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My New Doctor


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Well to start off with everyone, Happy Thanksgiving.

I long to talk with someone, anyone about what happened the other day at the Doctors, but I do understand that when we post things, that the longer the post is, the less apt people are to read or respond to it, which is completely understandable. I just ask that someone bears with me for a sec and hears me out.

As you can tell from my name, I am in the army. I have been seeing a cardiologist for about 2 years where she was first trying to diagnose me and then trying to find the right treatment for me. In that course of time, I got pregnant and for 10 months we had to stop trial medications. Well she left the hospital about 2 months ago and a new cardiologist stepped in.

I made an appointment with this Doctor for the tuesday that just passed. I never imagined that the appointment would go as horrendously as it did. I long to go into full detail, but I will try to stay as relative as possible.

This man, this doctor first off called me in his office and neglected to pick up my medical records that were sitting in the box outside his door. He said "he didn't need them" He then began to tell me how POTS is usually only found in old people in their 80's and how he just didn't understand my previous Dr.s diagnosis. He was cold and cruel in the way he talked. He said "I am a disgrace to the military because I cannot deploy to Iraq" and that "I should have been kicked out months ago". I started crying and trying to explain to him my symptoms and what POTS was. He just said well you pass out and thats all I need to know. I explained to him that although I couldnt deploy, I made myself an asset to the military in other ways. (tons of volunteering and taking care of deployed soldiers families) I even helped a suicidal soldier by having her stay at my house for 2 weeks and mentoring her.

This Doctor just scoffed and said "well according to army regulations, you are unfit for military duty, end of story" I then explained to him that I knew I was unfit and that the only reason I was still in was because my previous doctor was going through trial medications to try and help me. I told him I would like to still try different medicines as my previous doctor had said there was still hope to find something that might work. He just laughed and said my previous doctor really didn't know what she was talking about.

As the tears were streaming down my face in utter disbelief, he just sat back and said "well there is nothing much more I can do for you, it is time you get out of the military" I then said that I needed to go through a medical board to determine disability and he laughed and said that that was ridiculous and instead I should just get out on my normal termination date (which is this January). I told him that I could not work a full time job in the civilian world and he laughed and said "well if you can work in the army this past 2 years, you can work out there" I tried so hard to explain to him that the company I worked for in the Army was very lenient on me and that there were other "sick" soldiers that worked there and that in the civlian world, I just wouldn't survive full time.

Basically he decided that I just wasn't worth his time. He said he would not help me and that there was nothing left to do or try. He then ushered me out of his office.

I cried the entire way out of the hosptial and all the way home. I just couldnt believe someone could be that cruel and honestly have no education on what POTS was or even try to learn. What kind of Doctor was he? I have kept this in the past 2 days and I just needed to get it out. Only people with POTS can truly understand how horrendous this experience was and I have no idea where to turn.

There are a few options to consider, I could always go to Patient Advocacy and complain about this doctor or I could just take what he says and realize that there is no more hope.

Someone, Anyone out there, please let me know what you opinions are on what I should do.

Thank you very much to anyone who read this long post, I do apologize for the length.

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This doctor will get his justice in the next life, if not in this one.

I would go to an advocacy group and tell them your story. I assume that you would like to get discharged with a disability, right? Because if not, you appear able-bodied and capable of working. Though I wonder if you somehow got your hands on your prior medical notes and showed them what KIND of job it was you could do and why, it might prove your case. I was part-time and reclining before I had to leave work. Apparently, you were not carrying a full-time load of work either, right?

I do not understand all the ins and outs, but I would try and see what options you have before "resigning."

Can you find out where you former cardiologist went, by any chance.

I'm so sorry you are being put through this uncertainty.

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I'm so sorry you had to go through that! :rolleyes:

There are lots of people out there who enjoy hurting others. Sometimes, those people even find their way into the medical profession.

I feel what that doctor did to you was sadistic. Anyone with a brain can see that POTS is debilitating and IS a real condition that is much more complicated than "fainting all the time". Beyond that, he seemed to like the idea of hurting you by saying you were a bad soldier...a rediculous assertion.

I'd reccommend fighting back. This cardiologist must have superiors that you can talk to, and I'd even see if you can't talk to a disability discrimination lawyer about what you went through. Even though you may not have a case, most disabilities lawyers are very helpful to speak to about any discrimination. I have a lawyer I call every once in awhile who gives me advice, even though I've only had to go to court once over discrimination. There are probably options for you within the hospital, like filing a grievance, speaking to his superiors (as I already said), speaking to patient relations or a combination of the three.

But the bottom line is that doctor shouldn't be seeing patients. He is unfit to care for people who are vunerable, since he obviously enjoys taking advantage of that vunerablitiy.

I really hope you start to feel better about the incident. Remember that you ARE a good soldier, and that you've done nothing wrong by being sick, HE is the one who is in the wrong, not you.



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J, I'm so sorry to hear about what happened. It's small comfort that I think every one here has had a similar experience, just not in the Army network. I do agree that Pots people get "it" and others really don't. Just about the time i think my husband gets it he surprises me with one of the ususal comments. He loves me tho and I know it.

Is there any way that your old dr (a she I notice) could write a letter on your case or go with you to a meeting? Do you have no choice of drs as alternative?(stupid questions but I have no military exp) I agreethat you have been doing more than your share. Bless you. If your unit understands pershaps one of your superiors could go to bat for you.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I do understand the sadness of feeling like your a psych case when the drs obviously not interested in his patient or learning more about medicine. He''s a jerk all the way around. Take care and try to relax and have a good thanksgiving is you can. I'm thinking of you! gwen:-)

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Not sure of all the ins and outs of the military and the rules BUT

1. I would ask for another doctor's opinion and someone not associated with him.

2. Can you try to locate the last doctor that you saw, is she in the civilian world/practice now?

3. I wouldn't reapproach him he has an agenda and that is getting rid of you so he's not worth the time of day and it sounds like he probably doesn't want to learn anything new anyway.

4. Talk to someone here about your rights - http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm

5. Think about suing the military if they do anything extra to get rid of you and denying you treatment sounds like a good start

6. You might have to go outside of the military medical system for help and second opinions

Stick with your guns (not literally :rolleyes: ) You're better educated about Dysautonomia then that jerk, stand by what you know and what you believe and get ready for a fight :angry:

Good luck and try to stay positive you have a lot of support here.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Dear Jaime,

I'm so sorry that doctor put you through all of that. He was wrong to do so. POTS is very real, even in those who are young. I can't think clearly enough to give advice, but it looks like you've already gotten some good advice. Thanks for sharing your story with us. We care about you. Hang in there and let us know how everything turns out.


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:rolleyes: File a complaint, if they make you go, go out kicking and screaming!

Would be great if you could get in touch with your former cardio. That might help a lot with your case.

So sorry you were treated so badly. Once again, bedside manner 101 was not on the curriculum and obviously not up to date knowledge either.

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I am sorry you had to go through what you did. I too would file a complaint. it is unfortunate that "doctors" are so ignorant to so many things in this world of ours. just because of medical degrees and mis-spent money at high priced school dont expect treatment when you walk into an office, EVER! do us all a favor, educate your self!!!!! be your own doctor.....

go to his superiors and file a complaint, if you post his name on here i will help you find his superiors, i promise!

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Douglas, you're new here, so I just want to give a reminder--naming names of doctors when you've elaborated on negative experiences here is not permitted on the forum. It puts the author of the post, and this forum at risk of being sued for defamation (one can be defamed even if what you're saying is TRUE).


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In my moment of being the admin, I neglected to say my piece about what happened to you.

I hope that you will find the strength to fight back. From what I understand about military procedures, it's one of your physicians has to start the medical review board process. If this particular "doctor" is going to block that process, I believe you have a few options available-

one is to go to this person's department head and respectfully request a change in doctor and the beginning of your medical review board process. Unfortunately, if you do have POTS, staying in the Army long term is an unlikely outcome, yes? --although they haven't tried meds on you-- just keep in mind what the ultimate outcome is likely to be for you and be ready to state your case in writing.

If this doc is the head of the department, then you can go to the medical chief of staff to do the above...

and the hospital ombudsman (at least this is what it's called in the Navy) might be able to help you through the process--however, it's the medical department staff who need to work with you either to find treatment that makes you fit to serve -- or if after tx, you're still unfit, then they initiate the medical review board proces.


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Thank you very much everyone for reading through the long post and hearing me out, as well as offering alot of useful information and ideas.

From what I get from you guys, I am hearing that I should fight this doctor, which is a bit scary, but it needs to be done.

I am very grateful for all of your support, I cannot express how much it really means, so thank you.

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GO talk to your CO and complain about him. have some one hiring ranking than you and that has witnessed your episodes to go to the doctor with you every time. trust me. that is what i had to do. i was in the marine corps and i was treated the same way to begin with. then my CO and the other officers in the company got involved and i was sent to NNMC and then diagnosed with POTS. i am medically retired with full benefits receiving 50% of my base pay. i am going to my VA disability appointment next month. i will let you know how that turns out. he is wrong about that 80 years old thing completely! i would love to educate this donkey! sorry. where are you going to the doctor at? have you been to WRAMC? you can get TAD orders if you haven't already been there. get a case manager! you can get one through the hospital and he or she will make you appointments and all of that.

FILE A COMPLAINT!!! get your chain of command involved. i am so serious about that!!! the army will help you if they are anything like the marine corps. DO NOT GET SHOVED AROUND!!! never let him go that far again. is he a civilian or officer? you might be able to get him charged with something. you do not deserve that and that is not how things are supposed to be. do the medical board. limited duty, and TDRL is what they gave me. TDRL is temperary disability retirement list. they are giving me 5 years to get better. if within that 5 years i get better i have to go right back to active duty but if i do not then i go to PDRL which is permanent disabilty retirement list.

the only reason i agreed to get out was because i knew that if i didn't i would get me or someone else killed. you are not a disgrace. have him tell that to one of the solidiers that got blown up and are now unfit! the army messed you up. they have to take the blame if they took you in. they will say that it is their fault. the marine corps does with me. i am so mad right now. i know what you are going through. i am reliving it right now. GET YOUR CHAIN OF COMMAND INVOLVED!!! thats all i can say.

LCpl Price, Sarah Dionna USMC Ret.

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Sarah, thank you for you input. I'm only familiar, distantly, with Navy procedures. Also, NNMC is a great facility and is where all military branches often send complicated cases.

I wish you the best--get someone (or a few!) involved in helping you.


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i lived at NNMC for 8 months and i still go there for appointments since i have been seperated. they do have great caring doctors. if at all possible try to go to NNMC. request DR. HAIGNEY in cardiology. he studied POTS for me and he even bought a book about it. he may try to send you to mayo or nih at the military's expense. he did send me to nih. he was going to send me to mayo in rochester but decided not to because of the cold weather.

dionna :(

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i completelyagree with dionna, even though i have no experienceof the army.

I am so mad for you but you have to fight this if not for you then think how you'd feel if he treated someone else this way.

get whoever is superior and supportive to help you. it's not easy - i took my last employers to court for discrimination - but you can do it.

behind you all th way

love becks (or as my ma calls me when i'm in this mood, Rocky!)

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