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Doctor closing practice - Need advice finding new PCP

cjperkccjperk Posts: 77
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Chronic Pain

I just received a letter that my PCP is closing shop after 26 years of practice. This Dr. has been my family doctor since I was a child, writes all of my prescriptions, and is a fine gentleman. He's done all of my referrals to PM/Ortho doctors and has treated me since the beginning of my symptoms.

Worse yet, there have been years of relationship building here. Better put, he knows me and knows me well. Since I take narcotic pain medicine (and have for several years now), I do not know how to go about finding someone who will continue treating me. The few times I've visited other practices (PM / Ortopedic), I've been scrutinized for using this medicine. Scrutinized does not mean accused, but I've just got the feeling that some doctors look down on people who take narcotics. Just last week consulted for an injection and the (PM) doctor who explicitly said "Oh, you take Norco, let's try some other medicine's). That stuff is addictive!".

I'm just sick to my stomach that I've got to go through all of this again with another doctor. It's been years changing medicine's and treatments to get to what I'm taking now (which is not much, but enough to enable me to manage). That's what the whole point of this is - Managing your pain.

I've not been to many doctors in my life. The past couple of months I have looked in to other treatments (not drugs, treatments). A PM sent me to get worse last week and did not want to perform an injection. That's another subject. Anyways, I had no clue how bad it was out there and how bad people will treat you when you take certain medicines. Now that I know, this is the last thing I needed to see.

Sorry for the rant, but my question is ;

How does one go about finding a new doctor? Even better, how does one go about finding a new doctor and not get accused of drug seeking? Since I take a narcotic pain medicine this is such a sensitive subject.


  • if you can, ask your old one for a referral and hopefully one who is more in tune with pain meds. same thing happened to me and i asked him and he referred me to someone else who is just as good. if not, ask around and interview them. if you don't like their feelings about narcotics go find another and another one until you find one who is good. also go to physician referral service and don't be afraid to look out of your town area.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Jon,

    Thank you very much for the advice. I'm just so frustrated that I have to go through this once again.

    What did you mean by a physician referral service?

    You know, here's the thing - I've tried a lot of other meds before going down the narcotics road. I've done very well over the past 3 years not changing medicine or dosage. That's tough as everyone knows. It takes an iron will to wean on and off of the meds so they do their job again. Anyways, I'm fully prepared to deal with the responsibility of taking addictive medicine. Why? Because it absolutely works like nothing else.

    The couple of times I've been scrutinized for taking narcotics has left me with a bad taste in my mouth (for other doctors). No responsible person deserves that. I realize some people abuse medicine, but I don't, and should be treated that way.

    I have no problem changing doctors, but I'm horrified of being labeled of a doctor shopper or whatever they call it. Guess I'm in for a fun time in the coming months....

    So what do you recommend? Calling around and asking if they'll take over my prescriptions and treatment? That seems easier than going to appts., but I doubt any responsible doctor would agree to that without seeing medical history, films, etc. Since I've never had to do this I'm unsure of proper handling of this. Thanks a million, CJ
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    If he has a private practice. Then you just continue with the new Dr. That buys the practice.
    If not. As long as he is independent. Most Dr's. sell their patient lists to someone new in the field. That he has not established yet.
    I hope this helps. Ask your Dr. He should be willing to help. I would have a hard time believing a caring Dr. would just leave. And leave their patients "high and dry"
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • make sure whomever you hook up with, make sure and i will state again make sure you take all tests, mri's, cat scans, nerve tests, disectomy tests, everything even yes even x-rays to the new dr. take all written reports also and also take a note from old dr outlining your disability and what you take for meds. have dr sign the note and take it with you and deliver it in person to new dr
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Call potential new Dr's and ask them for an interview, make sure to take all of your records especially your Rx history that way when you get face to face you can gauge the Dr's response and whether or not they are supportive of that type of medication and treatment.

    Ask them in the interview if they have any problems with that type of treatment and where they might go with future treatments and or medications. Be honest and forthright with them and show them that you are pro-active in your treatment.

    If a Dr. is not willing to give you a few minutes for an interview then move on.

    Hope that helps and GL with your search!
  • Thank you all for the replies.

    To answer your questions,

    He sent out a letter addressing that he'd been practicing for 26 years and was retiring/going to work part time. He was independent, but associated with a local medical 'group'. I don't believe group is the right term, but he was associated with such and such Regional Health.

    A recent referral to a PM (injection) doctor - He immediately went after me about taking certain medicines. It's been a long road just to get where I'm at now. I've tried so many medicines - most recently I'm finally taking a muscle relaxer that doesnt leave me drugged out in the morning and doesnt bug me out while on it - The PM berated me over the muscle relaxer - Even before addressing anything else - like the pain!

    See why I'm gun shy about new doctors? I've got no history that should red flag any doctor regarding medications. On a larger scale, I don't even take that much medicine (or that strong). Heck I'm just trying to live my life as comfortable as possible, never asked for any of this.

    What I think I'm going to do is this - I think I'm going to consult with a surgeon and see if he can figure out what's wrong with my lumbar spine - They know there's a bulge, but don't believe it's causing the problem. The neck is without a doubt a 3-level bulge, c5/c6 being worst. I'm going to then ask the surgeon where to go for long term care. I went with my family doctor because what we were doing was working - Any other care I needed was just a referral away. He was a very good doctor and has been mine for nearly 20 years.

    Thank you all for the advice.
  • PCP is a very dangerous drug!! Really, it is good that the place where you used to buy is not opened anymore. Watch this video and take conclusions.

    Link removed, solicitation not permitted
    Post Edited by The Spine-Health Moderator Team
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