Need Help With Asking PCP Again for a Referral to a Specialist
I am struggling to find a way to bring up again my request and need for a referral to an endocrinologist for help during this year of being off of Reclast for my osteoporosis. When I made the request in our brief phone visit, she brushed me off saying there were only 2-3 meds I’ve not been given and to just continue the yr off until I can resume taking Reclast.
I was truly shocked that she wouldn’t provide a referral because when I’d asked for a referral to a nephrologist, she provided one. When I said I’d read of additional supplements to add during this interim, she said: “You take a multi-vitamin and it contains the supplements you mentioned”. Mine doesn’t and those it includes are tiny amts. I’m wondering if she just wanted to keep the phone visit brief and while I don’t want to offend her, I could profit from additional help from an endocrinologist. Any ideas about how to approach this diplomatically and obtain the referral?
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@sunnyflower, Yes, I failed to mention earlier that nurse reported tech problems with "patient portal". Thanks for the good wishes and more help from endocrinologist. I so agree that everything is a "risk/benefit" decision in choosing medical directions.
Realizing yrs ago that I had more trouble making decisions than some others, I bought "Yes or No" by Spencer Johnson; Had read his "Who Moved My Cheese" and gave this one a try. Can't remember much about the book now but it started me on what has now become a habit in helping guide me toward better choices with the Pros and Cons lists I do whenever stumped on whatever issue.
If you are like me in becoming attached to especially helpful professionals and having to find a new one when they retire, move or die is hard. Change itself can be difficult and finding a good fit with someone new isn't always easy.
Thanks for your response and best wishes for a good relationship with your new doc as well.
@trishanna, Yes to your oncologist! He sounds like a real keeper. Your post is heartening to read because fear tactics should never be used but sometimes are.
Yes, when you have doctors whom you love and you have a myriad of health problems and are constantly told you are a complicated patient, it's awful to have to find new docs! I do through it more than I'd like. It's anxiety producing to say the least!!!!!! Take good care, Sunnyflower
I’m a tad older and actually remember when your primary doc would suggest doctors for you to see and set it up as well. I worked at a hospital and had an in to good physicians; unfortunately that is no longer true. Now have to search with our friends and family if you have any. It’s difficult. Good luck
This is my experience too. I thought it was just me. I'm fairly knowledgeable about how to find doctors and I used to pride myself on my ability to evaluate doctors based on their education and experience. Now I have difficulty finding GOOD doctors (knowledgeable and able to communicate with patients). I think that doctors have so many patients to deal with and limited amount of time. Even though many have nurse practitioners or assistants who see some patients and take some of the burden off doctors. Even these doctors don't seem to have the ability to perform the referral process. I have asked my pain doctor to refer me to a mental health professional twice. She's passed on my request to one of her assistants and they have never found any one or told me anything. Based on my own experience in looking for a mental health professional – there just aren't many in our area and we are just miles from one of the largest medical centers in the world – Houston Texas. I don't want to have to actually go into Houston for this kind of care but other places I've lived had more qualified mental health people. Here we have a plethora of people who I would call "counselors' – not even qualified "psychiatric social workers". Just social workers and religious counselors. Yet I read yesterday that there are 100s if not thousands of doctors who cannot get jobs because there are not sufficient numbers of residencies slots, which are necessary for graduates of medical schools to get experience to qualify them to practice. As my husband explained it hospitals don't have enough money to hire doctors or to fund residencies. This is probably due in part to cut backs in Medicare payments to hospitals. So I guess this situation is complicated and due in part to politics that put re-election over human lives. In every political campaign the encumbent or the candidate promises to cut taxes and Congress thinks they can keep cutting taxes without any consideration to what those cuts mean to programs that people need. I've probably made a lot of mistakes in this description, but I see this happening to our physical infrastructure and our medical infrastructure and other social programs. Others may be able to shed more light and more accurate explanations of why medical care in this country costs more and yet we have higher mortality and morbidity that other countries.
@catharbert, Thank you for your thought provoking post. Family physicians who routinely carried out physical exams and made same day referrals as needed are a thing of the past. Catcando, I agree with all you wrote.
@lustarr, I so agree with what you posted. Older as well, miss the "whole person" care and same day referrals our family physicians gave. Now waiting weeks for a referral by a separate group has become the norm in my area.
I make all such requests including reasons by portal/email. Not only might the provider have more time to consider/research your request, but you also have a written record. I’ve not had to do this, but you could even send a request to the specialist and ask them to contact your provider! After all, the worst they can do is say no!
@sru97 I too try to do most of my communication through the portal so there will be a written record of it. Plus, if you speak to an office administrator or a nurse you have no idea how what you said could have been presented to the doctor.
I agree. the best security is to email a clear list of queries before each visit.
If you don't have print proof then ask for the nurse's/receptionist name and also ask them to repeat what you are requesting or advising. At teh end of each such contact I suggest you say "I would like to confirm the main points of this call…"