Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » How to find a good GI doctor

06-04-2009, 06:41 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
How to find a good GI doctor

hey everyone!

soooo, a couple months ago, some of you might remember me mentioning that i REALLY need a new GI, since my GI was causing me a lot of anxiety, due to his poor bedside manner and generally we weren't a good fit for each other.

this post is already going to be long enough so i won't get into every experience i've had with him, but to the point - he was condescending, insensitive, cold and very short with me. there wasn't much opportunity for me to ask him questions or discuss my concerns, he would basically run through his checklist of questions, look at me as a problem that he had to fix (not like a person with feelings), hand me a prescription and then be in a rush to get me out of his office (even on days he was the one late for the appt). blah, anyway, i was really experiencing fear and worry whenever i knew i'd have to go see him...i even tried discussing my concerns with him during my last visit, but he said things like 'i think you're mad that you have Crohn's'... or 'you're an adult, you should know better than this'... re: other alternatives - he said: 'naturopathy won't work! your problems will get worse and you'll end up with a bag on your side, so do as i say!'

the only reason i was seeing him in the first place was because he worked in my family doctor's building and since she knew him, she had more pull and got me in to see him very quickly as it was an emergency (when i had just become diagnosed with Crohn's)

anyway, i had originally heard about this one particular hospital in downtown toronto that had a great reputation for treating IBD.
i looked up the GI department at that hospital, and came across a GI's bio and contact info... called, and received his info which i passed on to my doctor's office for a referral.

6 weeks had went by, i hadn't heard anything... i tried following up and no luck.

then one day i thought to myself, maybe i'll do another google search in case this GI is too busy to see me anytime soon...

so i end up doing a google search for GI's in my city and came across a site called -

the new GI that i had asked to be referred to has a last name that begins with B, so i happened to see he had a great rating... lots of amazing comments about him, which made me feel like i HAD to get an appointment with this GI! i was determined...

however, i also thought i'd look up the GI i disliked/had bad experiences with... i'll call him Dr. R... he only had one rating, but it was a poor one... here's what it said:

"Visited this DR with severe abdominal pain--told me it was nothing but irritable bowel
' Returned with more severe pain he again repeated his diagnosis of IBS One month later went to emerg and had emerg surgery for obstructed bowel due to cancerous tumor--now have ileostomy and have undergone chemo some of which could have been avoided if he had at least taken the time to do a physical exam--rather than pass it off as IBS.He treated me as though I was imagining the symptoms--just a complaining female !!!!"

after i read it, i felt an immediate sense of validation... i wasn't crazy or wrong for quitting this GI! i really needed to see this, it helped ease any of my doubts.

so then i looked up a couple other doctors of mine (who i like a lot), and they all had great ratings... so even though i know the site isn't going to be 100% accurate, and it's all based on opinion... i felt good with what i saw.

so a couple days later i FINALLY received confirmation that i have an appointment with Dr. B (the good GI) and i'm SOOOO HAPPY! it's a relief, and i am looking very forward to seeing a new GI, wish i could get in a bit earlier, but August 7th isn't too bad. i have a good feeling about this GI, and i hope i'm not disappointed.

so for any of you going through a hard time with your GI, especially us Crohnie's new and inexperienced with this kinda thing... be determined and keep at it! as you can see, it may take time, but eventually you'll make progress.

the end.

Last edited by cheeky; 06-04-2009 at 06:55 PM.
06-04-2009, 07:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
That's great news to hear! Sorry your previous doctor was such an insensitive ass -- that must've been a nightmare for you to deal with.
06-04-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
thanks! yes, he wasn't great, but i'm lucky i didn't experience anything as bad as the story that other lady shared on the RateMds site.
06-04-2009, 08:58 PM   #4
My Butt Hurts
My Butt Hurts's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Wow Cheeky, what a story! I've never heard of that site. SO glad for you that you are going to someone else. August is far away, but I bet it'll be worth the wait. Good luck!
06-05-2009, 12:39 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
No one thing I have found out is yoy have to be persistent. You have to be the one who takes on the responsibility of your care. Very few Drs. do that in this day and age. I actually thanked my GI doc for coming to see me everyday and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together in the hospital himself. He said well thats what
drs are supposed to do. I told him that very few drs. even come everyday My primary care didn't come she sent someone who didn't even know me. And then
it was someone different everyday. And with the surgeons it was the same thing
Medical care has certainly taken a turn for the worst. Change Drs when you have to. Pick the one that helps you the most, that makes you feel comfortable. This is
your illness and you should be treated right. You don't have to go to someone that doesn't listen to you throws a prescription at you and say do what I say or else. Do unto others
Take Care of YOURSELF
06-05-2009, 12:47 AM   #6
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kello82's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
what an a hole!
that poor person who ended up with the pouch because of his arrogance
their story certainly helped you a lot though.

do you have your doctors email? (the bad one)
i would send him that page. especially if you are planning on leaving his practice for good.
"'dr while i appreciate your efforts and respect your opiniond, i have not been satisfied while underr your care the past X number of years. i came across this recently:
[insert page or quote here]
and frankly, it scares me.
i have an appt with another gi doctor.
thank you very much for your time.

^those would be my words! let him know what people think of him. maybe the reality check will save someone else from a serious situation because of his lack of attention. one can hope.
06-05-2009, 07:04 PM   #7
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Colt's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Thanks for alerting me to that site. I rated my doctors. The other person who rated my rheumatologist was just as furious as I was. I'm not surprised.
Certified Medication Aide, Certified Nurse Aide, Phlebotomist, and Resident Cynic

Meds: Prednisone, Pentasa, Vitamin D & Calcium, Atenalol, Darvocet

Current Issues: Crohn's inflammation primarily of the upper GI (duodenum and up), Tachycardia, Osteoporosis

Current Stage of Grief: Anger
06-06-2009, 08:50 AM   #8
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CD68's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
"He treated me as though I was imagining the symptoms--just a complaining female !!!!"
I got that also until someone bothered to do a physical exam and felt a giant knot of inflammation. Even after the diagnosis I still got flack. New doc (student?) walks into appointment and runs down the check list of typical of Crohn's patient. Bear in mind, that I've already been diagnosed with Crohn's, and she says, "Maybe you have fibromyalgia"....LOL
06-06-2009, 09:25 AM   #9
Sports Crohnie
Join Date: Aug 2008
great website! i searched my docs and a few had some reviews. i hope this gains traction...

cheeky - i'm so happy you're in better hands. hope this speeds your recovery.

Crohn's Colitis (2003-present)
Kidney Stones (1998, 2003, 2008)

6-MP (2009-present)

Multivitamin, Vitamin D, Turmeric

Super Powers
I am Batman

06-06-2009, 12:53 PM   #10
D Bergy
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Any doctor that says "naturopathy won't work" or any other absolute statement regarding the disease is bound to be an idiot. There is no way any one can know everything, especially about treatments they have no experience with. I have no objection with " I doubt if it will work".

According to my Gastro's nurse, I should be back in his office about now with further strictures.

I should not have been able to find a doctor to prescribe LDN. I had two lined up before I talked to her, and could have compounded my own if needed.

I should not be improving on LDN. I have been steadily normal.

I should only get my information from whatever pharmaceutical company sponsored web-site they recommended. I do not remember the name, but it took me about three seconds to see it was not objective. And I had to pay to be a member for some odd reason.

The doctor himself was not as dogmatic as the nurse I had to deal with. She was a regular "Stepford Nurse", with no thinking ability that I could detect. She would just Parrot whatever the official literature stated and that was the end of all known about Crohn's.

It all was actually was kind of amusing because I was like her worst nightmare patient and she did not like it at all. I made her work by questioning her opinions and she was apparently not used to that.

I actually liked the doctor a lot. He was a very good diagnostician. He did not turn up in the web site, but I would recommend him. I wouldn't recommend the nurse for anything other than changing bed pans.

06-06-2009, 04:54 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Thanks for the replies everyone...

@ kello - i won't need to send him an email because he upset me so much during the last appointment, that i basically told him that it's not working out.

i also spoke to my family doctor about my concerns, but was careful not to be disrespectful when speaking about Dr. R, my doctor is AWESOME! she was completely supportive and told me 'i let my patients know that if a doctor isn't a good fit, it's fine to receive a referral for someone else until you feel comfortable. so go ahead and see the new GI you asked me to refer you to, and if it works out, great...if you still aren't comfortable, we'll keep it up until you find a good match'

@bethy - you are totally right.

@ dbergy - i know, it's terrible to be so absolute like that. when i mentioned naturopathy to my family doctor, she said, 'although i wouldn't recommend you discontinue your prescription meds, certainly if you're interested in trying some naturopath approaches to assist you in easing your symptoms, that's fine. but for now, definitely your meds seem to be helping you' ...i was fine with that reply. Dr. R was just very short and insensitive when he'd talk to me.

@ everyone, the supportive comments/feedback is much appreciated... and i'm glad that some of you are checking out that RateMds site... in my case, it was helpful...

i will also update you all when i see the new GI... i hope i hold out okay until August though, according to the asshole dr. R, i'm due for another colonoscopy to see if my stricture is any better.

he told me that he talked about me at the 'round table' and all of his colleagues agreed that i am a candidate for surgery (since he couldn't get through my stricture with the scope during my first colonoscopy procedure)... he didn't even get to see the rest of my colon because of my stricture/severe inflammation... so i have no clue what else is going on inside me.

Last edited by cheeky; 06-06-2009 at 05:00 PM.

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