Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When (Duke) physicians insult patients - Dr. Raymond Wase

This post could apply to any medical facility.  


There is never ever ever a reason for a physician to insult a patient.  I have been insulted by Duke University physicians so many times that I begin to wonder why I even keep trying.


I do not trust Duke University Orthopedics and Duke Infectious Disease in terms of medical implants, joint replacements, metal fixators because there is a real possibility of bone infection (osteomyelitis).  Those two Duke Medical Departments put my dad through a living Hell  for one and one-half years before he died with severe osteomyelitis in January 2010.


By sheer coincidence I developed osteomyelitis in September 2010.  Duke Orthopedics tried to surgically resolve the infection on 9-13-2010.  The surgeon was Dr Michael Bolognesi and the surgery failed.  I was discharged with a completely open wound (and no explanation of why the surgery for  osteomyelitis failed) on 9-18-2010.


I communicated with Duke physicians (including Dr Bolognesi and the attending infectious disease physician) about additional treatment.  I received no sense of confidence that Duke University Medical could resolve my osteomyelitis any more effectively than they resolved my dad's osteomyelitis.  And I knew what dad's outcome was - death.


I traveled to Cleveland Clinic and met with a terrific surgeon who knew immediately what he would do.  The Cleveland Clinic orthopedic surgeon immediately made referrals for a plastic surgeon and infectious disease consult.  For the first time in many years I felt completely safe and confident with a surgeon as I faced a life threatening condition.


Cleveland Clinic expects to work with Duke.  The problem is that Duke physicians generally have way too big egos (except for one phenomenal cardiologist that keeps me at Duke) to play well with others.


I thought that it would be most appropriate if I obtained pain medications at Duke Medical in North Carolina since they had an established relationship with me since 1985.  They would know that I did not abuse narcotics/pain medications.


Now something odd is going on.  Duke Medical has no intention of alleviating my pain.  Today (the day before Thanksgiving 2010),  I broke down and went to Urgent Care at Duke Medical.  The doctor (Dr Raymond Wase) had seen me previously as I was still talking to Duke physicians about where I would have the surgery.


Dr Raymond Wase is an urgent care physician at Duke Medical in Morrisville, NC. During the abbreviated "appointment" I tried to explain to Wase that I had pre-op appointments yesterday at Duke and I am going to Cleveland next week for additional pre-op appointments.


Dr Wase was hostile towards me and certainly not interested in providing medical care.  He blocked the door so that I could not move my walker out of the office.  He said "You cannot just come into this office and expect pain medications."  I tried to explain that I was getting all of the pre-op work done and that I was having surgery in Cleveland.  Crickets.  


Duke's Dr Raymond Wase told me that I was told I could go to Duke Orthopedics anytime.  I told this doctor who obviously wasn't listening to me that I did not trust Duke Orthopedics.  I told him that I spoke with Dr Robert Wolfe at Duke Infectious Disease and that there was not a plan in place that I felt comfortable with.


Dr Wase then told me that I have "chronic pain." Really?  I have osteomyelitis.  I have dead tibia bone and tremendous pain in my legs and back that effective keep me bed-ridden.  The pain is not really "chronic."  If I don't have the surgery, I will die from this.  


Dr Wase told me "even good people with chronic pain can become addicted to pain medication."  Really?  I did not even get a script for pain medication on 9-18-2010 when I was discharged with the open wound!  It has been over 2 months since the discharge.  


I have never received pain medication from you.  In fact, I have only received 30+15+8 pain control pills since 9-18-2010 and those pills were prn 1-2 pills taken every 4-6 hours.  Dr Raymond Wase . . . is that really an indication that I am heading down the dangerous road of narcotic drug dependency?


Dr Wase told me that he was going to call Dr Wolfe and ask whether Wolfe thought my receiving additional pain medication was appropriate.  Okay.  Then Dr Wase left me in the room alone where I felt more and more like a criminal than a patient. 


I walked out in pain and tears about 15 minutes later.  Dr Wase was still on the phone "checking me out."


Dr Wase's comments to me were beyond insensitive.  


The comments were insulting.  Dr Wase was effectively telling me that he did not believe that I was in pain.  Either (1) Dr Wase thought  I was lying about being in pain or (2) Dr Wase is ignorant about the pain caused by osteomyelitis.  


Either way, Dr Wase is (IMHO) a poor clinician.

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