December 28, 2015
“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”
– Terry Pratchett
It has been a rough two months. I finally got a great gig going, evened out some of the medical issues I’ve been plagued with since my ex-doctor threw me under an entire fleet of buses, and then next thing I know, my position at work gets “dissolved”, and I’m being fired by text.
Granted, it was a very nice text, but still… yeeouch.
So after almost nine years of solid semi-dependable employment, I find myself with updated resumes in hand, looking for work, and finding zilch. On top of that bubbling cauldron of annoyance, my 1 ½ year old ASUS laptop is back in the shop suffering the same issue I just paid to have fixed, forcing me to once again, go back to my 14 year old IBM Thnkpad to help save the day.
I’m seriously thinking of buying her some bitching new stickers as a way to say thank you. As you can see from the photos, she’s a clunky retro piece of tech, but she still kicks ass. All that aside, my last piece detailing the travails with my ex-doctor hit home pretty hard, much to my sheer delight. If there is one thing I just love doing, it’s ripping the mask off of the incompetent and the untrustworthy, and exposing them to the light. Sadly, they don’t turn into powder or an ashen corpse ala the Blade movies, but it’s still fun nonetheless.
Because in reality, that’s all I can actually do, as evidenced by this recent photo of an Arizona doctor learning about a complaint being filed against them. Granted while this doesn’t depict my doctor, it does*cover her attitude rather succinctly. *[allegedly.]
More on this to come, but let us pick up where I last left off- the insipidly decorated offices at Paradise Family Medicine, where my ex-doctor, one Gypsy Faith Paar, inflicts her craft upon an unsuspecting and wholly trusting populace. As you may recall from my last narrative chronicling my being discharged from “Dr.” Paar’s care, I found myself at that time in utter mental disarray, due to her inexpressive and indifferent attitude.
The only way I could accurately describe her so-called bedside manner, would be to regrettably violate some tenet of Godwins Law, which is described as such: “Godwin’s law (or Godwin’s rule of Nazi analogies) is an internet adage asserting that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches- that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.”
Now, in the spirit of all-inclusive fairness, I would say that comparing *Mrs. Paar [* As stated in my last screed, I’ll reserve the title “Doctor” for those who actually deserve the accolade from this point on] to Hitler are not only a stretch, but also greatly insulting overall. It’s a ridiculous assessment at best, and completely slanderous at worst.
However? I am pretty comfortable in assigning her an equality to that of some of his lesser subordinates, if truth be told. And no, I’m not referring to Dr. Josef Mengele, I’m thinking more along the lines of his college roommate, Herschel. Nice enough guy, just not really qualified to practice medicine, so much as inflict it.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have, let’s call it a “thing”, for the darkness of human nature. When I was younger, I seriously wanted to be a criminal profiler- you know, like William Petersen in the 1986 film Manhunter, written and directed by Michael (TV’s “Miami Vice”) Mann?
[Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZd4YxCeODU ]
If one were to peruse my personal library at my home, they would see an expansive collection of the types of books expected in the lair of a professional artist and writer- tomes on the history of art and it’s creators, art techniques, artist biographies, and the like are all well represented. But as with most things concerning the human experience, there is also a dark side, and it just fascinates the dickens out of me, leading to my fairly dense collection of case studies, journals, and narratives regarding the histories of the criminally disturbed mind.
Thank whatever deity you revere that one can’t be judged solely by their nighttime reading selection or browser history, as my excuse of “I am a writer after all” would most likely fall upon deaf ears. And if I were to have my personal eccentricities factored in, my hide would surely be as tanned as that of George Hamilton on a Spanish beach.
So, where’s this train of thought going, you ask, and what does any of it have to do with my former doctor? Trust me- it’ll make sense in the end, as my account will touch upon some of the same topics covered in my hobbyists library: arrogance, narcissism, and a complete lack of empathy.
All the classic defining hallmarks of the egotist, or in this specific case, an individual who while failing the criteria to merit a fishing license, was somehow granted the privilege of obtaining a medical one. As a Creative, I’ve always ascribed to the concept of whenever you are asked to do something outside your comfort zone, always say, “sure I can do it”, and then go do some research on how to actually get it done.
While this works great for creative endeavors, I wouldn’t recommend it for anything involving the mechanical or the medical, but that common sense approach hasn’t stopped my ex-doctor from charging ahead, Alien chest-burster style. To quote the late Kurt Vonnegut:
“If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.”
And where my former physician is concerned, her aptitude at half-assing her job is akin to Donald Trump’s ability at alienating every gender and race on planet Earth within five minutes of him speaking his mind. Sure, it’s an impressive skill-set, but it’s really not something one should brag about, in my humble opinion. My ex-doctor on the other hand however, still maintains that same level of delusional hubris in my modest estimation, and her supercilious quirk literally, as well as figuratively, nearly crippled me in the short term.
But as usual, I’m putting the bleach way ahead of the bottled blonde, so let’s get right into it.
When we were last together, I had just been icily informed that I probably shouldn’t make plans to catch the upcoming Captain America movie, as my kidneys and liver were failing, and according to the peroxided authority that was then standing before me, I was, and I quote: “dying before her eyes”, which she as a physician, wasn’t going to have on her [ha, ha, wait for it…] “conscience”.
How dare she. I didn’t sit through the dreck that was Iron Man 3 so that I could fall behind in regards to the Marvel Universe. So after being talked off the ledge by the practices’ receptionist, I then spent another 45 minutes sitting in my car in the parking lot getting my metaphorical s**t together, as one is wont to do.
After a few hours spent reestablishing my equilibrium of calm, my hysteria was slowly replaced by an emerging sense of pure white-hot anger- there’s a way to deliver horrendous news like that, and a merged giggling condescension is definitely not the way to do so, just in case anybody asks.
Trust me on this.
if I were to be brutally honest, the first thought I had as to how to handle said sense of fury was to drive back to her office, get her alone in a room, and start punching in the middle of that conceitedly smirking face until I could see the first rays of daylight radiating on the other side. Now for the very public record, I would never engage in, or advocate for, any form of violence directed at a woman or women in general, as it’s a barbaric response to the situation, no matter how you try to justify it.
if I ever feel the need to “hurt” a woman, I’ll do it in the most direct and mature way possible- I’ll make sure she sees me walking out of a shower wearing nothing save my official Motorhead shower cap and Britney Spears water wings.
My ex-fiancé is still going to therapy, and that all happened when I actually had abs. But considering that I’m also not allowed to launch people using a trebuchet, it did, at first, seem like the most practical and workable solution within my grasp. Fortunately, the fact that I was 30 miles away during the rush hour and way too pretty for prison, helped remove that gratifying option from my bag of go-to tricks. Instead, I decided to take the high road and do what I’ve been told reasonable and mature adults do- that is, complain to a higher up about what I felt was an unconscionable breach of ethical behavior.
I think you already know what the next joke I’m going to make is, as you’ve all seen it before- the one where I note that my sense of optimism isn’t pulling it’s weight? Yep, that’s the one, and it’s still true, now more than ever. My birthday is coming up soon, so if anyone wants to buy me a new one, feel free- I don’t even care what size or color it is, as long as it actually works.
As some of my more loyal readers may know, a doctor’s office isn’t like your typical business- the options that exist for you to complain about your local Fillabertos, really doesn’t carry over as to where the medical profession is concerned. You really only have two options when it gets right down to brass tacks, and those are these: the office manager for the practice, and BOMEX*. *[Board Of Medical Examiners]
I’ve noted dealing with both entities in blogs regarding my previous doctor, [See the Archive] and not-too-surprisingly, zip has changed in regards to the current situation- both place the protection of the doctor long before the safeguarding of the patient, and both actively whitewash the issue for the benefit of the practice to the detriment of the public that filed the complaint in the first place.
And both in the long run, present as morally bankrupt.
Whether you believe it or not, I do know what you’re thinking: “Bob Ross called, and he wants his broad brush back”- and normally, I would agree with you. On the surface, it would seem that I am issuing a rather sweeping edict in regards to a particular profession, but I assure you that as someone who’s become very intimately involved with the bloated narcissism that masquerades as healing in this country, I’m being almost chillingly diplomatic.
Look at it from this POV- if you graduate last in your high school class, they’ll most likely call you an Assistant Manager at Arby’s, but if you manage to graduate last in your medical school, they’ll still call you “doctor”- puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it? Now, I’m not suggesting even for a moment that Mrs. Paar was in the lowest percentile when her degree was optimistically handed to her, but given my experience in regards to her personal ethic, I would hazard a guess that she also didn’t win any prize ribbons in the bedside manner segment of her med school contest.
On the upside, I am pretty confident that if her school had ever offered an overbilling for services actually rendered curriculum, she would totally ace that, and as we all know- that’s really the main concern for most doctors in this country- getting paid first, caring about your actions later, if at all. And when you know your misconduct is going to be sheltered from the prying eyes of the public via your employer and fellow colleagues, it’s easy to see why most physicians are so utterly arrogant.
If I knew for certain that my actions wouldn’t be held accountable, I’d probably be drag racing through Scottsdale Fashion Square on a daily basis. Wearing nothing but glittery combat boots and a smug sense of invulnerability. It’s no stretch of the imagination to extend that worldview to my ex-doctor. Minus the boots that is- she’s always struck me as more of a practical wedge kind of gal.
Back to the action.
So as I mentioned, I decided to call the practice and issue a complaint, via Teresa O’Brian, the office manager, which in turn, led to a 45 minute phone call wherein I rehashed what I felt was a severe, if not obvious, lapse in ethical behavior. Pitching square down the middle, she neither confirms or denies absolution on behalf of Mrs. Paar, but she does seemingly agree to my terms that I want resolution within the week.
Cue that defective sense of optimism again, it’s working overtime. While drunk. And speed-balling meth through it’s eyes. Noting that Mrs. Paar recused herself as my doctor without providing me a referral to another one, she states that she’ll “take care of it”, an assertion that I note isn’t actually her duty to handle, since it was under Mrs. Paar’s purview, but it was appreciated nonetheless.
The promised email with the referrals arrives the next day, and is directly responsible for the choice of my current doctor, who so far, kicks ass in ways Mrs. Paar couldn’t begin to touch with her glacial indifference- but I’ll highlight this disparity further down the narrative. As I await the official response from Theresa regarding Mrs. Paar’s behavior, I draft the following email as a follow-up and send it two days after filing my complaint:
“Mrs. O’ Brien-
Thank you for giving me the info that should have been the responsibility of my former doctor- I do appreciate it.
Regardless of your professional actions, I am still infuriated at the callous disregard displayed by Mrs. Parr in reference to her dismissal of me as a patient. I say “Mrs. Parr”, because the title of “Doctor” should not be bestowed upon one who’s bedside manner is as warming and comforting as an ice floe populated by rabidly carnivorous grizzlies.
Everyone I have spoken to regarding her actions have been universally appalled, (the phrase “WTF?” being used more than once) and if this person is considered a viable asset to your practice, I feel sorry for your soon to be diminished client base
Per our conversation, three options remain open to you in regards to how you wish to rectify this situation. Please feel free to choose accordingly as to what you feel is in your best interest.
No matter what route you wish to eventually pursue, please be advised that I WILL be filling a formal complaint with BOMEX nonetheless- not that they’ll actually do anything, and not that this complaint will ever be made public, since it’s doctors covering for other doctors, but at least I’ll have the satisfaction of not knowing what (if any) actions they’ll take, since I as a patient, aren’t allowed to know the outcome of the complaint I file under their guidelines.
I wish my industry worked like that. It must be nice to have made sure the rules protect only your interests while still getting to treat people like the insignificant cash cows your industry now likens us to.
So you can relax. In the end, no one save outside my vast circle will ever know that your office has employed a heartless, gutless, and I might add, highly condescending practitioner of medicine.
Hopefully, her “practicing” medicine will eventually lead to that glorious day where she’s actually competent at it.
In closing, I thank you again for all your help. As I said- it is truly appreciated.
Wayne Michael Reich
PS: Extra kudos go out to your tall brunette receptionist who unlike your doctor and her just as thick nurse, seemed genuinely concerned about my mental state after Mrs. Parr’s indifferent delivery of potentially devastating news.
If I had attempted to leave in such a highly agitated state, I’d probably have wrapped my car around an SUV- so please let her know I really do appreciate her taking the time to “talk me down” and not charging me for the six minute “consultation” that Mrs. Parr felt she earned.
Your receptionist is a rock. Mrs. Parr should crawl back under hers.”
See? Direct. Appreciative. Giving credit where it’s due. And ultimately, chock-full of warm fuzzies. I’m telling you, when my days of blogging and writing a magazine gig are done, I’m so writing a kids book. Maybe something with a dragon. Or Zombies. Or zombie dragons. I smell a Newberry Medal!
Un-surprisingly, It’s also kind of well known that I’m really not good at biding my time in regards to waiting on the resolution of simple issues that I feel should be rectified quickly, and this situation was no exception. One thing that had been bugging me in retrospect was how smoothly Mrs. Paar had kicked me to the curb with nary a trace of emotional upset on her part, and with both time on my hands and hi-speed internet access at my disposal, I decided to take my gut instincts out for a drive, and see what the ol’ Google had to say about my most recent of the exes.
Did I ever mention that sometimes my gut succeeds where my optimism fails?
In short, I did find more than a few things. Not the mother lode by far, but enough nuggets to let me know Mrs. Paar isn’t exactly walking around with a spotless reputation. Naturally, I felt the need to share these tidbits with Theresa, since as we all know by now, resolving problems is kind of my niche, and since I was [according to Mrs. Paar] “dying before her eyes”, I was under the impression my time walking this ball of mud was growing short, and I really didn’t want to die with an unfinished “to-do” list.
Or an undeleted browser history. All kidding aside, don’t forget to clear it. Your family will thank you. So, a mere two days after I sent off my first electronic missive, I cast forth this:
Just thought you’d find this interesting.
These are public reviews of Mrs. Parr’s professional demeanor. As I noted to you during our phone conversation, she seemed rather “smooth” in how rude she was regarding her recusing herself as my doctor. Seems I’m not the only one that feels that way.
Unprofessional behavior, misdiagnosis, and a frosty haughtiness do not a doctor make.
Here’s the first one:
Uncaring by Patient who will not return on Jun 5th, 2015
“So if you’re looking for a practitioner who brings you back a half hour after your appointment and keeps you waiting another 15 mins while she discusses her own baby crying at night with the other staff,who wants to get in and out as quick as possible, who thinks it a burden to prescribe your meds,whose staff will NOT return calls, and who personally won’t return a call either, then you’ve come to your dream physician. For me it was a nightmare and I am a health professional. My dog gets better care at the vet.”
Yee-ouch. Here’s another one:
Feb 13th, 2015
“Not at all a fan of Dr. Paar. 100% agree with other reviews that she did not listen to my issues I came in for, nor did she even pretend to care. Moreso made me feel bad about my issues. Instead she “diagnosed” me with several other illnesses that are not related to what my visit was for whatsoever and truly made me feel emberassed and discouraged for coming to see her in the first place. I will never put time or money into her care again. Word of advice, if you are needing a family doctor specialist, very easy to go see someone else or if need of a specialist, find it yourself instead of wasting your time here.”
Dang. That was cold. But this? Wow:
worst DR I’ve seen in my life by upset pre-med student on Nov 26th, 2013
“Nice lady, but this is not her field. She absolutely does NOT deserve to have her license, a disgrace to the medical community I’m sorry. I went in for physical and she diagnosed me with a heart murmur at the age of 20, I went to a cardiologist to spend hundreds of dollars on tests for them to tell me my paperwork was “boring” and nothing was wrong. Again I made the mistake to see her, she tested me for STD’s which was irrelevant for my reason going to her. S
he told me I tested positive for IgG herpes 2 and had me leave the office in a panic, telling me I have herpes. I immediately made an appt with my gynecologist and showed her my results, she told me “we haven’t tested for this in years, 96% of the population tests positive for these antibodies. Can only test for herpes if theres lesions”. Ive NEVER had a lesion in my life , and Dr. Paar “forgot” to mention that to me. Thank God I’m attending medical school next to replace these noctors . I will not be seeing her again, anyone else is more than welcome to see her and pay a 25 dollar co pay to get scared and misdiagnosed.”
That felt oddly familiar for some reason. Here’s two oldies but goodies:
Dec 3rd, 2012
“I’m surprised that Dr. T with his great reputation in our community has decided to bring on a person like Dr. Parr. She is short with me every time I go in to see her and will never try and fix an issue or illness herself. She always refers me out. She will make you wait 45 min. Then give you only 5 min. Of her time! She is rude and a waste of time and money!”
Oct 22nd, 2012
“Im a healthcare professional myself and was horrified at the way I was treated, I overheard her snapping at the staff and waited over an hour past my appt 45 min of that wearing see thru paper, that was fine as I assumed that she had a patient she needed to spend extra time with – but when she got to me she was not nice and told me right away that she didnt have time to discuss my severe depression at a well women check, the exam should cover all areas of concern and I had to really work myself up to ask about medication for depression and she made me feel horrible and was very demeaning in the way she spoke to me, She made me late for my patients but even with being severly depressed and running late I was able to make my patients feel as tho i cared about their issues and not only to I assess all body systems as well as depression at each visit I am kind and compassionate even when Im running behind schedule.”
By the way, this took me all of five seconds to unearth this information. Why wasn’t this a concern for your hiring manager? I’m thinking BOMEX will definitely take an interest in my complaint now, as there seems to be a rather clear pattern of behavior here. But more interestingly, what else is out there to be found once I really start digging? This is just ONE website- there are literally scores of others I’m going to start scanning as soon as my schedule permits.
I’d suggest you do the same, and give serious thought to terminating her employment before her callousness and incompetence lead to a patient either dying or pursuing the wrong course of treatment due to a misdiagnosis. Speaking of which, there is also one curious thing I was thinking of last night while testing my blood sugar, which oddly, is well within normal parameters for the last three weeks despite Mrs. Parr’s insistence that I was “dying before her eyes”, and that is this:
If I’m so sick, [REMEMBER: I’m “dying”, according to your practicing med student] then why oh why did she not offer any follow-up advice, like oh, I don’t know… something along the lines of:
“GET YOUR DYING A** TO A HOSPITAL!!!” or even, “Get a new doctor ASAP!” You know, like a DOCTOR OF MEDICINE is supposed to do?
Does she think the Hippocratic Oath is a Disney character?
I’m thinking the answer here is “yes”, but let’s not quibble over her inability to follow through on the several years of specialized training that obviously didn’t take. Even if this type of behavior occurs randomly, one outburst is still one too many, and mark my words- she will eventually harm her patients, whether it is by her indifference to their problems, or by her misdiagnosis causing them to seek out treatment that may eventually do more harm than good.
But hey- I’m an ex-patient, so my opinion probably doesn’t matter for much in the long run- after all, I am “dying”, so maybe it’s the fear of the unknown that’s talking.
Who knows? In closing, I look forward to your decision in rectifying this matter come Monday, and I wish you a relaxing weekend.
Wayne Michael Reich”
Once again direct, but this time around, I added a scoop of helpfulness, and who wouldn’t appreciate that? Mrs. Paar maybe, but you’d think her office manager might take an interest. As I’ve noted numerous times before, it seems that in every office there’s always a lackey whose man job is to mop up messes as a means to keep said issue/s out of the public’s eye. While this human Sham-Wow is not always an indicator of unethical corruption, it’s definitely one of the things to look out for, and Theresa is hardly the exception to this rule.
True character (in my opinion) has always meant that you tackle problems head on and in full view- a naïve approach, to be sure, but in the long run, honesty is always the best policy, a concept that allegedly strikes both Mrs. Paar and Theresa as completely alien. Despite the worrisome issues I discovered using the simplest search parameters, neither Theresa or the two doctors who own Paradise Family Medicine [Dr. Colume and Dr. Katz] ever addressed them directly. In fact, they completely ignored them altogether. While I do understand the legalities of why they’d remain mute in regards to the topic, I would at least think that enough red flags had been raised to at least warrant an investigation past the obligatory lip service phase.
[See: “sense of optimism” See…. Oh you get the joke, already.]
Whoa, is it really 2 AM?. Looking at the old word count thus far, I see I’ve hit exactly 4,534 at this point, so I think it’s time for a break. And when we come back…
I fire my sense of optimism and replace it with sarcasm, deal with a short bus Renfield, realize that two wrongs not only make a right, they also validate a hunch, discover exactly how much pain it takes to drop an Artbitch, and put the final nails in my ex-doctors metaphorical coffin.
“The more ignorant, reckless and thoughtless a doctor is, the higher his reputation soars even amongst powerful princes.”- Desiderius Erasmus