left me by mid-Feb. to my own wits for additional help.

Our city of over 250,000 has 2 large hospitals (one a teaching facility) and a third heart hospital. We are considered the "medical hub" in this part of the state. It would be interesting to ask a specialist I see what drives the need for referrals here.

I do know that my pcp's clinic has a much longer wait time now in calling for an appt. or request for a return call from nurse. Usually, my calls are returned the same day. The 2 call requests for a nurse to return my calls since my last annual visit on 2/2 have not been returned. While mine is not a critical or emergency situation, it is worrisome. Thanks for a chance to vent…smiles