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I have a big problem with my doctor retiring this year

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I am in the Oregon VA system, and before that was in the San Diego VA system. When I changed to Oregon several years ago, I asked for a primary care doctor, clinic,  closer to my home. I ended up with a doctor 75 miles away. meanwhile the VA opened a new clinic 20 miles from my home in Salem. MY doctor I have at this clinic further away is good to me. he has a back ground in one of my major illnesses, pancreatic and liver diseases. he treats me well, and tells me inside news on how the politics makes him do things he doesn't like because that is the way the VA is. So he tried his best to help me. Sometimes, if he is on vacation, I see another doctor at the clinic and he treats me horribly, I am scared to death after my doctor is retired later this year they will give me the horrible doctor.

I called the VA a few times and asked what happened to my request for a doctor closer to my home, and they told me I don't have to keep requesting it, I am on the list. meanwhile the new Salem clinic is growing fast with patients and services, I do go there often for blood draws, eye exams, etc. I feel like there s some type of system in place where someone in the chain decides which patients they will accept and see how bad of shape I am in and don't want me to be a nightmare on their watch and in their life. It is hard to believe that after 6 solid years my name is still in limbo for getting care much closer to my home. I need the hospital because I need specialty clinics, but most of the time I can get my care at the clinics.


Help!.. what can I do to insure I am not screwed and given to a doctor that is bad to me. Even if he wasn't bad, I still would rather go 20 miles than 75 miles on lots of heavy meds in pain and sick. What department can I talk to? how do I know if I am truly on the list I asked to be put on 6 years ago. I mean I know I am on the list, whatever that means, but I think my doctor is only going to be around maybe 6 more months. He said he could not longer work for an organization with so much pressure to do things that harms his patients. He has tons of experiences deeply cares about people and is very good. But life goes on. I need to avoid the other doctor, badly. I cannot emphasis the dilemma I am in unless I get moved tot he Salem clinic as I asked 6 years ago. If I need to I will ask them to use the hospital primary care, instead of the doctor that horrible to me. What a mess.


I have been under the VA care for 24 years, have lived in a hospital for 6 months as an inpatient fighting for my life. I have no choice I need meds to live. I need a doctor who cares. I would like to sign this 'in deep **it'.


** and if no one knows, or has bad news, lay it on, I have to figure this out, time is flying....


Thank you !

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I can appreciate your concern.  We can not "choose" our VA doctor except:

1.  If we dont like our current doc, we can request a change.  

2.  We can go to a different VAMC facility, BUT transportation may be at our own expense if the nearer VAMC offers a similar service.  

      Lots of people "hate change".  My ex was that way.  She hated it when Windows came out with a new version, she did not want to learn the new one, but keep the old.  There is a degree of safety in this, but also a drawback.  Example is food.  

     Some poeple eat the same food all the time.  Of course, some food is poisonous or bad for us, so that is somewhat safe.  

      Howerver the drawback is you "take out" new medical technology, by refusing to try anything new.  

      For me, I largely "embrace" change.  I know it will happen, whether I request it or not.  I could not prevent change even if I tried.  Still there are things which I dont like changed either.  Its inevitable that you change docs.  Docs retire, get fired, move, etc. etc.  Frankly, you need to "put on your big boy panties" and get over it.  You have little or no control if a doctor moves, gets fired or retires.  You just have to "play the hand you are dealt" as coach Knox used to say.  It just wont help to complain about the hand you were dealt.  

      If you detest the new doc, ask for a change.  Otherwise, you may find the new doc has new technologies and you could benefit.  

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let me boil this down.... 5 years ago I requested a clinic closer to me, and about the same time, a new clinic opened less then 20 miles away... I was put on a waiting list. Meanwhile I have to go to a clinic 75 miles away. The doctor there is retiring soon and I am going to end up with a new doctor anyways. The VA told me I am still on the waiting list 5 years later for the Salem clinic, near my home. They told me I don't have to renew it, I stay on the list. Meanwhile, I am scared to death of the problem if they give me the doctor that treats me horribly at the clinic that is run my current doctor who is retiring. I will never see this guy again if it ends up the va give s to him, I would rather die and get it over with, this guy had no compassion at all for a person in severe agony with my diseases like I have. This waiting list is a joke.... I have to either stay on this phony bogus list  (decades waiting list), to the clinic near my home, or ask to be put back in a clinic at the main hospital 80 miles way, across from the Washington border. As After my doctor is retired I am not going back to that clinic where doctor mengele is working.


You guys have no clue what is like to be going through a very bad flair as the acids eat through your guts as they dissolve your pancreas and liver (yes) that is a real thing with necrotizing pancreatitis. And to have this scumbag looking at you like you are just a wimp who can't take pain and is a phony asking for more pain relief. My doctor who runs the clinic confirmed that doctor doesn't have compassion for his sick patients. I tried to say this in the first post, but apparently I did not get through on how serious this is, at least to me and my family.

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Ok.  You wont be able  to stop your current doc from retiring.  However, you can request a change of physician if you feel that a doc is not treating you right.  (I have done that).  

If that is the only doc available in that medical facility your choices are as follows:

1.  Go to a different VA facility, even if it means driving further.  

2.  Get private care if you have insurance, or even if you dont have insurance.  If you are 100 percent disabled, you will be offered medicare.  Medicare opens up options outside of the VA.  I have a medicare advantage policy.  Are you on social security disability?  did you know you can get 100 percent VA and social security disability?   

3.  Contact the patient advocate at your VAMC and explain the problem as you did with me.  

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I have a couple things to try. I really wanted to get a doctor I asked for at the clinic I asked for 5 years ago, much, much nearer to my home. Again, I am on some waiting list for that clinic that opened after I put my request in for it. (6 years ago/my written request was actually fall 2013 for that clinic which opened Summer of 2014).

I have SSDI. I am not going to change to an outside doctor because it took 30 years of finding what works and what doesn't .

Maybe before my doctor leaves, he can put in a word for my old request (waiting list) for the clinic near my home. I trust he would try.

I have to use specialty clinics, my problems are extremely rare. 1:5,000,000 and 1:10,000,000 and combined astronomical. So, I am really stuck, because of having rare diseases. That is what screwed me up, my rare diseases were not understood by the non-experienced doctors who misdiagnosed me so many times. If I had more common issues it would help.


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