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Have you seen Dr. Ronald Waloff?
August 7th, 2013Endoscopy & Colonoscopy
August 4th, 2013Jr
April 21st, 2011A VERY mixed and upsetting experience
Recently I was admitted to my local hospital through the ER, to stabilize me and diagnose my GI symptoms: acute pain,bloody diarrhea, vomiting,general malaise. Dr. Waloff had recently joined the hospital staff and was assigned to my case, as my own GI specialist was/is in Philadelphia. Within my five day stay, Dr. Waloff had the lab test me repeatedly for signs of infection, and after ruling any out, ordered another endoscopy. (I had had one only two months before.) My diagnosis was ulcerative colitis, most likely another inflammatory condition related to my rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Waloff prescribed two medications for me, and I made an appointment to follow up in a week with an appointment. When I got to his office, the first odd thing was that the office staff "assumed I wasn't coming"and told me that the doctor was otherwise occupied in the hospital. (I was only 15 minutes late, having gotten a little lost). I was asked if I wanted to see the other physician in the practice, but I declined because at this point I liked Dr. Waloff and he was the most familiar with my case. I had to wait almost an hour for him to return, but I actually didn't mind. All was well at this point. I was told to return home, add foods as tolerated, and remain on the one prescription as a maintenance drug to control my symptoms. So far, so good. After a few more days, I began to suffer acute side effects of this drug, which resulted in very strong flu-like symptoms with fever and severe muscle aches. I called my pharmacist to ask if this was normal, and whether I should call my doctor or just tough it out to see if the symptoms subsided. I was told to call the doctor because such symptoms can be very serious. He called back within a very reasonable time later that day,and had no trouble whatsoever recalling my case. He told me the best thing to do would be to go off the drug immediately to see if the symptoms disappeared, and to use the other drug for a week, before getting back to him. During the second week, I suffered sudden abdominal pain, and I called him to see what I should do, whether I should go to the emergency room if it got worse, and failing that, what to do, maybe try another drug. He prescribed Prednisone to relieve my acute symptoms, but was in a quandary about any other possible maintence medication, because of a very bad reaction I had had to Sulfa antibiotic some years before. He told me to get back to him in a week one way or the other, while he researched a possible alternative drug for me to take. It was when I attempted to call him and ask for a return call that the horrible experience began. The person answering the phone, instead of simply honoring my request for a call back that the doctor was expecting, began to probe me for very personal details of "what was wrong." I knew that the doctor should remember me, and expected him to check my chart before calling, but this woman persisted. Uncomfortable, I asked, "Are you a nurse?" She answered emphatically YES. Although pretty exasperated at this point, I asked her to review what I had already said, and she had gotten several things wrong. I again requested the call back, saying I didn't know what more details I should be expected to provide,and again remarked that the doctor should surely remember me. I was shocked and amazed when the woman laughed sarcastically and said, "I'll BET he will!" I said "Excuse me? What are you implying? And by the way, what is your name?" She absolutely refused to give it. At this point, I had pretty much decided to switch back to my old doctor, but another woman, who DID give her first name, came on the phone and I told her what had happened. I thought she commiserated with me. WRONG. For one thing, she refused to identify the woman who had been so rude to me. Let me emphasize that at no point had I insisted on an immediate contact, but rather a simple assurance that I would be called later that day. Suddenly, the second woman said they had the doctor on the line, and I was connected. Before I could get half a sentence out, he started screaming that "since I couldn't be 'nice' to his office staff, I'd have to find another doctor. He was nonplussed when I told him about the woman who had identified herself as a nurse, which the second woman confirmed she was not.When I attempted to explain myself, he barked, "You've got five minutes!" but almost immediately cut me off and told me to "find another doctor, DEAR!" He then banged down the phone. The complete lack of professionalism on the part of the man and his office staff were inexcusable and frankly,something I couldn't possibly make up. He may think he fired me, but he's wrong. My mind was made up before talking to him, and rather than try to listen me and retain me as a patient, he attacked me. Needless to say,that kind of behavior is most upsetting to any colitis patient, both emotionally and physically. Whether he was simply having a bad day is of no concern to me, since he treated me with such complete disrespect. His skills as a physician are completely canceled out by his behavior.
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