Trust Your Instincts

Fifteen years ago we moved into this house and I picked a family practice doctor near us. All was well. The doctor was good and his PA was fantastic. We went there for many years. Three years ago the fantastic PA died of pancreatic cancer and our family mourned for his loss, but we still continued to go to the same doctor’s office. Two years ago I called to schedule an appointment for one of my kids and was told I’d have to pay cash because they had a paperwork snafu with the insurance providers. It didn’t cost that much more, I was in a hurry, and finding another doctor for a single appointment seemed like lots of extra work. Then I arrived and was seen by the new PA. The doctor was nowhere around. When I asked, the receptionist said that he was away for a couple of months on a doctors without borders thing. Something didn’t feel right. I wondered about the legality of the PA seeing patients without a doctor in the office. I also wondered what sort of “paperwork snafu” would cause all the insurance providers to drop a doctor at once. When another appointment was necessary two months later, I called. They were still mid-snafu and the doctor was still out. I hung up and picked a different doctor. My new doctor is great. There are several doctors in the same office and I like all of them. So onward we went, though I did feel some sadness for abandoning the family doctor we’d had since my kids were babies.

Today I learned from a neighbor (who also went to that same doctor) exactly what happened. Two years ago his license was suspended because of an inappropriate relationship with a female patient. He wasn’t on a trip for doctors without borders, he was at in-patient facility to treat pornography addiction. When I google his name I can read the public record notes of his disciplinary hearings. He had another doctor checking his work, he had to have chaperons when he met with female patients, he was questioned about how he prescribed some strong pain medications. There was even discussion of how he should handle “flirty” female patients. The conclusion I’ve come to is that my family was never at risk. He really was a good doctor for many years, but then his friend and business partner died. Things changed and for awhile he was not behaving as doctors should. I was right to trust my instincts and jump ship. The disciplinary hearing notes show that he’s putting things back together and trying to learn from the experience. I wish him well. I hope he succeeds. But I’m going to keep going to the new doctors, Thanks.

In my googling I found this resource: It is a list of Utah doctors who have had disciplinary action taken against them. My former doctor is on this list.