Red Hat: Doctors Pride

redhatTwenty years ago, someone hurt me, we have been all through this and I am not going to bore you with the details. Twenty years ago, my body suffered a significant amount of damage that has cascaded into more damage over the years. Twenty years ago I had surgery to repair some of the most egregious of that damage and provide me with some relief, my spine from T2 to T5 were fused, we used human material, my choice. At the time, I thought the doctor was a miracle worker and the surgery a true miracle, my pain went from a nine on a scale of 1-10 to an average of three immediately, I was in heaven on earth.

That was twenty years ago, this is today.

I have been pondering my reaction to recent events with my doctor and his referral to ‘the best neurosurgeon’ in Dallas. Really, this clinic and this surgeon treats members of the Cowboys!

Let me tell you why this is my Red Hat of the year, my friends.

This has been a hard year for me pain wise. Last year it started to escalate. I know what is wrong; my regular doctors know what is wrong too. We have all been down this road for a very long time now. This time though everyone said, ‘no more injections it is too much and too far-gone, time for something else, time for an expert to take a look at the damage and determine next steps.’

Not really what I wanted to hear, but I didn’t disagree. My last MRI’s were 14 months ago, so when the new clinic called to make the appointment they said, ‘no the DOCTOR will want new film, don’t bother to bring what you have.’ I thought this was odd, but I did what they said and I didn’t throw all of my Cervical and Lumbar MRI film into my purse. On the phone, I asked did my doctor explain the referral was for both my Cervical and Lumbar; the nice young lady happily responded in the affirmative and explained I should set aside enough time for x-rays, MRI and a consultation.

I did just that, I took the entire day off to make certain I had the time blocked. Well that isn’t quite what happened, indeed that is nowhere near what happened.……..

There are eighteen doctors at The Clinic. They are apparently very proud of themselves, very proud of the fact they treat professional athletes and others of wealth and influence. Their clinic is a model of efficiency when it comes to your sign-in, making certain they have all your financial information that is.

This was not my Doctor, dammit

This was not my Doctor, dammit

Perhaps those with a great deal of money, or those who wear professional football jerseys don’t care how they are treated by their medical providers. Perhaps, they accept a lack of courtesy as part of the game.

On the other hand, I have a standard, even for professionals considered to be at the top of their field. Part of this standard is do not under any circumstance treat me as if I am stupid, unaware, beneath your contempt or not worthy of your time. Despite your years of education, the accolades of your peers and the worship of those professional athletes you have treated I am still paying you! Between me and my insurance cold hard cash is leaving our pockets and entering yours.

I am not a charity case; you aren’t climbing down off your effing ego mountain, wading through the muck to treat me. Indeed not, I drove to your clinic after spending the better part of an hour filling out reams of paperwork, providing you not only with my insurance information but also with my personal financial information and then waiting for you for 45 minutes after my appointment time because your time is clearly more valuable than mine is. After all that, you Herr Doktor had the unmitigated gall to act as if I wasn’t well enough informed, smart enough or perhaps interesting enough to be sitting in your treatment room.

First, you had not bothered to read the Referral sent over by the doctor who has been treating me for eight years.

Then you callously observed my throat and arms had been sliced open and demand an explanation. Frankly, Doctor, none of your business but since you must know my ex-husband tied me to a bed and took a straight razor to me.

When you finally got around to looking at the x-ray you couldn’t figure out what those strange ‘pathways’ in my neck and into my spine were. Had you read the referral you would have known they were bullet entrance and exit wounds, but you couldn’t be bothered so I had to explain it. Your comment to this, oh yeah; “I healed up nicely.”


This was the first ten minutes; we spent another five exercising my right arm, which is periodically numb, periodically paralyzed, and periodically so painful I wish I could cut it off. You my good doctor, your diagnosis? I have arthritis in my shoulder and need a better painkiller and some physical therapy. When I explained I try to avoid painkillers so I can live a full life, you suggested I simply take more Motrin and handed me a ‘prescription’ for physical therapy, told me to go wherever I wanted and come back to see you in March. Are you even aware the damage 2400 milligrams of Motrin will do taken daily?

Mind you, I have never had arthritis. There is not a damned thing wrong with my shoulder and never has been, movement hurts because my cervical spine hurts and I have nerve damage you numbnut. Did I fail to mention, he didn’t have time in the first consult to deal with both the Cervical and the Lumbar, I would have needed to make two appointments for that. He didn’t order MRI’s. What he did say to me as he left the room…..

“You win for the best story of 2012.”Kickm

Well, Dr. Andrew Dossett of The Carrell Clinic wins for the worst bedside manner, least compassionate, worst listener and most egotistic medical provider it has been my experience to run into in many years.

Was this a bit incoherent? My apologies. I am between terribly peeved and in pain, have been for weeks now. I am also between a rock and a hard spot, so is my regular doctor, we will work it out but in the meantime I am stuck with how do I get through the day.

I don’t often call out names in my Red Hats, but in this case well I just thought it was worthy. How does a Doctor, a person who takes an oath to ‘do no harm’ act in such a callous and uncaring manner. Wasn’t I in a big enough puddle on the floor? Did I not show enough abject misery?

Sorry Doctor, it isn’t my way to weep and gnash my teeth. But it should be your way to show compassion and treat the patient in front of you not your effing assumptions.


  1. This is the first I’ve been able to read your story. Wow. And I actually could not read it all here today, but I read enough. I am sadly accustomed to either idiotic or azzhattish behavior from doctors, especially the high cost specialists. I’ve developed many techniques for pain management over the years, nothing like nerve and spinal pain, just nothing like it. Except maybe childbirth, but at least that was over in 12 hours or so and is entirely preventable. A few years ago I did some research, and I wanted to share that I use D-ribose to combat the nerve pain and weak muscles. My twitching stopped in my leg, the constant crushing pain has lifted, and I’ve been able to regain strength. D-ribose is the pure form of sugar used by muscles. You may want to do some research yourself and ask a doc about it, but I really think it is one of the reasons I am in less pain and doing better physically. It is available at vitamin shops. I recommend it now to anyone with neuropathy. Much safer than bucket loads of motrin.

  2. The culture of medicine holds doctors infallible, and unfortunately much of that attitude has become ingrained into the broader culture over the years. While there are many great doctors, there are also many incompetents ones, as your personal experience shows. We need to find a way to effectively weed out those who do more harm than good. Your willingness to name names is certainly one powerful way to do so. Hopefully, at some point in the not too distant future, we will develop a systematic way of identifying and exposing incompetent practitioners in the medical profession…but I remain skeptical. In the meantime, we need to express our individual power as have so bravely done. As always, you never cease to amaze me.

    • I think fear and anger fueled my reaction this time. I am not certain bravery was part of it, but thank you.

      Honestly, he may be a perfectly good doctor. Just not for me. He may be perfectly fine with 95% of his patients, just not patients like me with injuries like mine. There might even be some legitimacy to his diagnoses, but he did not do enough to come to that conclusion in that time frame with no other diagnostic tools.

      Therein lies the entire problem. He didn’t do his job.

  3. Elizabeth in MI says:

    I think it’s great that you named names. I, too, was once treated like this by an arrogant s.o.b. of a doctor. If someone had put his name on the internet for me to find I would have been saved one of the most physically and emotionally painful experiences of my life.

    • I also did a review on Angie’s List! I love Angie’s List, love it a great deal. I linked my review to this post. Top it off, stupid clinic called me today to ‘confirm’ the appointment I had cancelled already. Then wanted to know why I cancelled it, so I told them and gave them the link to this and to the review and Angie’s list. Stupid woman actually tried to convince me I was wrong, the doctor was right that at my age it likely was Arthritis and I just was to stubborn to believe his ‘drive through diagnosis’ (my term not hers).

      I don’t usually name names in the Red Hat, but just as you say I think people have the right to know about Doctors, Lawyers and other so called ‘professionals’.

  4. AirportsMadeSimple says:

    Hi, Val – that is terrible! So sorry you had to go through all of that. Good luck on finding/discovering “Plan B” after mean doctor.

  5. Hi Val… I’m so sorry you have have to deal with all this, and still no relief in sight!!
    My sister and I were just discussing how her husband who needs a kidney transplant probably won’t get back on the list and how awful the VA medical care is. He told a psychologist he kept a loaded gun and had serious suicidal ideation, they admitted him for one night, decreased his meds and sent him home. And then there’s the waiting six+ months for follow up appt’s which are simply useless, since the dr forgetsd to read the latest labs or test results… why bother! They forgot he prepaid for his care when deployed, etc.Act like he’s entitled – well, he IS
    And I too have the Medicare juggernaut on my end – apparently Medicare and ins companies don’t think breathing is all that important, cuz copays for maintenance asthma med is $40, I can’t afford, they don’t care.
    I know it doesn’t help to know you’re not alone, but you’re not!!
    I send you as much positive energy as I can to help you through this, for as long as it takes!!
    blessings, my friend!!
    I totally agree with getting the media involved, especially locally, so this azzhat gets hit where it hurts – in the wallet.


    • Oh Kat, I am so sorry. You make my own small fury seem so tiny and idiotic. I do hope your brother-in-law finds solace and support. You my dear friend, I just hope you can find some support for your needs, I know there has to be some out there.

      It does help to know there are so many of us out there fighting these idiotic battles. I think we need to band together.

  6. I read this with tears in my eyes – you deserve so much better x

    • Thank you my friend. The problem? Sometimes what we deserve is not always what we get from others, even those we pay to behave properly. So he is an Azzhat and that is simply the way of it. Now I will simply need to do something else.

  7. I think talkback shows sounds like a good idea – who knows what other ghastliness will come out of the closet from listeners and callers. You have every right to be angry – it’s the careless contempt and ignorance that gets to you isn’t it – among other unpardonable things!

    • Valerie, happy new year. I am so pleased you have returned to us and can’t wait to read more. I have done what I can, we will see what comes of it. I have made a decision to not focus on the bad behavior of others beyond what I have done, instead I am going to focus on what I can do for myself.

  8. File a complaint with the state medical board. That’s seriously unethical, if they treated you that way.

  9. Jueseppi B. says:

    I wish you, your family & friends a wonderfully joyous and healthy, safe, fun Happy New Year….See you right back here next year….Namaste.

  10. Right that’s it I am definitely sending the Zombies round
    to see that hopeless creep, he is giving my Frankenstein
    a bad name and oh are they going to get some grief from
    my Head Honcho Skeleton with the big one (no not bone),
    I meant with the big baseball bat, he calls it his Little Frederick,
    no idea why but it has some exquisite dents in it, and the many
    different shades of red enhance the crude swings he uses to
    perfect his ghoulish art, but all for a good cause I might add 🙂
    Anyway if you need to use it just shout ERIC and it will be
    delivered in a jiffy, well not literally but you know what I mean? 🙂
    Anyway… I hope that this little outburst of mine helped a bit Val

    ¸.•*¨*•.Happy New Year in 2013 Val•*¨*•.¸¸

    Andro xxx

  11. What an inflated ignoramous—and I’m trying to be nice here. Ave doctors, specialists, thinking they are God? So sorry to hear about your horrible treatment.

    • I suspect it is that treating those Dallas Cowboys and those very wealthy Turtle Creek folks that has him with the God Complex. Meeting someone like me, well he likely though I was a drug seeking ner’do well or something. Blond spikey hair, tattoos and all. What a fool, right?

  12. So sorry you went through this. Nothing ruffles my feathers more than reading about health care providers who give the rest of us a bad name. There is no excuse not to read the referral records. I myself have been in situations like your personal physician in that I’ve referred patients to a ‘super’ specialist, only to have the care be substandard. Where does one go from there? Both the patient and the referring physician are expecting guidance and instead end up experiencing a complete waste of time, a personal affront, and needless expenses. So sorry for your frustrations. Not a great way to begin a new year.

    • Did I mention somewhere I love Angie’s List? I love them. I wrote a ‘reference’ for this doctor and this clinic on there even linked the reference to this Red Hat. Needless to say, the reference was on par with my experience.

      Most of my doctors Carrie have been awesome, so this was such a shock. I think that is why I was so angered. Ah well I will start over again. I have asked my regular neurologist to do all the work-up, they we will together find the right surgeon to do the diagnostics. In the meantime, I will work with the acupuncturist and add yoga.

      Have a wonderful New Year.

  13. I hope this gets Freshly Pressed, so everyone knows his name. Maybe he’d like to be famous – or rather – notorious.

  14. OneHotMess says:

    I am so sorry, Val. I was married to a surgeon for 16 years, so I know all about jerky doctors. There are good ones, too, who do listen, but this one here…he should be reported. No one, no matter what, deserved that kind of treatment.

    • I know my friend. The first surgeon, twenty years ago was awesome I adored him. I wish he wasn’t so far away but I am considering finding out if he is on my insurance plan and even though the distance is great, biting the bullet and going back to him anyway. Personally? I would simply rather avoid surgery altogether, but I at least need to have the evaluation done and understand the options before I say no.

  15. Payback is hell.

    I would make an appointment with a different doctor in his practice and let everyone in that practice know of Dr. Dossett’s inadequate and unprofessional treatment. Do it in writing and verbally in the office. CC the sports teams in Dallas. Let them know at the desk, with a full waiting room, that you are not at all pleased to be returning for an evaluation when you should have had one with Dr. Dossett X weeks ago when you came the first time. Write a letter to him as well, letting him know just how inadequate his treatment was.

    Report him to the board. Not diagnosing a problem IS malpractice.

    What an ass.

    Alternatively, go somewhere else entirely and get a proper work up. Then let the first clinic know.

    Doctors know doctors. They know who the assholes are (I have a urologist, for example, that when I told my GP I had seen a jerk immediately knew who it was). Dr. Dossett might be in trouble in his office that you don’t know about, and any information the clinic gets about him is helpful for knowing whether to keep him in the practice. Unless people speak up (and they rarely do) no action can/will be taken.

    All a doctor really has is his reputation.

    • I am considering any and all avenues Elyse, I am trying to understand why my normal doctor is reluctant to make a different referral despite my complaint. It is the first time in nearly ten years he and I have not been on the same page about something.

      That being said, these are great suggestions. Thank you.

      • A second opinion should always be an option. Demand it. He obviously could have given you a Rx for heavy duty motrin but thought something else was needed.

        Doctors are notoriously reluctant to go against each other. That is why malpractice cases are next to impossible to win — it is difficult to get one doctor to testify against another.

        I’ll be glad to help if I can. I really am good at dealing with doctors and I always get what I want/need. Sometimes it takes more time than others.

        • I have a prescription for 800’s. His suggestion is I simply take 3-4 a day rather than the 2 I already take. Over time this much Motrin is dangerously bad for you.

          I think I will simply call the clinic and ask to speak to the head. Perhaps I will send this to him.

          • That’s a good plan. And eat before you take the motrin it softens the GI effects.

          • I got a nice little ulcer from taking too much Motrin after having my first child. And you think I’d know better. I agree–definitely take with food, and if you must be on NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for a while, see if your doctor can give you one that’s gentler on the stomach.

  16. frigginloon says:

    I don’t know about America but in Oz we have a medical board where a**holes like him are reported. Best outcome he loses his medical license, the very least he gets investigated. Valentine, I am so, so very sorry you had to go through this as well. No one deserves that kind of treatment, especially from people who should have more empathy than anyone. Enormous hug xxx

    • Thanks Loon. We have one as well. Problem, other than being an egotistical azzhat he didn’t do anything particularly wrong I don’t guess, sure he didn’t read the referral and he misdiagnosed me but he didn’t put my life at risk.

      • And I thought the supposed specialist who charged me $500+ to treat me like a gnat when I broke my collarbone 9 years ago was a jerk. A thorough investigation of your tormenter just might uncover him as an imposter. They’re afraid to do harm, a sure way to be found out; so they serve up arrogant platitudes and physically more or less harmless drugs and exercises. But the mental and emotional harm he did is incredible and deserves whatever punishment you can mete out.

        • Well my friend I am thinking, I have already outed him here and on Angie’s List. I have outed him to my own doctor as well. I am going to take several other of the wonderful suggestions from the great people here.

          We will see we will see. Angie’s List is wonderful, the complaint goes directly to the Clinic and the Doctor.

  17. Your post hit a sore spot with me, pun intended. have many of the same problems you mentioned, An ALIF (Anterior Lumbar Interior Fusion) almost 2 years ago. Still see my neurosurgeon and pain management doctor. co-pay for 1 hour of PT is $125.00 -Medicare sucks ass.
    Hope that you get some relief, Cant’s thank you enough for sharing this story, and never never run into another douche doctor again. Luckily I dig my neurosurgeon, but this is the second pain management doc: The 1st one recommended by my neurosurgeon treated like a piece of dirt in every way that you described. Told my neuro he should take that bastard off his referral list. Then I was referred to a good guy.
    Had the nerves burned off at the lower spine a few months ago. Epidural last month -didn’t take- and you know what I mean girl. And so it goes…

    Really enjoyed this post. Can’t believe you survived your attack at all.

    Happy New Year and Be Well!
    btw: Red sent me 🙂 She Tweeted your post.

    • frigginloon says:

      Thought you two would bond. Now don’t be leading each other astray. Might have to keep an extra eye on you two 😉

    • Rachael – I adore my Neurologist, he and I work well together and have done so for nearly 10 years. I have started Acupuncture for pain management, hated the first guy but loved the results so am looking for someone closer to home who is a bit more reliable.

      Maybe I will beg for another round of shots to both upper and lower, even though it isn’t what he thinks is best. Another round of shots, more physical therapy (no not for the phantom arthritis) and more movement this year, just work through the pain with yoga, acupuncture and shots. I didn’t want surgery any damned way.

      I am sorry you, me and so many others go through this with these Azzbags.

      • Have had acupuncture recommended but as there’s no empirical evidence showing it works I’ve stayed away. Let me know! I can’t afford the physical therapy, it costs too much. Will try the yoga though: a real excuse to use a 3 year old DVD lol. Thanks for the tip!
        Am with you on the surgery!! ANYTHING but more of that shit

        Have a Fabulous New Year and best of luck.
        You have a new subscriber (or stalker buahahahaha)

  18. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    Holy mother of WHAT.

    Mack and I were talking last night about how little doctors delve into our histories, whether those we have written down or by asking us questions. I suspect I am gluten intolerant, a conclusion reached after months of doctors shuffling me around without bothering to ask a single question about my environment. How can root cause be determined without knowledge?

    And yet my stuff is nothing compared to this. Nothing. His parting comment honest to god sounds like a line delivered by a villain.

    I am so sorry.

    • We should not have to spend eons searching for decent medical providers. There should be a protocol, there simply isn’t though. In this case, there is nearly ten years worth of history with the referring doctor this azzhat simply couldn’t be bothered to read. That is what so infuriates me.

      I pretty much know the basics of what is wrong, just not the here and now details. We don’t know what has changed. We don’t know what to do now because it has gotten intolerable. Then this fool of a doctor says oh, you have….something else entirely after 15 minutes.

      It felt like a line delivered by a villain. I wanted to follow him out into the hall and slap him silly. Thankfully I have a good handle on my temper.

      It’s okay Deb, I will work through this. I waited to write it till I calmed down. Now, the next step is to find a decent Neurosurgeon.

  19. What an asshole. I say we ALL call him out. Fuck head doctors needs to be knocked off their horses and out of practice. This guy is an ass and Karma will catch up to him. I wish I lived in Dallas to come and help you somehow.

    Interestingly, when I was finishing my MA in communication, a BOOMING area of study within the discipline was medical communication…meaning that it has been proven over and over again that MD’s have HORRIBLE communication skills and need in-depth training on how to communicate with their patients to balance out the trade practice they get in diagnosis. My sister has a brain tumor…and when she was diagnosed, the MD was like, “Oh – you have a brain tumor” and literally walked out of the waiting room without a second glance leaving my 20 year old sister sitting there in shock.

    Another douche bag.

    Where do we write complaint AND refund letters?

    • He is in such a big practice with such a ‘big’ reputation I don’t even know where to start but I am going to find some way to make certain I at least speak my mind. Angies List (one of my favorites) something. His behavior was beneath bad.

      I suspect if I sat there weeping holding on to my body parts and flailing about I would have had a different outcome. It isn’t my way though.

      • “Oh, Ashley, don;t leave me!”

        Honestly, didn’t you read the script?

        I swear there is a class they take on how to be treacherous, prevaricating egoists. He does not even deserve the hat. Merely the cheeks over his hair plugs.

        I want to spit on his Jaguar.

      • frigginloon says:

        Valentine I suggest you ring a few talkback radio shows. He needs to be exposed. How friggin dare he.

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