I do not know who to direct this letter to or to which supervisory body, but I am hopeful that someone will listen and that this does not continue to happen to others.
On Monday, May 06, 2013, I took my son to Dr. Angelica Arrindell's office to get his monthly asthma medication and to complete a medical recommendation form to clear him for camp this summer. There were no patients and the doctor was sitting in the waiting area, so she saw us immediately. I gave the doctor my son's medical file and she began to write the prescription for his medication. While she was writing, I also explained to her that I needed the camp medical form to be completed as well. Before I could retrieve the document from my bag, Dr. A. Arrindell stopped writing the prescription, sat back in her chair and began her tirade. She raised her voice and said she is not filling out any forms because they take too much time. I was immediately taken aback, but my reply was simple: "The same amount of time it would take you to listen to my son's lungs and take his blood pressure, which you don't do, you could fill out the form."
She attempted to concede by saying that all she is going to do is write on a sheet of paper that my son is in good health. Granted my son's asthma is under control, but I immediately thought, he is going to show up to camp in the woods of Minnesota with a bag of three different asthma medications and two allergy medications and the Health Office is going to accept a paper without any supporting documentation that my son is in good health? Dr. Arrindell then went on to say how people will not pay her $5.00 for the paper that she has to write the prescriptions on and that she has a business. Several months ago when I went to her office and commented about the different prescription pad she had, she seethed about this $5.00 fee she wanted to charge and that she received a hit to her mouth from a patient when she asked him or her to pay. Granted a doctor's practice is a business which she so clearly shouted, but if the doctor cannot meet the needs of her patients and starts ranting and raving about money, then Dr. Arrindell will have no patients; thus, no business. Dr. Arrindell never indicated that there is an additional fee to complete medical forms for camp and there is no sign in her waiting room either. The only thing she made clear was that it takes too much time for her to fill out.
I attempted to show her the form and said that I at least need her signature on it. She replied by saying how is she going to sign it if she does not know what is on it and she should charge a fee to fill out forms. If Dr. A. Arrindell had taken the opportunity to look at the form she would have seen that it was only one page that required the following information:
- Her name, address, telephone number and the date it was completed
- The reason the child is under the physicians care
- The treatment(s) the child must continue at camp
- The list of medication(s) the child should take to camp and a medical order for administration (a prescription)
- List any allergies and method of treatment
- List any limitations that may impact the child's participation in the program.
If I were asking for a service that was beyond the expected fee for a consultation, then Dr. Arrindell should have indicated that to me right away and I would have gladly paid. I stood up, took the prescription for my son's asthma medication, told her that since it is too much trouble for her to complete the form then forget it. As I was walking out the office, she had the temerity to yell out the following: "Go to the states and have a doctor there fill it out and see if they don't charge you." At which point, I stopped in the middle of the waiting room where another patient was sitting, turned around and threw back these words: "No, I'll just go to the French side and pay for it."
So Dr. Arrindell is concerned about time. Well I hope she considers this - she will have more time to sit in her own waiting room looking for two more patients to replace the ones she just lost today. Somehow this doctor has lost her way and forgotten her mission. I do not know what oath she took upon graduation from medical school but she has surely forgotten a part of the Physician's Oath : "I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity". Neither was present in her office that afternoon.