January 24, 2003

So much for the last shred of faith I might have had in the medical profession.  Today I received a letter from the Hustler that can only be described as a “cover his butt” document. At the beginning of this letter the Hustler states that he is writing to me to clarify the “concerns we spoke of when we met.”  In the second paragraph he extends his sympathy with regards to the frustration I claim to have expressed in accessing medical care and the “address of my” symptoms.

In the third paragraph of his letter the Hustler states, “I advised my staff when questioned regarding your attendance at my clinic, that you could see the new doctor who I expect will join me in the next few months.  I repeated this position in the office, as I am not accepting new patients.  I am disappointed you were not pleased with the offer of seeing the new doctor when he arrives in Canada.”

When the Hustler mentioned the new doctor who was going to join his clinic in a few months, I asked if this new doctor would have a valid Canadian medical licence upon his arrival in this country.  It was very obvious that the Hustler resented this question and made the following comment, “Oh you know about that!”  The Hustler then told me that this new doctor would eventually get his Canadian Medical licence.  I have seen enough doctors who come to this town from a foreign country and practice medicine for up to five years without a valid Canadian Medical licence.  Quite frankly, it really ticks me off that we the general public are not made aware that our government brings these doctors to our country and then lets them practice on us.  His unsuspecting patients have a five year wait before these doctors are required to get a valid Canadian Medical licence.

The fourth paragraph of the Hustler’s letter made no sense at all.  During my appointment with him, the Hustler told me that he would charge me $200.00 an hour to read through my medical file.  He also told me that he would write a summary for me.  I asked him what his intentions were after the summary was written.  He told me that he was prepared to “see my medical care to the end”.  He assured me that he did not expect me to go elsewhere with the summary.  In his letter, however, the Hustler writes, “I have offered to prepare a summary of your medical history to facilitate assess for you to medical professionals”.  This is exactly the opposite of what he stated during my appointment with him.  The Hustler then writes, “I understand your wish is to be sent out of the country and the summation of your case may provide support for your position”.  I have no idea where this man thinks I am planning to go.  If he does know I wish he would let me in on the secret!  My husband told him that we would love to go to the Mayo Clinic but that medical care in the US was much too expensive.  He also told the Hustler that I needed to find a compassionate and caring family doctor in my own country.

The most disturbing part of the Hustler’s letter was the fifth paragraph.  He writes that he is concerned about what appears to be the lack of disclosure regarding our intent to pursue legal avenues with respect to our previous medical care.  He then writes that he asked us if we had ever considered taking legal action against the doctors who we understand to have neglected or mistreated us.   He writes that we answered no.  He then goes on to say that in further conversation it was clear that we had explored avenues with comments regarding the availability of lawyers.  The Hustler should be very concerned about his memory lapses.  You can imagine our surprise when during the appointment on January 14th; he asked us if we considered legal action.  We both replied no.  At this point we have never spoken to a lawyer about pursuing legal action.  I would not even know which lawyer to speak to.  In fact, my husband told the Hustler that he would never consider legal action because he was much too afraid it would jeopardize my medical care and a diagnosis.  You can imagine our utter amazement when the Hustler told us that he would prefer if we did pursue legal action.   In fact, the Hustler told us that many people waited to long to take legal action and often it was too late.  He told us that we should not make that mistake and we should not wait until I had a diagnosis.   The only thing that I can think of that would provoke the Hustler to write this paragraph is the fact that he became worried about his recommendation to us that we take legal action.  In plain words he was trying to “cover his butt”.

In the last paragraph of his letter, the Hustler mentions that he could not charge the insurance company for my appointment with him because it was non-therapeutic. Poor baby.  He claims he will not bill me. He then states that he is willing to write the summary statement of my case which of course will be at $200.00 an hour.

After reading the letter that the Hustler wrote, I am not about to trust him to write an honest summary of my case.   He could not even write an honest and accurate summary of my appointment with him.

The search for a dedicated, caring, and competent medical professional continues.  I think I am looking for a creature that does not exist.  Maybe I need to come to terms with my symptoms and the negative impact they have on my life.  I don’t suppose that whatever I have will kill me.  After all my health has been deteriorating for 5 years and I am still here.

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