What to do if your doctor won’t send you for a second opinion

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  • Nancy Campbell says:

    It’s very frustrating to say the least. I live in NS. I have 4 herniated discs compressing the nerves in my lower back (just not right on the cauda equina likeky because my tailbone is crooked). Compression is along the spine where herniation is. I’ve beens suffering some serious nerve damage to my bowel, loosing sensation to my bladder, burning nerve pain in the buttocks, both leg and feet, along with off and on weakness in kegs, loss of sensation that comes and goes in lower extremities, loss of sensation in saddle area, lower back and buttocks. Running the risk of becoming paralysed as it gets worse. Debilitating pain herniated discs. Take 3200mg ibuprofen daily to take edge of. Refuse to take narcotics. Started slowly 5 yrs ago after an accident and now progressing faster the past number of months. Doctor prefers to treat the symptoms only (aka the pain) while the condition grows worse. I need to see a neurosurgeon who deals with the spine and compression of nerves to get the pressure off before the nerve damage is permanent. But my doctor refuses to do one and no walk-in clinics open where I am and docs in emerg prefer family docs to do referral. So every day I wait I’m risking more damage to my nerves and possible paralysis. Where do I go from here? If I lose my bowel, bladder and ability to walk because of the lack of referral they will pay dearly. I have been fighting for a referral for yrs and getting nowhere.

  • Melissa says:

    The only breakthroughs I’ve ever had are when my symptoms were bad enough to warrant a visit to the emergency department. The doctors there are astute and refer you to specialists. Unfortunately follow up treatment plans never happen even with the ER doctors recommending it because family doctors are absolutely useless. Every call I’ve ever had with mine since my symptoms developed ended with – exercise more (I’m barely out of shape and the proper weight for my height). I have a possible pinched nerve, migraines and worrisome levels of fatigue. My meds were prescribed by the ER, the idea to treat possible sinusitis was the ER (and prescription), an MRI was booked through the ER and the only neurologist that spoke to me was through the ER, so unfortunately not an assigned specialist that I can access when needed. I desperately need a new doctor but the only possible option available is a man which, call me old school, is really awkward for Pap smears. I have no idea why these family doctors got into this field if they won’t do their jobs. God help any of us when it’s terminal. Wealthy Americans will never know what this feels like. In fact, if I ever face something truly life threatening, I’m heading to Buffalo for treatment.

  • Anono Mous says:

    This is such a severe issue in Ontario. I actually had a private clinic (yes, they do exist) say they can’t see me and to continue working with my current specialist – newsflash: I called them because my specialist refuses to listen to my concerns or run any tests I request.

    This has gone on long enough. When are we the people going to say enough is enough? I am literally at the point of considering leaving Canada permanently over this issue. I can’t get a full blood panel performed, almost to the point I am starting to think the doctors are doing this on purpose to prevent people from resolving their issues with their own research. It’s genius really, you keep patients sick by keeping them in the dark, that way they spend the next ten years of their lives (like me) going to appointments, being fed the same answers that lead nowhere, I CAN’T EVEN GET BASIC BLOODWORK DONE. Something is extremely rotten in our healthcare system and I have had ENOUGH OF THIS BS!!!!!!

    Who elected these people God? Seriously!

    • DJ says:

      This seems like conspiracy posting…
      If you wanted Bloodtests done, Go to the ER, they’ll do them without you even asking. (Source – ME, going to the ER twice this week)

      Why in the world would the healthcare system want to keep people sick? That’s literally costing them MORE money than if they just did their job.

      • Candice says:

        Obviously not suffering from anything that you might need help from a specialist for. I have to wait a year to see a specialist and I think I might actually die. No there is no one to help you know this is not a conspiracy. Yes I called around where there used to be private health care clinics and yes they told me they had to close down because the NDP won’t let them take private health care. No conspiracy needed

    • Franc says:

      You are totally right.My wife is 45, she has been followed by her Family Doctor for Ovarian Cyst which is enlarging during 6 months period and causing abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain. The doctor finally decided to refer her to a gynaecologist .To my surprise none of gynaecologist here in Niagara Falls did not accept to visit her, and when I asked the reason for declining they said that they only visit the obstetric ( pregnant women)patient. So, since two months we are still waiting for a gynaecologist appointment that the family doctor could not find for her. This is the real weakness post of Canadian health system.

    • Lydia says:

      I went through the same thing and I went to a doctor naturopathic medicine I had my complete blood test and one hour consultation and the first time a doctor explain everything.

  • Anu says:

    What do walk in clinics mean ? Can I get an appointment at a walk in without referral from my GP?

  • Naretha says:

    Hello what should I do? my covid 19 test show N1 and N2 positive and it worsen everytime, but my doctor won’t do further invastigate test.

  • Nicole D Workman says:

    American military and VA doctors “refuse” to give referrals for second opinions all the time, usually stating “anything that can be done there can be done here.” They seem to think that you needing a referral from them means that it’s their decision whether you need a second opinion from a non VA provider.

  • Donna Pineo says:

    I have been trying to get help from Doctors for over 42 years. and so far they have not done anything to get to the bottom of my severe health issues. first of all, I would like to tell you how it all started in 1977 when I was a young unwed mother and I went to the doctor because I thought I was pregnant, I had not had a period in almost 3 months. the doctor said well I do not need blood work I can just check you by hand and I will be able to tell if you are pregnant. and he did and said yes you are pregnant. and sent me home with no blood work done and no other instructions. I just went home and had a very hard time keeping down the food of any kind it was not just morning sickness, I was sick all day. when i went to the doctor he told me to take Mylanta. still no blood work and no investigating. I lost almost all my fluid at six months, just walking across the floor it seemed like a bucket of fluid came out of me in a big gush. I went to the doctor again and he said he did not need to do any blood work he could just check me with his hand and he could tell if I lost my fluid.he checked me and said you must have peed your pants. and I said no doctor I did not pee my pants it was water clear fluid and there was a lot of it. he sent me home again. at seven months I went to a new doctor and told her the story and how he did not take any blood out of me in all this time. she also forgot to do blood work as she says on my records. when I went into labor at 9 months, by that time I had lost about 30lb from all the throwing up. any way a male nurse came in with a long thing that looked like a knitting needle and said he was going to break my water and he tried and said you do not have any fluid, and I said to him I lost most of that at 6 months and I told him the story. well, I had a long hard labor and had a dry birth. it was after I had the baby, that a nurse came in to give me a needle and I asked her what that was for, and she said there was a problem with the blood difference and that I should not have any more babies with that Guy. that was just a cover-up so that I would not know that I had RH neg blood and my baby was positive. my baby was born so so sick her lungs were so bad I did not know how I was going to keep her alive and her skin was burnt from head to toe with what they called eczema. my baby was so ill and just could not sleep, she would stop breathing when I was feeding her. it was a nightmare. when I went to the doctor’s office they told me that the doctor no longer worked there and I would need to see the new doctor taking her place. so I took my baby back to this new doctor one week after she was born, and told him how she can not breathe and stops breathing and turns blue. and asked what is wrong with her skin, he did not do anything and he said she has baby eczema and told me to but carie lotion on her. I but carie lotion on her and she screamed like she was on fire. I washed that all off her . poor little baby, what she went through was on fit. and they would not help her either. they did not take an x-ray of her lungs or anything to see if her lungs were alright or anything. when the gave her antibiotics she would be ok for a little wile not well but a bit better. they would not do anything to find an answer to my babies’ health because they knew darn well what was wrong with her. but they were covering it all up. I never had any sleep for over a year, she was just so sick and she could not sleep more than 1 hr at a time. in the afternoon when she went to sleep, I had to wash cloth diapers because she could not use any disposable one. and I had to make her bottles. we were awake all night. I believe this when I started to become sick with Cushing,s disease, because of my cortisol and thyroid not working properly. but again no blood work getting done. by 1984 I was so ill and had grown a Bufflow hump. and when I went to the doctor and told him how I have bad PMS and problems with my period and how I was so weak I had a hard time climbing a flight of stairs, then the bad skin rashes started as soon as I went out in the sun. and told him how I had bad pain in my feet and they would swell. and then the pain got worse it was very bad in the Buffalo Hump and shoulders and in my hips and all my joints. I became weaker and weaker. I went to him over and over again and he did routine blood work and said there was nothing wrong with me. I was always very athletic and in very excellent shape and I knew I could not go to work much longer in this weak state. years go my with no answers. he sent me to a psychologist or doctor of mental health. and he recognized the symptoms of crushing,s and he sent me for cortisol tests. that which came back extremely high, he also knew I was not depressed or had any mental problems. but my doctor shut him down and said she does not have Cushing,s. and he did a 24 hr urine cortisol test that came back normal. and he told the other doctor that put an end to that. I asked the other doctor how do they know which test is wright.and he said I am sorry Donna I can not help you. that was in 1995. I became so ill I had to quit my job and go on CPD. this was a nightmare for me as I was still single and had no way to live on such little money. all those years and nothing was done for me other than routine blood work and urinalysis. I became so disabled with arthritis and the profound weakness there was nothing more I could do. they did send me to a Rheumy and he had said I had poly inflammatory arthritis, from blood work and a positive ANA. he asked my doctor to do an MRI of my body and asked to have a mussel biopsy done by my doctor and he would see me back in his office when the tests were done, when I went back to my doctor I asked what did the Rheumy say and he told me he said he could not find anything wrong with you. and I said but he did not do anything, I had no idea that he had ordered tests. I think they knew I had Cushing’s,s and they were not going to let me be tested for anything. and they knew the Cushing,s started because of all the bad things,s happened when I was pregnant, I have had 5 cortisol tests done since then and it was high in the pm and low in the am. they will not do any more blood or saliva tests. they say I need a high in my urine and this is just nor true, there a lot of people that have Cushing,s, and don,t catch a high in their urine for many reasons. I also have bad kidney stones for years and always have blood in urine and half the time I can not pee very much and I have diurnal rhythm cortisol. all these factors are the cause of me not catching a high in the urine. they are treating me like a piece of dirt and refuse to do the tests that will get me a proper Diagnosis. it does not matter how many different Doctors they all get on board the let’s neglect Donna train. I need help soon because the Cushing,s is killing me and I just know I don,t have long to live, but I can not get the help I need. because of the cover-up. physicians and surgeons will not help me because they are just Doctors taking care of doctors. I now have 4 high cortisol and 2 low am cortisol the B- hump the skin issues the profound weakness and many many more Symptoms of Cushing,s but they will not let me get a diagnosis.

  • Sue says:

    I have had severe lower abdominal pains with nausea for 10 years, my family doctor at that time had no idea what was wrong and did nothing about it. I moved cities and my new doctor basically said it wasn’t ibs but didn’t know what was wrong. That doctor left town and I was seeing a nurse practitioner who also said the same thing as the other three. She also left town. I have a new doctor that thought I had pancreatic cancer and arranged for me to have a double abdominal ct scan, it was clear. Prior to the cut he told me that vomiting was not a symptom of ibs then after the ct he said it probably was ibs. He won’t send me to a gastroenterologist. I’m tired of doctors shrugging their shoulders and basically saying they don’t know what it is but go home and suffer.

  • Mark Williamson says:

    I have been sent to a number of specialists over the past 5 years. 15 years ago I started becoming fatigued. This has progressed to today where my fatigue is so great that it prevents me from any physical activities without being drained. I am 67. I just discovered my grandson has marfan syndrome. So I ask..
    Can marfan cause a slow progression of muscle weakness and constant nerve tingling over the years to the point where it is totally encompassing
    .I cannot get an answer to this question??

    • Carolyn Clark says:

      Carolyn Clark
      The first comment didn’t go through. Hope this one will. i need an artificial hip replacement. My doctor is at the Reach Medical Centre in Vancouver. BC. I don’t think she will refer me to someone. How do I go about getting the referral. ThanksC

    • Melissa says:

      I have just developed weakness and tingling. It terrifies me to read this as I am continually fluffed off by my doctor who tells me that I simply need more exercise. A doctor in emergency told me to see a rheumatologist and she ignored his request.

  • Lisa preston says:

    hello Ask Paul,
    52 year old female, head trauma, abi, BPPV, multiple disc damage in neck and no family doctor. Not a single doctor in startford ontario will pick me up as a patient since moving here 2016. Educated, widow, new to Ontario.

    insurance company sent me to an neurologist. Dr. Paul Randalli. Neurologist said go to toronto asap. that was 2 months ago. No help and no where to turn. my symptomes prevent me from putting my head in different positions and im at the end of my rope.
    where does one go to get help? where are the clinics i can pay to get treatment so i can Heal? im shocked i cannot find a doctor to help me let alone get access to the healthcare. I am a canadian by birth. moved from newfoundland to ontario 2016. unable to work, own my house, but need help getting my life back. need help yesterday.

  • Becky Barkley says:

    My doctor retired and the new doctor has not done anything he say he will do more Les calling me a drug addict I had my foot ran over by a riding lawn mower and my old doctor put me on little amount of hydromorphone and the new one has cut me off and has not done anything he said he would I asked for pain special but he said he refer me to a clinic it’s been months haven’t heard back from him at all.

  • paula says:

    I am waiting for a referral from my gp to have a steroid injection in my groin re arthritis in my hip b4 I go on holiday in march
    it helps so much bur what can I do if he refuses me.

  • Greg says:

    I am recently diagnosed with prostate cancer grade 1 stage 1 low risk. Urologist says surgery is not done for this level. Radiation oncologist says my prostate is too big for radiation, Chemotherapy is liking killing an ant with nuclear weapon. Family doctor says cannot refer me to Princess Margaret or Sunnybrooke to get second opinion as those hospitals are out of my area (I am in Milton) closest is credit valley hospital. Is it true I cannot be referred tp Princess Margaret or Sunnybrook if i live close Credit valley hospital which has a cancer center. I do want to get another opinion and option for treatment. How do i get to see a urologist/oncologist at Princess Margaret or Sunnybrook.

  • Laura Travosi says:

    A 2 year old auto accident injury is still causing me pain in my lower back and hips and no doctor is listening to me. My dr sent me for an mri only two years after the incident in my lower spine and found no disk problems in my spine. Ive done everything since this accident from physio to massage, chiropractor, acupuncture, strengthening, stretching, anti inflammatory, nerve blockers and yet Im still thousands of dollars later (closed case so out of my own pocket) with zero long term results ( nothing more than a couple of days of relief) and no diagnosis for what is causing the pain. How can I demand another opinion, another mri, or any push to figuring out what is wrong and where this pain is stemming from so I can maybe start to get better. Things i used to be able to i cannot do anymore without pain including simple tasks like walking, bending or lifting anything. keep in mind i used to be a healthy active individual so weak muscles, weak core, stretching is not relevant because i was extremely strong and healthy.

  • Monika Kylau says:

    That just left the patient’s in dire straight. We should not be A HOSTAGE FOR THE DR. If we feel that a Dr did not pay us the respect to listen or believe us. They should not have the right to deny us a second opinion.WE know our bodies and she was just shoved of to the walk in clinic or to look for a new DR. Which is near impossible.In the mean time she is suffering. IS that what health care has become? IThink all Dr. Need to become patient’s , go through some lineups, waiting time tests suffer some pain to become more considerate and caring again.

    • harry says:

      Monika, you need to reach out to your daughters before it’s too late. Your ex husband is involved with numerous life and car insurance scams has been slowly poisoning all of you. The doctors your seeing will not help you.

  • Jackie says:

    I feel the frustration this person feels as well. I left a doctor who was awesome because of location to get a doctor who wont even follow up on blood tests when they are abnormal. Then having the nurse tell me it was the worst thing for patients to have access to their lab results. Having worked in a hospital, I do understand and have seen people who got really sick fast because of doctors being so lax about giving their patients the proper treatment. They took an oath and should honour it!!!

  • Cynthia Abbrusci says:

    My GP is treating me for chronic pain with 3 different antidepressants and I don’t trust him. I have asked to see a pain management team and a mental health professional and he said no to both. Why

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m in BC and I know the situation differs by province, but when I got the runaround from my doctor after a radiologist recommended a biopsy, I went to the hospital showed them the massive lump in my neck and they were able to access my ultrasound results and notes from the radiologist and they didn’t send me home until they had contacted the ENT on call and got me booked in for a biopsy three days later. And yes it turned out I had cancer. I felt stupid going to the hospital at the time but it probably saved my life. The cancer had already spread to my lymph nodes.

  • Barbara Hilts says:

    This is very helpful information and gives me a some hope.

  • JAMES says:

    My doctor wants me to go on kidney dialysis. I am not ready for that.My blood work is stable at the moment and is being done monthly. Is there any other tell tales of when dialysis is to be started. I still do a days work at the age of 78 and do not feel the symptoms that they say you should feel. Could you tell me at what stage of my life I should start dialysis seeing that my doctor does not believe me


    • Paul Taylor says:

      You could ask your family physician to refer you to a nephrologist – a doctor who specializes in kidneys – for a second opinion. A nephrologist will be able to give you sound advice based on expert knowledge and your own medical condition.

  • Guy GOodwin says:

    My adult daughter is suffering severe pain that is being handled with heavy duty pain killers.. but her gate keeper physician won’t make a referral and makes it a condition of being a patient that she not go to a walk-in clinic.
    We have tried to find another doctor who is accepting patients, but to no avail.
    My daughter, a highschool teacher, is no sissy. Her pain is real.

    What more can she do? Beg?

  • Susan says:

    Respect seems to have gone out of our health care system. I am given 2 minutes to talk to my doctor and he will actually walk out of the room if I go over. I can make a ten minute appointment but he’s so busy it’ll be three weeks before I can get in. I’ve been in his waiting room plenty of times and at most three people at a time are in there. I just can’t get use to our new health care system. When I was a child our family doctor was a family friend. He actually made house calls. He even made house calls with my children when I came into town to see my parents and one of my children got sick and had to be hospitalized. As an adult I had an amazing doctor. He took time to listen and allivated all my fears and really cared. He was an amazing man and I’m sure no one minded waiting a bit to see him because when you saw him you knew he cared about you. My doctor now sits on his computer the whole time I’m in his office. He doesn’t take my blood pressure or temperature or exam me or touch me in anyway. He sent me to YouTube for videos for exercises to do for my feet. He said that would be good enough I didn’t have insurance so going for therapy was out of the question. It’s been two years and the pain in my feet wake me up. So I should miss more work to insist he send me somewhere for proper care? My eyes hurt so he tells me to go to an eye doctor. Well they aren’t covered by Ohip so I’m confused why he isn’t looking at them. Years ago family doctors would. I’m supposed to know all these changes. I didn’t get the manual. I use to actually be able to talk to a doctor on the phone but not anymore. I have to lose time at work and make an appointment. But I only get two minutes so I need to talk fast and remember everything. I once told my doctor I had a lump. He told me I had made the appointment for something else so I’d have to come back and walked out of the room! That basically says it all. Our health care sucks and I’d really like to know when and why this happened.

  • Cathy says:

    Welcome to Ontario, where patients often have no choice at all of what health care provider they go to.

  • Cathy says:

    Welcome to Ontario, where patients are treated like children and have to beg for a family doctor, beg for pain medication if they have pain, and beg for referrals, and physicians have the power to refuse all of these requests for any reason at all.

  • Paul says:

    7 changes in synthroid imside of 3 years refusal to do 5 panel test, straight refusal to send to a endo. We can manage this….

  • Jack Mclean says:

    Trust no one worst choice ever think system is out to help 18 plus months of hell under medical driving suppension no cost reinstatement bs expected to be billed upwards of 1000 expect to jump though mto hoops three sers of paperwork to be filled out by d9ctor i dislije andoften months to get appointment mto lie healthcare dies mire harm then good rather diedthen live the way i been treated last year and half and left no future after trying si hard on stroke / sezuire recovery mto answers to no one extorts lies destroys above god complex 2 months since second visit to doctors with paperwork and norhing yet , ignored soon thridvusit with third set if paperwork from mto set all at different times good system t9 destroy all hope

  • Dagmar Wali says:

    I am not happy with my new young Doctor at all. I am 76 years old and being treated like a child. Unfortunately my previous Doctor of appr. 30 years, who always treated me with utmost respect, retired.
    It is like my pain isn’t been taken seriously by this new Doctor. I did not choose this new Doctor he was just assigned to me after my previous Doctor retired.
    What can I do? I would like to find a new Doctor.

  • Gina says:

    I’m experiencing issues with my wrist due to a domestic assault (I was the victim) 6 months prior. My family doctor referred me to an orthopedic. The surgeon was insensitive and rude with regards to the assault. I asked my family doctor to refer me for a second opinion and explained I felt uncomfortable with the surgeons comments. He refuses to send me for a second opinion and mentioned this surgeon skills are excellent. I honestly do not feel comfortable with this surgeon because of the judgment comments made. How do I get a second opinion, referral?

  • kim mcculloch says:

    I have been having problems for over a year i’am in menopause my doctor says she is doing everything she can for me but I have had all the test done MRI, CT, Altrasounds , and blood work scope down and up and really everything is showing nothing but menopause and my doctor is only giving me an antidepresent which is not working i had a biopsy done last year when i broke out in bumps on my legs and the test came back it was Vasculitis but she hasn’t even told me what kind it is i have asked her to reffer me to a gyno and she said no what do i do.

  • SHelley says:

    I have all symptoms pointing to Hypothyroidism. My GP has given me numerous blood tests and they come back “normal”. I’ve gained 60 pounds in just under a year, I’ve lost so much hair, and eyebrows. My skin is so itchy, even my head hurts from being so dry. I’m so lethargic, I can sleep all the time. I’m dealing with depression and anxiety, constipation, hard time swallowing; feels like food is stuck. My liver is fatty and I don’t drink. I eat properly and am an avid gym member and trainer. I have severely high blood pressure. My mother, sisters and grandmother have Hypothyroidism. My memory is terrible, I can’t remember much. My eye sight has gone from 20/20 to wearing glasses. I’m in pain consistently. etc etc My GP seems to think that my liver is bad because of poor diet and drinking!! I don’t do either! I’ve been suffering with this since 2004, when I remember the first time feeling like I had food stuck in my throat. I can’t wear most necklaces because my neck is too large. I’ve told him all of this, and yet he still thinks I just need to diet and exercise!! I have a nutrition/fitness background, I know about diet and exercise.. I’m already there…

    I’m very frustrated, I don’t know which way to turn. I’ve called an Endocrinologist, spoke with his assistant, and she told me that I need a referral ASAP. She told me to go to walk in clinic if my doc won’t send one. So I asked my GP twice, and still he has not sent one, nor has he answered my queries. He thinks that the blood test is good enough!!

    I’m under duress, I am ready to give up on this health care system. Nova Scotia is broken.

    I’m on meds for high blood pressure, but nothing for my liver. I’ve also been medicated with SSRI, which does not help me at all!!

    What can I do? Is it my right to ask for a referral via walk in clinic? Will they refuse me? What can I say to my GP to get this ball moving!? I don’t feel like he understands me, or hears what I am saying.

    I am dealing with so much right now, I’ve been on a waiting list since 2012 to see a neurosurgeon for my cervical spine, which is diseased, and just recently was sent for another MRI, came back that now my T2 and 3 are severe. I have called the Neurosurgeons office quite a bit. I’ve been told that I am on a waiting list. sigh….. the original referral was abandoned by the first Neurosurgeon and had ended up lost and 2.5 yrs ago I found out that a second surgeon had the file, so I called… they put me on another waiting list, even after new MRI and updates to said spinal disease. Is there a set time limit for waiting lists?

    Okay, one more. My doctor in Ontario retired, and my medical file went with him somewhere. He became head of the hospital and retired from that now as well. My whole life up to the age of 39 is in that file, and I don’t know where it is, I can’t find it via any source. Its got very important information about my spine injury etc… How can I find my file?

  • Renata smiciklas says:

    Hi! I have been with a sarcoidosis spec for about 3 years in Toronto. He’s well known. But I was asking him how my lungs were and he says always not worried but here’s prednisone. Then I couldn’t absorb the drug so I list weight and he gave me medrol. I thought I would die. I left him. Ask g fir another opinion and 3 doctors rejected my request to see me. The assistant is trying to get me another doctor to see me. I do t want to see the one I toronto. I don’t like him and he’s not taking care if me the way he should. What do I do? thank you

  • Nancy Jennings says:

    I really am confused. First you tell us that we have a right to a second opinion but only if our doctor permits that. Does not that doctor have to have a legitimate reason to refuse a second opinion if that is the case? Undiagnosed pain and bleeding etc. sound fairly serious to me and are sound reasons for any patient to want treatment and a good diagnosis. I didn’t like that you implied this may be the patient’s fault. Ant doctor that refuses to help a patient get a diagnosis for a troublesome condition is acting inappropriately as far as I’m concerned. You answer sucks.

  • Im patient says:

    Welcome to Agenda 21 in motion.
    The mechanic in this situation(doctor) looks at the patient (car) and diagnoses the problem? Broken engine parts..but keeps administering oil(prescriptions) instead of fixing the problem!
    Rinse and repeat!
    Keep medicating…keep charging OHIP..keep paying the doctor ..and keep milking the parient through prescriptions!
    Oh and dont forget to send them for another opinion…after all we dont want to miss out on the opportunity of squeezing every once out of our lab rat(patient).
    How do they live with themselves!
    My parents family doctor retired and up until moving away from the area …used to be my G.P.
    He still made rounds at the hospital every morning before his practice to see his patients there and house calls!
    These were actual!!! -doctors..the real ones who got you the specialist and got you the operation or whatever was needed!!!

  • kayleigh says:

    Hi I need help I haven’t had a period for 3 months do home pregnancy test there positive done bloods one had a faint line the other negative my Dr won’t refer me for a scan to check now I’m bleeding and all it is. Is clotts can you help can I get an email back on

  • Patricia Hoath says:

    I have been vomitting for many years since gall bladder removed
    I know related to fat ingestion.
    I have had 7 scope exams for what turned out to be bile duct spasms
    Of those 7 scopes 3 were ERCP and resulted in pancreatitis each time
    I have never been investigated for vomitting
    I had 4 months of lots vomitting and I remember thinking going to do some damage in my stomach from this
    Went for ct scan showed some small amount swelling at esophagus junction
    Multiple clips in region of esophagus junction
    If concerns stricture have further testing
    That was April 15 2016
    I refused another scope with out consult
    Doctor refused refer me
    Went back her month ago same thing refused send without scope
    I said can do other tests
    She said waste time
    Then gave in referred me to specialist who said can see you two months if have scope done
    Otherwise you wait year and half
    Please advise me
    Do I try and see American Doctor
    Do us pts no longer have rights to treatments
    Would take scope if needed but not unless consult first
    Thank you for listening

  • Patricia greenhill says:

    My daughter is experiencing heavy lose of blood terrible pain had to have 2liters of blood is in need of a hysterectomy badly. Was flown or he to Sudbury trauma then sent home to Kapuskasing. This has now been 3years. High blood pressure heart rate high many many visits to emerge in Kapuskasing. She needs immediate care her Doctors are not treating her properly She is tired weak and in pain and large loss f blood. Hope you can help

    • Brianne says:

      Patricia Greenhill have your daughter tested at an HTC for a possible Bleeding Disorder because she could possibly have Von Willebrand’s Disease, Hemophilia or some other associated Bleeding Disorder which often gets overlooked and requires specialized testing to Diagnose. They will test Proteins in her Blood if she is low or lacking something in her blood which could possibly be an explanation for why she is losing so much Blood and can lead to Anemia. GL Wishing You & Your Daughter All The Best and I Hope this Comment has been helpful in leading you to a possible solution or at least provide you with some further direction.

  • Kim Northup says:

    I have a friend who is very sick she can’t breath walk talk she’s bloated all over she can’t eat she’s so tired all the time very weak coughing up blood she feels like she’s drounding in her own fluids she’s been to her doctor and the hospital many time and turned away she needs help but no one is listening please help

  • Chris says:

    Hello I am a 37 year old male who has been dealing with bulging discs for 15 years. Everything I go to the doctor he just gives me more pills that don’t do anything for me. I say I can’t sleep because the back pain is so bad so he gives me sleeping pill. I can sleep fine it’s the back pain making me not sleep. I had the injections that don’t do anything. I have exhausted every measure that’s available to me. My daily meds are not cutting it so now I’m being a crime and going to the street to find meds that will take the pain away. I’m not an addict by no means. I only use them as needed but it’s making me a criminal just to deal with working every day to support my family. What can I do to get more help? I hate taking pills but have no choice as I would not a able to function cause of my sever back pain. I just want my life back and be free from this pain. It’s been years of depression and it’s hard on my family and myself. Please help.

  • Cindy says:

    Hi my gp hid liver and kidney problems in me ….gave six Perks 100 a month claimed I had inherited aortic anerysm sent me to her friend he cat scanned me every year 8x in 2012 he handed me to his friend who told me two heart beat and I could die open heart mechanical valve then behind my back wrote I refused war if in disharged me infected home alone without siting for entire 14 days then surprize lol they wrote I have copd on operation chart yet they witheld tumours cysts lung disease all the while telling me to my face I was fine while I live on disibilty crippled denied any help oh and I’m 52 they’ve lied to me 12 years sooo my book called PLACEBO CARE WICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I RECIEVED OH AND DID I MENTION POST OP THOUSANDS IN OHIP FRAUD 25,000 OF PRETEND MEDICAL CARE ….I CONSIDERED MY SELF THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN ONTARIO …BOY WAS I WRONG WORST BETRAYL IN WORLD WHEN A DOCTORS LOOK S RIGHT AT YOU AND LIES AND LATER YOU FOUNDATION OUT YOU HAD TREATABLE HEART DISEASE ETC SO SAD ONTARIO WHY WHY WHY

  • Jen says:

    I have serious pains to I am about to meet a 3rd gynecologist no one can explain my severe pains either but I get them also without my period sometimes I feel like I’m about to give birth without the baby since I hadn’t had a child in 14 years. I now have an Iud in which my gynecologist said would help me I have had non stop pains its effecting me working now to the point I went to emergency room 2 times the doctor’s there won’t help me either. No one understands what I am dealing with nor can explain it I have a bulge that sticks out my vagina opening the ER doctor says today I am not qualified for this so I can’t help you sorry best I can do for you is take an Epson salt bath. I feel frustrated like no one is listening to me. I even have photos as proof I show the doctor’s but no one is taking it seriously they just say yes that is not normal. I have been put on meds that do not help birth control which I am not getting pregnant so clearly I don’t need birth control it’s not helping me with my cramps I can’t live like this anymore. I get where you are coming from 100%.

  • Doug purcell says:

    Run for your life from your family general practioner and that specialist. Doctors in ontario are flat out corrupt. They would and will bury you in a heart beat.. just listen to this guy…or he’s very well regarded…ya really no wonder with all you guys never double checking a bloody thing. The people in charge of healthcare in ontario canada are criminals period…one of them makes a mistake and they do they will bury you here….all because the doctor is well regarded. Biggest insurance scam on the planet

  • Roman says:

    My wife has digestive system issues. She was diagnosed with different issues before we moved to Canada. One of the biggest issues is pancreatitis. Currently she has aggrevation for more than 6 weeks already. She went to one physician but he did not even prescribe painkillers. She asked for an appointment with gastroentrologist, but we even don’t know the wait time. And she cannot do anything with pain. Diet and tylenol do not help. So she went to emergency and again the doctor telling her that she does not have pancreatitis and prescribed naproxen. Which is actually bad for people who have issues with digestive system. Not sure what to do next. I’d rather pay to see a normal specialist and get normal prescription. Health is worth much more than money.

  • Kim says:

    I understand this persons concerns. As patients we are not heard! I had been complaining for a year that my periods were extremely heavy. I had lost a lot of weight. He would say it’s normal for a woman my age…blah blah blah..finally I had other bizarre symptoms. I asked for referral to a gynecologist. When i saw him he did a laparoscopy. I had to have all of my ovaries and uterus removed due to severe endometriosis. My other symptoms seemed to get a bit worse after this. I had tremors on my neck and hand, I felt weak after exercising and hot showers. I was tired all the time and had numbness in weird spots on legs face etc. He said it was all in my head. Said because of being a single mother I was just stressed out..I was so angry. Basically because I was a woman I was crazy and making this stuff up. 6 months later I lost vision in my eye. Went to see an ophthalmologist at Emergency. 5 days later he confirmed after MRI’s and history that I had multiple sclerosis. I never got an apology and I know he kept HIS OPINION that I was delusional and attention seeking in my file which still affects me today when dealing with doctors. We know when there is something wrong with our bodies, so why don’t they listen? I thought they are supposed to keep opinions out of this and just investigate and take facts? We try to be proactive, and stay on top of any health concerns, but when we do, we get dismissed.

    • Jen says:

      I agree with you I took photos as proof that I am not crazy but they still won’t listen to me either!!!

  • DianneC says:

    I went to a walk in and the doctor assumed my sickness was related to my bladder due to my urine sample. He gave a prescription for that, cannot remember the drug. This was the start of a long weekend. I was sick and getting sicker, fainting, not wanting to eat or drink. Know I know what dying is like…. not fun. My grown daughter finally agreed to take me to the hospital and the nurses were aghast that I refused to take the bladder drugs as I do not like drugs and it made maters worse. It was late Saturday, emergency was very busy. In the early morning hours a doctor came available and did tests. It turned out to be pneumonia so I was given medicine right away and felt alive again.
    My point is that one has to take one’s own health seriously and pursue other means.
    Walk ins do not have the resources nearby to fully check out failing health. I have since ventured on a healthy eating/exercise lifestyle and have a family doctor who I will argue with because I research in depth. For years I have been prediabetic but it is going nowhere. I do not take any drugs and feel great.

  • Steve Marks says:

    If you think you’ve got serious problems don’t mess around with your health. For most Canadian the USA isn’t far and you can see a specialist without a referral in less than 24 hours, often even faster. I’ve been going for years and an appointment is only $100 for my gastroenterologist, got an MRI for $200, and my wife goes to a ENT specialist in Bellingham WA and it cost $150. It doesn’t cost much at all, we’ve even got USA insurance now, costs me $900 usd a year for my entire family and we all have $5,000,000 coverage anywhere in the USA. Plus it’s much more advanced, and targeted. Visit a USA hospital then go to a Canadian hospital, feels like you’re in a world war 2 movie.

    Point being health is more important than money. Don’t die on a waiting list in Canada when good professional help is so close.

    • Kim says:

      Thank you for this information. I will investigate doctors south now!!

    • Donna says:

      I went in AZ for Ct can last year and blood test .was in hospital for 45-1 hour charged me 6,000 for ct and 1,500 for blood test.
      Live in canada lucky out of country insurance paid the bill
      Having trouble now had to fly home and having long wait to get gastroenterologist wondering if I could go to buffalo as it is not far from our home.
      How would I go about checking it out?

      • Concerned citizen says:

        Hello Donna,
        Go to Lockwood Diagnostics Clinic in Toronto. You do not need a referral and you can book your own appointment. You may wait 2 or 3 months for your appointment but once you are there, you get all the tests needed within a couple of days. Well worth travelling to get answers when you feel you aren’t getting the proper tests done or the care you feel you should be getting for your symptoms. We do have to be our own advocates as the health care system is a business and as someone has previously mentionned, some doctors do seem to be more preoccupied with protecting each other or covering their colleagues mistakes than they are about the action patient’s care. The saddest part of it all is that doctors are also human and do make mistakes, we get that but to deny the patient proper care is not acceptable.
        Best of luck to you!

      • Concerned citizen says:

        Hello again Donna,
        I forgot to mention that the Lockwood Diagnostics Clinic is equipped with their own team of internists and specialists. The medical tests are covered by OHIP if you are from Ontario. The only tests that you are required to pay for are the same tests that you would be required to pay anywhere else in the province. There is a $65 fee for you to get a copy of all of your results.

    • Ilan says:

      Hello Steve.

      Which USA insurance you got?

    • Jenn says:

      Hi Steve, would you mind sharing where you purchase the US health insurance? I’m not having any luck with searching online (I just keep getting travel insurance results).

    • John says:

      What state and city do you go for your healthcare. I am in a position( I live in Canada) and I don’t feel that I am being given good health care. I feel that a 10 minute appointment just isn’t adequate to discuss the most important thing in someone’s life (as they say “without good health you have nothing). Also, I don’t feel listened to and get fluffed off (it’s all in my head sort of stuff). I have come to the point where I feel very very ill but cannot get a referral, the hospital emergency department sent me home last week saying it was a go job to diagnose me but he doesn’t seem to listen and take me seriously. He treats me like I don’t know anything although i’m Well versed and read about a lot of things. I am seriously considering going as I feel there are no options left for me here in Canada.i just wish we could have some private health care places in this country for the people who are willing to pay for their healthcare. Good health is the most important thing in life, yet, in a democratic country and a capitalist country, about the only thing you cannot buy here in Canada is your own health care.this is ludicris.

  • lee says:

    My doctor is absurd I was injured in an auto accident and my Dr has not even looked or examined me. He says I look fine and I probably have a little whip lash. I accepted that at first nut I know there is something very wrong
    . I’m losing my eyesight my optometrist did a brain scan and very strongly I needed to see a neurologist asap. Today I saw my doctor and asked why he wouldn’t refer me to the suggested neurologist and he said (I’m your doctor and I make all your health decisions).

  • Joyce Lewis says:

    I feel we are at the mercy of our physicians and their opinions about what we need or don’t need. Often they do not have very good listening skills . I have to go with trepidation to my Gp whenever I need to ask for something . I believe that patients should be able to direct their care with the help and concern of their physician if they are reasonable and appropriate regarding referral requests.Patients know their bodies. Many GPs feel they know best and in this day of 10 minute appts. if you do not have a good relationship and caring between Dr. and patient best practice is not going to happen with bad outcomes mostly for the patient unfortunately.This results in unnessessary pain and suffering .


    This is BS, if you want to get a second opinion your doctor should be all in favor of it. What is the problem here?

    • Cheryl says:

      Lance…I agree, unless a person has a Dr. who’s a ‘know-it-all”., “I know what I’m doing”sort of a person.
      Some Drs do think they know it all, try this/that for months on end, only for you (the patient) to experience the worstening of symptoms. I finally asked firmly to see a specialist..which I did…but considering the delays, I truly believe my symptoms could have been alleviated much sooner. The specialist I did see..
      well she blames everything on the MRI results of the lumbar & cervical spine., so I’m returning to my ‘new’ family Dr. next week to ask for a 2nd opinion. Things are worstening for me, & I don’t see why what’s going on with me should be permitted to take over my entire body.

  • Name (required) says:

    Its not quite a comment just a question I have the bone of an 80 year old I’m only 55,osteporosis ,just recovering from 4 broken vertebraes and fibromyagia in high level and my doctor wont help me with cpp disabilty or disabilty tax credit ,what are my legal rights?thanks Erin

  • xuscanada says:

    I have appreciate with getting lot of good and reliable, legislative information with your post.

  • roxana hodgin says:

    Hi I couldn’t get my dr. to send me to a specialist she said I had a way of changing dr’s minds to be what I wanted them to say. I suffered for nearly a year then I went to the ER and asked them and they gave me my referral so off I went but do I have a right to my file or will the results go directly to my dr. she is coming here on fri. and I think she could lie to me anyway

    • Cheryl says:

      Roxana…you could go to the Patient Records Department of the hospital where you were treated. Most of them will provide you with a copy of the details of your hospital visit…Dr. who attended you…diagnosis,
      bloodwork results, etc…You may be requested to fill out a form, then pay a fee for it.
      I encourage all people to get records of whatever treatment they may have receive & which Dr. attended them.

  • Name (required) says:

    I have the problem of my Doctor and Dentist and other various Doctor in this matter, just not giving me any care at all unless they are forced to do so. In the last year these are the symptoms they have overlooked or refused to treat overlooked. Most did not even physically examine me or call for futher tests.

    Various infections in my mouth
    Jaw injury due to bad dental work
    Both lead to crisis situation that required surgery
    H pylori
    Continuing pain
    Low blood count
    Weight loss
    Large cyst in mouth

    I have been sick and in pain for a year. I have spent $20,000 and my insurance is drained. Upon being sick I have had to continuously advocate for health care to get any attention at all. One Doctor I was referred to even went so far as to send me a slanderous email when I asked for my chart & a letter of diagnosis’. I have been diagnosed for 5 different things with little treatment. I guess they all feel if I had one thing wrong with me I could not possibly have more then one condition of my teeth & gums & stomach. The only real good help I received was from a student Doctor who was dead on and why I received the care I did get except for the crisis situation.

    I have tests in few days testing for cancer & continuing stomach pain (thanks to student, bless her). The problem is now, when I do find out what’s wrong with my stomach, what then, who is going to care for me? I live in a small Community with all South Africian Doctors who support each other strongly. Finding another Doctor is not an option. If I go to the City, they guestion why I don’t see Doctors in my own community. It’s all a terrible system set up.

    I have always been patient, polite, agreeable, friendly and have been told by this Doctor who is to test me for cancer & various things (thanks to the student Doctor again) that I am just not a complainer so what gives?? What am I doing wrong?

    I am from Athabaca Alberta. Does anyone out there know of a friendly, caring Doctor that will take me as a patient? I am serious!

    • Kim says:

      I do not know of any, but it is worth the travel. You have the right to see another doctor. Also, write to the college of Physicians and surgeons and put complaint in and ask them how you should resolve your problem.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I moved to a small town and a few months after, I started having seizures again (epilepsy) I ended up in the local ER where the doctor on duty prescribed me meds and told me to follow up with him so I have, but it’s only been medication related. I really have no idea if he’s considered my family doctor now or not or if he even has my previous medical files.
    After talking with friends I learned there was a doctor in town who would be a good fit for me, but not accepting new patients.
    So now I have my original family doctor where I used to live which makes it almost impossible to see him, a doctor who I’ve only seen about anticonvulsants and a doctor I’d like to see. Where do I even start?

  • Jane says:

    Can someone please advise if a walkin clinic can refuse your request to see another doctor?

    Issue: I was originally seeing the 1st GP, but then she refuses to give proper treatment. I am having a SERIOUS cold. My cough is really bad and comes in episodes where it will wake me up in the middle of the night and even gives bad headaches. I went to see my walk in doctor yesterday, she refuses to give me medicine. CAN THEY REFUSE? This cough is NOT a VIRUS, usually viruses comes and goes fast. I have no other health issue. All she says is “it can go on to 3 months”. I AM VERY CONCERNED, as I am denied proper diagnosis and treatment. I don’t want a cough for 3 months. She said to only come back if I get a fever or if my cough has worsen. I think it has worsen, it was a dry cough, now phlegm is developing. GP only advised to use OTC cough medicine. I asked the reception if I can switch GP to another doctor, THEY REFUSED TO LET ME CHANGE WALK-IN PRACTITIONER. Are they allowed to refuse this demand?

    Please advise.

    • Paul Taylor says:

      Hi Jane:

      I think the reason why the doctors “refused” to treat is because they don’t really have any effective treatments for the common cold.

      A cold is caused by a virus – so antibiotics won’t treat it.

      Here is a weblink to a recent article by Dr. Jonathan Gubbay of the University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine.

      It helps to explain why there is still no cure for the common cold.

      The article appeared in the Toronto Star.

    • Kim says:

      I hope your cold is better. I do know, and i am not a doctor, that there is absolutely nothing they can do about a common cold unless it turns into something more serious such as pneumonia.

  • Allison says:

    How do I help my friend who has skin cancer, and won’t admit it?

    • Paul Taylor says:

      Has your friend been to a doctor? And has the friend been given a diagnosis of skin cancer? If not, the best thing you can do is encourage the friend to see a doctor if you think this person has skin cancer.

  • Greta says:

    I’m in a very similar situation. I suffer from serious digestive issues and continue to be misdiagnosed. Have been treated for acid reflux unsuccessfully only to be told last year that I have bile reflux and there is no cure for it. I suffer daily sometimes so badly that it puts me in bed .Nothing I have tried worked so far .This is my third year of this horrible illness and it seems to be no hope of ever getting better.

    Yes I have tried second and third opinion only to be turned down. Apparently my current gastrologist is a ” nice guy” so the ones that I wanted to see cannot see me either because they know him personally or have heard of him.

    Have you ever heard of bigger nonsense ?

  • Samantha says:

    Honestly, i went through something similar with my mom when our physician was refusing to make a medical marijuana referral.

    So it is completely illegal for a doctor to refuse you a referral. He has no grounds to deny you access to something that you feel like you medically need access to.

    So here’s what you do; you schedule another appointment and you sit down and rediscuss your concerns and results. You explain your expectations you have of him as a physician, and you more or less tell him in a polite way that the referral IS going to happen or you’re going to walk out of that office, go home and start a formal complaint with the College of Physicians and he can explain to THEM why he felt like it was necessary to refuse you a simple referral.

    Trust me. That’ll get shit moving quickly.

    • PAUL TAYLOR says:

      Hi Samantha:
      In your comment you say, “it is completely illegal for a doctor to refuse you a referral.”
      That is not exactly correct. Doctors have some discretion in deciding whether or not to send a patient for a second opinion.
      The Code of Conduct of the Canadian Medical Association instructs doctors to “respect your patient’s reasonable request for a second opinion from a physician of the patient’s choice.”
      That wording suggests it’s up to the doctor to decide if the request is “reasonable.”
      However, there are certain types of referrals that can’t be denied. For instance, MDs who object to doing some services – such as abortions – must refer patients who request such procedures, to other health-care providers.
      For more information on this issue, you may be interested in reading the following article which appeared in the March 12, 2015 edition of the Toronto Star:

      Anti-abortion MDs must refer for abortions, watchdog says
      By Theresa Boyle
      Doctors who refuse to refer patients for services on religious and moral grounds — including abortions — could face discipline under a new policy adopted by their regulating body.
      The measure protects patients’ right to access care and at the same time ensures that doctors meet their legal obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code, Dr. Carol Leet, president of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, said in an interview on Monday.
      Physicians who do not comply with the new policy could face repercussions ranging from a requirement to upgrade their education to revocation of their medical licences, depending on the seriousness of the situation, she said.
      “There have been some complaints about access to care,” Leet said, explaining one of the reasons the college saw fit to update its previous human rights policy.
      Media have reported that doctors at walk-in clinics in Ottawa and Calgary last year refused to prescribe birth control.
      In addition to contraception and abortion, the new policy is also expected to affect the provision of vasectomies and blood transfusions.
      The old policy stipulated that physicians did not have to provide services that conflicted with their personal values and beliefs, but it was non-specific about whether they should make referrals to other doctors, Leet explained.
      Leet said the new policy, approved by the CPSO’s governing council last Friday, is “very explicit” that they must refer patients.
      The college held a public consultation on the new policy and Leet could not confirm reports that the majority of 16,000 responses were opposed to it.
      However, she acknowledged that there was a concerted lobby effort by organizations and individuals opposed to it to make their views known.
      Leet said a more accurate measure of the public pulse was a poll conducted by the college last spring that found that the vast majority of 800 Ontarians surveyed were in favour of doctors referring patients.
      Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, said that the issue of conscientious objection is ethically complex but that the CPSO “got it right” with its new policy.
      “On the balance of it, patient health and well being is usually what we put out there as coming first in health care. And to that end, I think that is the right choice to make,” he said.
      But he said there are some practitioners who perceive abortion referrals as moral collusion.
      “I think it is going to be really tough for them. I actually feel for them. They are trying to do what they think is right,” he said.
      Bowman said he expects that the new policy will also oblige doctors to make referrals on assisted suicide.

  • Haverson says:

    Dermatologists are very good at limiting residency training positions to keep incomes high and practice options robust. They operate much like a cartel.

  • Pissedoffwithdocwhocantbebothered says:

    I am a fair-skinned redhead with a family history (on both sides) of skin cancer, including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. My doctor refused to refer me to a dermatologist over the years, despite my general risk factor, family risk factor and specific concerns about my skin.

    His ongoing excuse was, “I’m not worried about it.” I said, “You might not be worried, but I am.” Last year, I refused to leave his office until he referred me. So he did, with reluctance. I returned after Mohs surgery to ask him to explain why he did not listen to me. “I can’t refer everyone,” was his response.

    “No,” I said, “You should refer people who are over the age of 50, who fall into the high-risk group by nature of their skin color, who have known family risk factors including skin cancer deaths, and who ask you for a referral with specific concerns. You should probably be referring people who don’t ask, too, because skin cancer rates are rising.”

    What’s it to him if I have nodular basal cell carcinoma? Nothing, apparently, because he didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. Apparently he didn’t even chart all the cases of skin cancer in my family, and acted like this was the first time he’d heard of it.

    He also said there is a shortage of dermatologists in my city. I checked with the licensing authority, and 18 dermatologists in my city are accepting new patients. I am not in Ontario.

    There is a difference between over-referring and not caring at all what happens to a patient. My doctor doesn’t refer at all, even when there is a need. He definitely doesn’t care. I do not trust him, or his ability to diagnose. Fail!

    • Paul Taylor says:

      It is good that you didn’t take no for an answer – and insisted that your doctor refer you to a specialist.
      It sounds like you have lost all faith in your current doctor. Maybe you should think about looking for a new family physician. I know that can be a challenge. But it seems like the doctor-patient relationship has passed the breaking point.

  • jules says:

    What can a patient do when a specialist refuses the referral for a second opinion. I seen one neurologist a couple of years ago for specific testing, he offered no treatment or follow up care.

    My cardiologist and family doctor both wanted me tested again so a referral for a second opinion was sent to another neurologist who does this testing, it is only done in two places in Canada. I was put on a waiting list for more than one year and then this past June he contacted my doctor and has refused the referral to see me saying that I have already been to one of the top guys in this field.

    My symptoms continue to worsen and at this point I feel even my family doctor is brushing me off. We live in an area were there is a shortage so there is a long waiting list to get another doctor. He is happy to refer me to specialists and that is what I was hoping would help. This really upset me as I thought that patients had a right to a second opinion.

    Please let me know what you think and if there is someone I can contact to help with this. Thank you :)

    • Paul Taylor says:

      Hi Jules:
      Could you please clarify something for me: Are you seeking to have same test done again – but at a different clinic?

      Does your family doctor and cardiologist think your test results may have changed since the original test was performed? If the results are expected to be the same, then what you are looking for is someone else to interpret those results? If that is the case, you may be able to get a second opinion from another expert who could review your original test results. And that would mean you wouldn’t need to repeat the test.

      • jules says:

        Hi Paul,
        Thank you for responding.
        The tests are similar but not exact as the testing I had done already. The other specialist takes a different approach and is more in depth, which helps pinpoint the cause of the condition so treatment could be more focused.

        With the first tests he was basically saying they were not conclusive or a mild case not accounting for my symptoms. My cardiologist felt I should be tested further as he didn’t agree and asked my family doctor to refer me to this other clinic. One test I completely failed and his comment was only ‘it could mean a number of things’ but would not comment further. My family doctor did send the test results from the first specialist asking for interpretation or new testing but they just flat out refused to see me.

        My family doctor has since asked for a referral to another specialist who doesn’t do the testing but might have been able to interpret the other test results and he has also refused, also saying that I have already seen one of the leading specialists in the field. I am at a loss as what to do next as that specialist is both out of province, does not feel treatment is needed and has offered no follow-up and others are refusing to see me based on his opinion.

        It is very frustrating to wait more than one year for an appointment only to have it refused and not have other options. I don’t know what to do at this point and neither does my doctor. He can keep referring me for testing but we are facing waits of at least a year again and it is becoming very difficult.

        Thanks again for your response,

  • Jess says:

    I went to school to become a medical administration person, and when I had x-rays to rule out the possibility of TB. After the x-Ray was developed the technician found them T8 vertebrae had a compression fracture. The tech sent a copy to my family doc, who then told me. I had told him I was having pain in the middle of my back. He then proceeded to tell the fracture was in the cervical area. I corrected him three times, but he dismissed me saying I didn’t know what I was talking about. But we were studying the spinal column for med anatomy. What do I do? How do I continue to trust my family doctor. If he’s lying about that what else could me be lying to me about my health?

    • Paul Taylor says:

      You do need to have confidence in your doctor. You should book another appointment and let him know how you feel. Be frank and listen to what he has to say. If you’re not satisfied then you may need to think about finding a new doctor. That’s certainly a last resort. But if the trust is gone it’s going to have a negative effect on how you view his all medical advice.

  • Name (required) says:

    I learned of a person who is looking for a second opinion, because she has lost faith in her family doctor. She has had this doctor for over 25 years. she up against an issue that he doesn’t explain to her and any Treatment she has been getting hasn’t helped and now he tells her it will be a year before she can get into a specialist. How does she go about getting a second opinion?

    • Paul Taylor says:

      To get a second opinion, you need a referral from a doctor. That can put patients in awkward positions especially if they feel there has been a breakdown in communicaiton and trust But there are a few things I don’t understand with regards to your question. Is the referral to the specialist suppose to be the second opinion? And is the problem the year-long wait? Unfortunately, there can be very long waits to see certain types of specialists. Your friend can ask if another specialist might be available. Some specialists will recommend other doctors if they have long wait lists. Anyways, encourage your friend to talk to his/her doctor to see if another option is available.

  • Elizabeth Rankin says:

    I would suggest this patient request her entire medical history which includes all tests done at hospitals and outside labs, and letters from all doctors to whom she has been referred. The family physician will or should have everything in his or her file. I can’t emphasize enough, that all patients be diligent about this suggestion and not wait until there is a crisis. It is important that patients have quick and easy access to “everything about them” in support of the recognized mantra…”nothing about them without them” or nothing about us, without, us!” The patients voice and presence is gaining long overdue prominence and for good reason. No one should be confronted with situations likes this, but unfortunately it is all too common.

    I would also suggest this patient obtain a copy of all her own health history, and all patients are entitled to this, at a cost, but it is needed. At this time, outline and compare your own interpretation of the events with those recorded in the doctor’s notes. Doctor’s notes are often woefully incomplete. Patients need to become the gatekeepers for their own personal safety and knowledge. Doctors are merely the gatekeepers to protect doctors, not patients.

    Elizabeth Rankin BScN

    • Name (required) says:


      I am a patient that has been experiencing the revolving door treatment when it comes to family practitioners. I was recently with one practitioner from 1999 until November 2014 and then I had to leave him, as his healthcare for me was really declining. So then I became a patient of a Nurse Practitioner Clinic in November 2014 and now I am having difficulty with them.

      I did try to get my health records from the previous doctor to no avail. The previous doctors secretary, only said they would send copy of my records to the new practitioner. So, how would I go about getting copies of my own healthcare/medical records from my previous practitioner and when they ask me why I want them, what kind of explanation would I give them, as I know they are going to ask me.

      Please comment with your advice.

      Thank you, Charmaine

    • Cheryl says:

      GREAT guidance here. I’m in a situation where a Neurologist ran blood tests, arranged NCD/EMG. All came back negative. Then came the MRI of the lumbar & cervical spines. Moderate to severe bilateral narrowing of foraminal opening in the lumbar spine, & osteophyte complex with moderate narrowing of foraminal opening. I experience burning skin sensations in my legs..needles/pins at times. The Neurologist told me she ‘thought’ the problem was sensory nerves, but once she saw the cervical spine MRI results, that combined with the lumbar spine MRI result, she fingered that as the culprit for my problems, & said “there wouldn’t be any neurosurgeon who would operate unless you were to lose control of your bladder & bowels. Also, when I asked if the problem could go inward, she said “I doubt it”. My family Dr. said the report from here stated she concluded it was the MRI results that is causing my problems. I’m now finding that things are progressing..I can feel the odd tingling sensation in the middle of my tongue…my neck muscles are bothering me, & I have a burning sensation in the breast bone area. I have made an appt. to see my GP late next week to ask for a 2nd opinion., & must I have this ‘condition’ control my whole body? Getting in to see someone (specialist) very likely would take several months, but I will ask him if it’s possible to put a rush on things, considering the condition is progressing.

    • Cheryl says:

      You’re so right!!! Some of my friends think I’m overdoing it by obtaining copies of bloodwork results, etc…
      but I have reason because I was not confident with my former family doctor, nor his Nurse Practitioner.
      I truly believe that because they said ‘oh, it’s likely this/that’..yet not much done for me, that I had to finally ask to see a Neurologist, which took 3 months (short time compared to a lot I hear about).I’m not happy
      with what’s going on..yes there are a few things in the MRI which revealed bilateral foraminal narrowing, AND one in the neck too..but my bloodwork, NCD/EMG, came back normal, therefore what is going on in the spine was labelled as the culprit. “Nothing a Neurosurgeon will do unless you lose control of your bladder & bowel functions”. My current family Dr. (I left the one I didn’t like) said that the Neurologist’s conclusion was that what’s going on in the spine is to blame, BUT things are progressing…the burning skin sensations are progressing, I have very sore muscles in the back of my neck. So, I want a 2nd opinion because I don’t feel that this situation should be permitted to take over my entire body! The last few days, I’ve been experiencing the odd pins sensation in my throat. I shall be seeing my ‘new’ family Dr. again next week to have a good talk with him, & to ask for a 2nd opinion. I’m nervous that seeing someone else could take a long time, resulting in further progression of what I’m experiencing. I’m hoping he can get a referral quickly..perhaps by marking the referral as ‘urgent’? If I were diabetic, things would move quickly, but I’m not diabetic. BY ALL MEANS, PEOPLE SHOULD GET COPIES OF THEIR
      TEST RESULTS, EVEN IF THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM!!! These could come in very handy if there’s a big dispute between the Drs & family members who are challenging what has been done, or not been done for their loved ones.

  • Jemo says:

    The link you provided to Urgent Care Centres shows there are only 14 of them in the province. Only one in Toronto. There’s also a chain of glorified walk-ins at . I hate to say this but unless she’s close to one of the 14, don’t you think she should to to an ER with her ultrasound result?

    • Mark Williamson says:

      I have been sent to a number of specialists over the past 5 years. 15 years ago I started becoming fatigued. This has progressed to today where my fatigue is so great that it prevents me from any physical activities without being drained. I am 67. I just discovered my grandson has marfan syndrome. So I ask..
      Can marfan cause a slow progression of muscle weakness and constant nerve tingling over the years to the point where it is totally encompassing
      .I cannot get an answer to this question??


Paul Taylor


Paul Taylor is a health journalist and former Patient Navigation Advisor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he provided advice and answered questions from patients and their families. Paul will continue to write occasional columns for Healthy Debate.

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