Anyone for Arrogance?

For those of you who’ve been following the story of my biopsy, you will remember that I had a recent contretemps with a private consultant surgeon. Yesterday I received his response to my letter.

I wrote to the consultant two weeks ago to let him know of my discontent following a recent check-up. My appointment was an hour late with no apology given, the consultation lasted all of five minutes and I was asked to pay €150 for this pleasure. To add insult to injury, the doctor removed only one stitch and asked me to return a week later to have the final stitch removed. I declined settling the invoice on principle and when I phoned the office the following day to enquire if a charge would be made for the final consultation, my call was not returned. I felt distinctly uncomfortable with this sort of treatment and considered it important to make my views known to the doctor. In my letter, I made the point that I was surprised by the charge considering the brevity of the appointment and the fact that I was being asked to return again. I also mentioned that his office had not returned my call. I never questioned the wisdom of his decision to ask me to return for such a minor reason although I strongly suspected his motive. My letter was polite and to the point.

The doctor telephoned me in person yesterday. I was told the following, very quickly and in no uncertain terms – “I am sorry to find that you do not appreciate my professional integrity. The delay you experienced was due to the fact that some consultations take five minutes while others may take up an hour – that is the nature of my practice (no apology given). I have to charge everyone who comes into my consulting room if I am to be able to continue to consult on these premises. (Voice begins to shake) It is a great pity that you do not respect my integrity…” Then the phone was rapidly put down before I could respond.

To put it mildly, I was gob smacked. I think the fact that this guy jumped to the conclusion that I was questioning his professional integrity, is very revealing. It’s obvious he considers himself to be above and beyond reproach. The bullying manner of his phone call was disgraceful for a man in his position – his intention was to silence me by denying any opportunity for discussion. Thankfully, I did succeed in butting in at one point to say that an apology for the delay would have gone a long way but this fell on deaf ears. I couldn’t tell if his quivering voice towards the end of the call was due to rage or upset – whichever – it was a sure sign that his arrogance had been dented. If he’d offered a simple apology I would have accepted it but he instead chose to take offence to my letter and to blame me for daring to question his arrogant behaviour. And to make matters worse, he expected me to sympathise with him for the expenses he incurs in running his salubrious private practice. Come on!

It gave me great pleasure to take out my own stitch and as expected, I’ve had no further need to see a doctor. I shall also very much enjoy recounting this tale to my GP when I next see him. He knows me well and knows that I’ve always enjoyed a good rapport with the many specialists I’ve had to consult over the years. For the doctor/patient relationship to work, the respect has to be mutual. Maybe I’ve just been lucky up until now to have experienced the care of some fantastic doctors who are a credit to their profession. I suppose there are a few bad apples in every cart and medicine is no exception. I find it disheartening to consider that this sort of experience is likely to become more commonplace if our Minister for Health gets her way to promote a 2-tier system of healthcare in Ireland.

I’ve no doubt that I’ll receive another invoice for the outstanding charge. After all, this jumped up arrogant git has to protect his integrity! If I do hear from him again I think I’ll do what my wise blog friend, Grannymar, has suggested and bill him for the extra expense incurred in the car park, thanks to his delay. It ain’t over yet, folks!

7 Responses to Anyone for Arrogance?

  1. Grannymar says:

    Yes, send him the bill for the parking and remind him that Bullying (mental, physical OR verbal) is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE! You would be within your rights to report him to the Police.

    PS Did you force him to lease Salubrious Rooms for his private practice? That was his choice, so subtract the rent money or ask which corner of the office you now own!

    Hey, I’ll come down and we could hold a sit -in at his Rooms! What ya think?

  2. Steph says:

    Grannymar, I think that’s an excellent idea! You would not believe the pretentious décor in this guy’s Rooms. It’s all gilt edged picture frames and furniture. The first time I walked in there I almost turned on my heels and walked out again. That was my only mistake 😦

  3. Grannymar says:

    Steph, over the years I have met them all! I stand up to them. Once I said to an ignorant young Bu**er ” If thats what a University Education does for you, I am glad never to have had the chance!” He certainly changed his tune towards me.

  4. Bean says:

    hah! Taking your own stitch out!

  5. Baino says:

    We’ve come to expect specialists to be late here. They allow a 15 minute consultation but often this goes way over. I think it’s greedy to do so. Although my contact with specialists is very minimal and I can’t fault the specialist who did my op. I received a follow up call from his secretary a couple of days after I got home, just to see how I was faring and an automatic appointment for the 3rd of Jan for a followup consultation. You were I think unlucky with this arrogant shit. They are mechanics, nothing more, nothing less, the only difference, there are human bodies in their workshops, not cars. They get pretty jumped up ideas about their self importance I think. Their receptionists, by and large are even worse “I work for a Doctor you know . . .” as if that makes them more important than any other administrator. They answer phones and do the filing for crying ot loud. Stick to your guns steph. He needs to know that you think he’s ripping off not just you but the system at large and that if he can’t afford his opulent surroundings, he needs to get real! Don’t you dare pay the bill . .he probably won’t pursue it anyway. Let him keep sending you reminders. Pompous shit! Oh, and happy Christmas! (had a little agro moment there!)

  6. baliwhat says:

    Ridiculous. I can’t believe he was so defensive- well, offensive too!! It would be hilarious if you sent him the bill for your parking costs. Do keep us updated if anything else goes down!

  7. […] blog for far too long will remember that I had a run-in with a certain consultant doctor over his arrogant behaviour. I have consulted more specialists than I care to remember but never before had I come across such […]

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