• Is it normal for an oncologist to tell you that if i do not hear from him/his office in a week to then call?

    Asked by Merrilda on Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Is it normal for an oncologist to tell you that if i do not hear from him/his office in a week to then call?

    This is regarding having a biopsy scheduled. he made me feel like I was not improtant enough or maybe i am too far gone, who knows. Is upsetting to me and I am wondering if I should seek another doctor.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Yes it is very common especially regarding 3rd part scheduling or test results. The doctor's office's trigger to call you is the facility/doctor doing the biopsy contacting your doctor's office. If they don't contact your doctor's office then they won't contact you. Most system's (automated or manual) flag the need for action based on something that happens to trigger it, not something that doesn't happen., Hence you are the trigger for something that doesn't happen. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. Your doctor's office gave you an exact time frame and an exact instruction. Rather that making your feel unimportant, this should make you recognize that your are important and the center of your own treatment, and your doctor wants to be absolutely sure nothing falls through the cracks, and he is including you in that process.

      Get use to that. I think one of the most important lessons and realizations on this cancer journey is that YOU are the central player in it, you are the pivot point, your own advocate.

      about 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      In my experience, the larger facilities adopt this practice. At the smaller places like my primary care office. The Dr. there calls me with the information, plus the surgeon that done the biopsy. I got called from everyone. At the larger Hospital in Nashville, I had exactly that happen. Someone called to ask if I had been told yet.

      about 8 years ago
    • Jayne's Avatar

      Yes, i agree with the comments below. You most certainly will have to get used to taking control, following up and being persistent when that's appropriate. You are very vulnerable right now, so it's understandable that you want to feel deserving of some basic attention, I just don't think it happens anymore, sorry to say. I've learned to become much more vocal these days and gave up waiting for the docs to reach out to me, it's quite the opposite in reality. But it does teach you some new skills....if that's any consolation! You can apply the same principles to the insurance company.

      about 8 years ago
    • Moonflay's Avatar

      My oncologist normally calls me but has said every time that if I have not heard from them to just call. As said before, it acts as a trigger and they don't want you to feel stress, a simple call will let you know either what you are waiting to hear or that they too are still waiting results. It took 5.5 weeks and 6 pathology tests for my first biopsy results to come back..I called, they called , we all called, lol.

      about 8 years ago
    • Merrilda's Avatar

      One of the reasons I felt he was not interested in my case is that when he would ask a question, he would cut me off or not let me answer. I was barely able to get out 1-3 words each time. I will be calling today since it has been a week and I have heard nothing. It doesn't help that the very few reports/reviews of this oncologist are not very good.

      about 8 years ago
    • Paul-a-Sir-5-4's Avatar

      Be your own advocate and tell them what you want. If they can't or won't work with you, find another doctor. I had to and the second doctor has been MUCH better.

      about 8 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      I now live in a place that does not have good specialists. I ended up flying myself to the nearest place for diagnosis. If you don't trust your oncologist to listen to your concerns you MUST look for someone who will listen to you concerns! Its your life in their hands, you have to be able to trust that the doctor is someone who can be relied on completely. In regards to having to call back I have learned the hard way the the polite squeaky wheel (especially if you keep track of your own needs) GETS WHAT SHE NEEDS.
      I have also learned to keep copies of test results, records older than 10 years do not have to be saved.

      about 8 years ago

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