• Has anyone else felt that their treatment team has "dropped the ball" on occasion. I am frustrated with my medical oncologist

    Asked by Beaner54 on Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Has anyone else felt that their treatment team has "dropped the ball" on occasion. I am frustrated with my medical oncologist

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    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Not really, no. But then I am the central member of my treatment team, so if a ball gets dropped then that's on me.

      almost 9 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar


      Different people will have different expectations. I didn't see my onc at every chemo treatment either and I believe there were a couple of times during chemo that it was 9 wks between onc appointments. I'm not a real chit-chatty person by nature so for me to have my onc make an appearance or just ask how it's going for social rather than medical reasons was just something I never expected and so I don't see that as anybody having dropped the ball. And any time I had an issue or question, the chemo nurses were either able to handle it or consulted with my onc. to get it taken care of.

      In terms of information or questions, I simply don't allow people to blow me off if they have information I need. Communication on complex medical issues can be tough at best, so it is not unusual for a doctor to think they have provided an answer (in medical jargon) and a patient to feel they didn't get an answer or at least not one the was meaningful to them. But we as patient's are responsible for asking for the information we need and getting answers to our questions. The info and answers one patient needs may be quite different from what another patient needs and doctors are not mind readers. We need to make it clear to them what we need and what we expect. If after that, they still don't meet your needs and expectations then maybe it is time to find another doctor that will.

      almost 9 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Unfortunately, this happens more often than you realize. You have to be vigil in letting that doctor know what services you expect of him. You are paying for his services, not the other way around. If he cannot commit to you, then find an oncologist that will. Research your physicians well. Some oncologists do surgery as well, and so their office hours are limited. You might suggest to him that the months that you do not see him, you would prefer a phone consultation just to touch base with him in regards to your progress. Good luck.

      almost 9 years ago
    • LeeAnna's Avatar

      All of these answers are great. At the end of my day, after chemo, I replaced my medical oncologist. Do NOT settle. And be honest when you talk to him/her, they make not like your honesty, but it will invoke a response, mine did :) Great luck to you.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      Full trust in our oncologists and their staff is a big part of the healing process. For starters, it wouldn't hurt for you to get a second opinion from another reputable oncologist.

      almost 9 years ago
    • zaraide's Avatar

      My treatment team dropped the ball twice ... I switched teams just this past Tuesday because of it. My previous team was supposed to have scheduled my treatment and twice they failed to get it scheduled so no treatment was done. The first time they rescheduled it but the second time I just told them never mind and found a different oncologist. It's already stressful enough to come in for treatment and then to worry about them not getting it scheduled on time? I have to mentally prepare myself to go in and then for nothing to happen? Awful.

      almost 9 years ago
    • debsweb18's Avatar

      I did not feel like my medical oncologist was looking out for my best interest. I wouldn't get return phone calls from her office. There were a couple of other things that happened that I said to myself "THIS IS MY LIFE we're talking about!". After getting the recommendation by 2 of my doctors and physical therapist for the same MO, I changed to him. If you're not comfortable with your MO, don't settle.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Reeses' Avatar

      Yes about two years ago I think my OB/GYN dropped the ball. I was referred to her because of heavy menstrual bleeding. She ran several tests. Recommended a hysterectomy and referred me to an oncologist. The oncologist refused to see me because I had not been diagnosed with cancer. I went back to the Gyn, and she said she would refer me to someone else. After not getting a call to set up an appointment within a few weeks, I called the office back. They had no record of referring me to anyone. The Doc asked me to come in again. She wanted to run the same tests over again that she had done previously, saying that things could have changed since the last tests. This time she said I would not be a good candidate for a hysterectomy. I told her I wanted to get a second opinion. My insurance company sent me to another doctor. He acted like he was afraid to disagree with anything she had said. He did a very brief exam and said, if she wants him to assist her he would be more than happy to "assist". I got frustrated and felt like I was just getting the run around.
      A couple months ago I went to the ER with the extreme bleeding. They referred me to another OB/Gyn. This time the doc did a pap and biopsy. He told me he would probably do a D&C or another procedure that would stop the periods. When I went back to find out which procedure he recommended he told me they found cancer. He then referred me to an oncologist that specializes in the reproductive system. When I saw the oncologist he said this was not something that just developed recently.
      So YES I defiantly feel like the first OB/GYN I saw dropped the ball.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      Thanks to everyone who has shared their negative experiences with oncologists. I believe I have been the best advocate I can be in dealing with the chemo team YET unlike nancyjac, I get nowhere with them. Thankfully my gyn/onc and I have a good relationship and I am hoping to find a good medical oncologist. This may involve more traveling because there are few of them within a 60 mile radius of me plus they are all part of the same network.

      over 8 years ago

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