July 2, 2008


Como havia prometido, hoje mandei o tal email para o Dr. Tim Pawlik, meu médico em Hopkins que é tão simpático quanto suas enfermeiras/assistentes são grosseiras. Combinação bem estranha.

Mas em mais um capítulo da minha luta por um tratamento digno aos pacientes -- não só de câncer, pois convenhamos, ninguém é "paciente" por opção -- resolvi tirar um tempinho aqui e preparar um email relatando o meu desastroso dia num dos mais prestigiosos hospitais do mundo. Só vendo -- ou vivendo -- para crer.

Vou postar o email original que acabei de mandar. Vamos ver se "Deus" responde.


Dear Dr. Pawlik,

I have been meaning to write you this message since I left your office on June 23, last Monday. As you may recall, I was the patient crying when you walked in. I would like to apologize for my distress but at the same time I thought it would be important to tell you what led me to it.

Since my first phone call to your office, contact has been extremely difficult. I do realize your assistants are extremely busy, but I would have appreciated the courtesy of having my calls returned.

I was asked to bring in all my exams before out first appointment, which I did promptly. I also submitted my specimen for new analysis at Hopkins. However, when I came to Hopkins for my consultation, I realized that you had not seen them, so a few days later, I called your office to make sure that they had everything. To my surprise, they asked me where I had dropped it. I had personally delivered everything to Cheryl, the same person who was asking me those questions. I froze -- what if my specimen had been lost? She said she could not remember but would try to find it and get back to me as soon as possible.

Weeks went by, not one phone call. I called her several times and left messages. Still no response. I called her again, finally got through. She said she was speaking to another patient and hung up. I never heard back from her.

So, since I was apparently the only person interested in finding the specimen, I decided to look for it myself. I called several numbers for the Pathology Department at Hopkins, gave them my information but they were not able to find my material either. I was very worried.

A couple days later I got a letter in the mail rescheduling my appointment from June 30 to July 7. Still no news on my specimen. A week later I got a big envelope from your office with all my exams enclosed. No note or anything. Days later, another letter, this time rescheduling my appointment for July 14. On the same day, I got a bill from my insurance company that said something about a Hopkins biopsy, so I gathered that the tumor had finally been found. Still no phone calls from your office.

I decided to call your office again to try and reschedule my latest appointment since I would be out of the country on July 14. I spoke to Shannon who said the original June 30 date was not available anymore and you would be out of the country on July 7. She scheduled me for June 23 at 3.00 PM. I asked her if my blood work and CT scans would be rescheduled as well and she confirmed it. I asked her if I should be at the outpatient clinic at 1.30 PM, as previously stated on my appointment letter and she said yes.

So at 1.30 PM, I checked in at Hopkins ready for my day and to my surprise my CT scan was scheduled for July 23! The receptionist tried to call your office but again got no response and decided to page you. Finally the receptionist was able to schedule me for a CT scan after my blood work. It seemed that we were back on track.

My appointment with you was scheduled for 3.00 PM. While my husband and I were in the waiting room, we met your 4.00 PM appointment, a lady from Virginia. A while later, another family comes in.

At 4.15 PM, the four o'clock lady gets called in. No explanation, no excuses. I just sit there and wait. When I ask the receptionist/nurse on the floor what happened, she says: "I know you were first, but the nurse asked me to change that." I feel terrible but there is nothing I can do. I get back to my seat and wait some more.

Finally, my name is called and I am escorted to the office. The family that had arrived at least 40 minutes after me also heads to another office. A little while later, again to my disbelief, I am bumped once more as I see you going into the other room.

I am still in shock and decide to ask Cheryl, who is in a room next door, what is happening. She is rude and shows no sympathy whatsoever. At first she denies I had an earlier appointment, when I tell her that the patient herself had told me what time her appointment was, she says there is nothing she can do. I ask her about the other patients next door that were seen before me as well. She barely looks me in the eye and admits she had made a mistake, but there was nothing she could do except to say that I would be next. And trying to get rid of me once again she asks: "Can I get back to work now?" I feel horrible as if I were a burden or if I did not have any right to be standing there. This lady still offers no explanation, no sympathy, no excuses, not even a kind word to try to make me feel better. I do realize emergencies happen all the time and I was not hurt because my appointment was two hours late. I was upset because of the way my whole case had been handled from beginning to end. I told her I just needed to know if the tumor that had almost killed me twice had returned. That was all. But again, she was incapable of uttering a single word of sympathy. No response, no respect.

So, Dr. Pawlik, for all these reasons I do not feel comfortable dealing with your staff. I fear the next time I need to call to schedule another appointment and have not done so because of that. I believe that they are not equipped or interested in providing me with the level of service I require. I know you see many more serious cases, but I feel that I should be treated with the same respect any of them deserves and that has not happened.

I am sorry this is such a long message but I thought you should know why I behaved the way I did last time we saw each other. At this point, I am still debating what to do. Your team was highly recommended by my doctors in Brazil but honestly, if this treatment is something I should come to expect from your staff, I may need to entertain the thought of looking for help elsewhere. I know I may be one patient, but I am sure I speak for many.

Thank you very much for your attention.


Danielle Duran Baron


Andréa N. said...

Excelente. Clara, educada e direta. O que aconteceu naquele dia eh inaceitavel. E se todo mundo deixar pra la esse medico pode nem chegar a perceber como a equipe dele trata seus proprios pacientes. Medico ocupado, se nao for muito perspicaz, acaba nao notando essas coisas tao importantes. Falou e disse.

Patrícia said...

Dani, e a primeira vez que comento aqui e achei o seu e-mail otimo. Eu estou com um probleminha de saude e estou adiando ao maximo a minha ida ao medico porque nao quero lidar com as secretarias e enfermeiras grossas e ignorantes. E ou nao e um absurdo?

Cristina said...

Muito bem Dani. Very polite e o fato de vc ter escrito 1 semana depois mostra que não foi fruto da emoção. O problema é que ninguém faz nada e fica esperando o outro fazer. Mandou muito bem de mencionar os outros pacientes que se calam. Minha ginecologista há 18 anos atrasava 2 horas, hoje quando atrasa meia hora pede desculpas. Sinal dos tempos.

Fernanda - www.fernandafranca.com said...

Gostei, Dani. Você foi direta e educadíssima. Ele precisa saber o que aconteceu naquele dia e que foi terrível. Tomara que as coisas mudem. Beijo grande. Fê.

Daniella said...

Querida Dani,

vc realmente é uma vencendora , realmente no brasil as pessoas tem medo em falar a palavra cancer.

Eu tive um cancer de estomâgo ano passado , precisei retirar meu estomãgo , estou me recuperando bem , mas ainda não fazem nem 1 ano da descoberta.

Gostei muito de saber da sua história