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Date Posted: 19:33:25 08/10/13 Sat
Author: Lilly, an RN
Subject: Why doctors leave patients

HI, Raven!
I want to say this about doctors in general who seems extremely kind, nice, and excellent but leave a practice and then do not take former patients back ( either some or all of them). Patients are often totally in the dark about why a nice and beloved doctor they depend on seems to turn his or her back on former clients.
Without knowing your doctor's history and speaking only in general from my experiences with hundreds of doctors, the " separation" from established patients usually comes from one of these reasons:
1) Doctor was forced out of old practice due to improper behavior, either personal or professional misconduct. In a situation of that sort, the doctor is terrified that somehow people will find out. He or she will put distance between themselves and the clients they were formerly closest to.

2) Doctor is experiencing " burn out". He or she has changed groups in an attempt to reduce workload, or to take a lesser role in practice. In this instance, the sickest patients or the ones with the more complex diagnoses will probably be weeded out.

3)I REALLY hate to say this, but I've seen it SO often. Substance abuse by a physician and a stay in rehab or maybe a day program for MDs is a very common reason for a change in behavior. It is all very confidential, but it is not uncommon at all for the recovering doctor to want to avoid ALL questions about why he or she was away from patient care for a time. Often, the recovering MD will leave a group practice and be a solo practitioner. Peer pressure and some judgmental " stuff" will follow a recovering MD for a period of time, then other doctors will see that the recovering MD is thriving, working well, etc. ( or not). I have seen very good doctors leave their group practices after a substance abuse problem and never join another group. Sometimes, the problems linger OR the doctor wants to be in his or her own form of " hiding" in a solo practice or new group practice where the problems are not known.

Raven, I firmly believe there is a reason beyond your control why your doctor left his practice, and now will not pick you back up as a client. IF you paid his bills promptly and were not rude to his staff, which I am sure you weren't, then please consider that factors impacing his practice and life may have changed him. You know that doctors are not immune from hidden dangers in this world such as substance abuse, improper personal conduct or improper conduct within his group practice which caused him to leave, and now to leave you.

I will always pray for your healing and for your comfort, and ask God to send compassionate and skilled health care providers to you especially.
Some of us pray to Our Father for guidance and a special understanding which comes from Him alone, and He has blessed me as a nurse, and helped my patients receive care for health problems not yet even known down through my years of practice. I know God has directed my path, and that of the best nurses and doctors in this world.

God knows all, though we see through a glass darkly. Stay strong, and please stay on course with your chemo and other treatment for your cancers.

Love you,

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[> Re: Why doctors leave patients -- Ravenbeauty, 20:24:13 08/12/13 Mon [1]


Thank you for this incredibly powerful post. You gave me a lot to think about. Things I had never considered. I pray for him always, and hope that if any of this applies to his situation, it turns around quickly because we truly need him. If I lived in a metropolitan area or something, the choices would be limitless, but we don't and they aren't. We are thoroughly exhausted to the point where we can't even think of finding a new Oncologist or hospital now. We are going to try and make the best of a really bad situation.

Thank you for shedding light on something I might not have never considered. I pray we here from him soon (the sharpest, kindest, most compassionate Oncologist I had ever met).......

To everyone else, I apologize that I can't get out here like I would like to anymore. It's been a really rough 6 months for me. I always read your notes however. I may not have time to respond, but I read them, and they always make me smile (not an easy thing for me these days). God bless you....XOXO....

P.S. Bless you Good Will Talking, for keeping everyone who is not on my Facebook, posted on what is happening with me. I don't understand the 5000 friend limit thing at all over there. If I could, I would move all of you, who are still waiting in my friends queue, and approve you, but they have this crazy rule. I have managed to squeeze some of you in now and then when someone drops off. XOXOXO.......

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[> [> Re: Why doctors leave patients -- GoodWillTalking, 12:37:32 08/13/13 Tue [1]

You're so welcome, Raven. I'm delighted to help in this small way for you!

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[> [> Re: Why doctors leave patients -- Hannah (Healing Light, Hope & Love), 17:05:09 08/14/13 Wed [1]


Perhaps your Oncologist is relocating to an area you won't be able to commute to?

Have you tried asking him if could recommend another Oncologist to you in case he can't continue your treatment?

Love you lots!

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[> Re: Why doctors leave patients -- Barb, 09:14:44 08/17/13 Sat [1]

Hi Raven,

I'd like to echo Lilly's thoughts. I worked for a cancer hospital for several years where I did all of the recruiting and hiring. The job of an oncologist is incredibly stressful, and there is a much higher rate of depression, addiction and divorce among their ranks. Our pediatric oncologists were major chain smokers...it was the only way they could handle the stress.
Another possibility to add to Lilly's list...doctors sign "non-compete" contracts that spell out what they must do if they leave their current practice. Those contracts usually stipulate a distance in mileage where the doc has to locate their new practice. Also, these non-competes often refuse to let the docs take any of their old patients with them to their new practice - and - the doctor is prohibited from disclosing the reason why you cannot become a new patient because it makes the old group/hospital look bad. For example, one of our best breast cancer specialists (beloved by his patients) had to leave our hospital after he was caught having an affair with a nurse on staff. They both were fired, and per his non-compete contract, he had to move 100+ miles away. He was married to another doctor on our staff, so it was a big giant mess...nothing to do with the patients.

Whatever the reason, I am SURE that this doctor would keep you as a patient if he could...because someone with your radiant light and fighting spirit is a rare and beautiful thing! God Bless You.

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[> [> Re: Why doctors leave patients -- GoodWillTalking, 01:17:25 08/18/13 Sun [1]

While the doctor may have restrictions forbidding his ability to care for his former patients, I don't understand why he would tell her to send her records to him and promise to contact her the next day. If he knew he couldn't offer care to former patients, why did he do that? Why couldn't he have at least had a message sent to her, somehow, explaining that why he couldn't contact her? His behavior is very odd.

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[> [> [> Re: Why doctors leave patients -- Barb, 05:39:50 08/19/13 Mon [1]

I absolutely agree that those actions make no sense and only create a lot of pain and confusion. Maybe his personal issues/demons/problems were such that he couldn't be honest? Giving hope to a loyal patient is much easier than being honest. It was a very selfish thing to do.

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