Dr. F. Cancels My Appointment Without Notifying Me

September 2008


I had a scheduled appointment with Dr. F. on September 26. The appointment was important for several reasons. I intended to address my eye infections, and other issues, with him. In addition, I had an appointment with a lawyer on September 29. The lawyer had agreed to take my case, on a contingency basis, provided that Dr. F. would agree to testify for me, in court. I had been led to believe that he would. All I had to do was confirm it.


The evening of the 25th, it dawned on me that I had not received my reminder call regarding the appointment. In the morning, I called and learned that the appointment had been cancelled on August 12—the day I had requested the letter from Dr. F. about my condition. At first, I believed that his assistant, K., had done this, out of meanness, as meanness was all I had ever gotten from her. Later that day, I was informed that it was Dr. F. who had cancelled the appointment. He said that we had agreed on June 27 that I would not be returning, as I would be going to the other hospital, instead. He knew we had never had any such discussion. If we had, my next appointment would have been cancelled on June 27, not the meaningful date of August 12.


I spoke with the administrator for the medical center ENT Department., R.C., about the cancelled appointment, and other problems, such as the appointment with Dr. S. that had never been scheduled. He told me he was going to make sure that I got the care I needed. Instead, he told me on the following Tuesday that I could not come back, and that he would not help me to find another ENT.


I told the lawyer that we could not do the case. My one-year statute of limitations would be up in one more month, so I had no more chances. Laws in Ohio had been changed in recent years, making medical malpractice a losing proposition:  http://www.mcandl.com/ohio.html. I had been lucky to get a lawyer at all. I had spoken to dozens, and all had lamented the fact that 80% of the cases that made it into court were being lost. Not only had the laws changed, but an advertising campaign had poisoned the minds of potential jurors, convincing them that all medical malpractice cases were frivolous. In this atmosphere, those lawyers who still took medical malpractice cases took only the worst, and the most cut and dried. “You pretty much have to have a dead child,” one said.


As I had no GP, I had no way to get an appointment with another ENT.

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