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Newbie ER experience, timeline from enrollment, tips for new IMHO

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In 30 days, from enrollment, I have had my initial appointment, a disappointment, then after some research and a few phone calls, I think I found the answer.  

See a social worker before your appointment if possible, or at a minimum ask to see the social worker ASAP. Ask a lot of questions, get a lot of answers. Have a list of what you want FROM the doctor, don't wait for him to offer anything, you will run out of time.

When my questions were interpreted as a complaint, I got to talk to a social worker and I was set up for the 9 referrals that I wanted to start off with. 

Two of them are actually set up as appointments now and another 4 or so show up on MyHealtheVet as signed off and referred, and another two are still waiting signatures. 

One of the ones I requested I wasn't going to get fast enough. So, instead of waiting for this Doctor to get back from somewhere, I instead went to the ER at the VAMC. 

I was seen in 5 minutes, I was asked to sit in the waiting room for another 5 minutes, and then seen again. I was told I would be contacted with a referral with a Dermatologist in a few days to a week to set up an appointment. 

This was yesterday, I was woke up this morning with a phone call to make an appointment for general surgery for lesions removal on Nov 13, or I could choose local care.  I let them set up the VAMC.  

I am trying to find out if the VAMC has MOHS.

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/what-is-mohs-surgery

I decided to give it a few days to see what pops up on the web, and if I get any more calls.  And to investigate who does the local stuff. Any tips appreciated. 

 

I wanted to tell NEW people searching to see if VA medical care is something to try or not.  I have not made up my mind yet, I am exploring, although I admit, I just took a deep dive in the far end of the pool. The infrastructure is there. As someone who has spent more than 16 weeks at Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN in the last 8 years, the VA has an impressive set of tools available, at least in my area.  I have NOT had enough of those tools touch me yet to decide if they know, and/or are willing to use them enough and/or appropriately.  I intend to find out in the short run. 

I held out the most important specialty, neurology to Mayo Clinic only, for this trial period. 

The biggest TIP: Prepare for the first appointment, KNOW what to ask for.  MY mistake was to let the Dr. Drive

I have hope, that things are changing on the Medical side of the VA for everyone. I am giving it a chance.

Edited by ToxicSgt73
correct date: spelling MOHS
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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

Good info!

I have no idea what MOHRS is... Others might...

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7 minutes ago, Vync said:

Good info!

I have no idea what MOHRS is... Others might...

Vync, 

I know just a definition, no more than that.  It is a surgery process, where a lesion is removed one skin layer at a time, you sit there until they remove and do the pathology while you wait.  Supposively its the best thing going. The idea is that ONE and DONE. The surgeon keeps removing layers until they are satisfied its all gone.

Looks like at minimum....and that is BIG minimum.....I will be leaving with at least a hole in both arms.

Some VAMC have this in place, some don't. 

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Much better than they did for me when they removed a lesion.  They used a punch.  I told the doctor he had gotten as far as he was going to get.  He asked me what that meant and I told him he was scraping my bone and I could feel it.  He was not happy to be talked to that way.  

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2 hours ago, vetquest said:

Much better than they did for me when they removed a lesion.  They used a punch.  I told the doctor he had gotten as far as he was going to get.  He asked me what that meant and I told him he was scraping my bone and I could feel it.  He was not happy to be talked to that way.  

vetquest, 

ouch...I misspelled the thing, its MOHS....

probably not much chance of it being available out here in the woods, I did a search, locally and not many civilians have this equipment and setup either. It looks like only a handful of VAMC's have it. 

I am thinking as long as it gets gone, I will hopefully be in better shape in the long run. Hope it worked out for you. 

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder
15 hours ago, ToxicSgt73 said:

Vync, 

I know just a definition, no more than that.  It is a surgery process, where a lesion is removed one skin layer at a time, you sit there until they remove and do the pathology while you wait.  Supposively its the best thing going. The idea is that ONE and DONE. The surgeon keeps removing layers until they are satisfied its all gone.

Looks like at minimum....and that is BIG minimum.....I will be leaving with at least a hole in both arms.

Some VAMC have this in place, some don't. 

Wow, that sounds both scary and effective

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