Difficult Oncologist

ElliesGirl Member Posts: 2
edited November 2017 in Lung Cancer #1


My mother was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Our initial visit to the oncologist was rough, to say the least. My mom is 86 years old and gets confused with all the tests and everything and forgets things sometimes. I am there as her representative and the doctor totally dismissed everything I tried to say. I went to ask a question and he told me to "just keep filling out the forms, I'm going to need them" He did not want to hear anything I had to say and directed everything to my mother who is really confused about things. At one point I stopped him to ask a question and he said "I may have to ask you both to step out (my daughter and myself) and I will speak with her directly" At that point, I stood up and walked out.

I have never seen a doctor with such poor "bedside manor". I am her daughter and primary caregiver and as an oncologist, he should understand that he should NEVER treat the loved one of someone newly diagnosed with cancer that way. 

I will have to take her to future appointments and am not looking forward to seeing him again. I am reluctant to say anything or ask any questions and feel that this will hinder my mother's recovery.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do?



  • Threedogs
    Threedogs Member Posts: 3

    Yes, as difficult as it seems, find another oncologist and quickly.

    Mom refused to see someone else as a THIRD opinion and the oncologist now is rude and arrogant. At last week's visit I finally spoke up instead of sittling like a dummy and told him she ended up in the ER because she was sick and his office said he wasn't retuning calls for five straight days. It's also not the first time. His answer was to cut chemo until I put her in the ER and had them assist her to a state-run nursing home for 24 care. We argued but I told mom we are not going back. 

    Remember the dr works for you and not the other way around.


  • kd25
    kd25 Member Posts: 3
    Oncologist - yikes

    Oh gosh, I am so sorry to hear this. It does sound like you definitely need a second opinion and someone who is much kinder or who understands the delicacies of treating someone who is very elderly. 

    I also read somewhere once that if you're stuck on what to say when someone's behaviour shocks you, or if you don't like the answer you get, you should reply: "your [insert actions/response/behaviour here] gives me cause to take this further. I will be speaking to [insert supervisor/hospital manager/oncology head here]." I think it's a good way of putting them on notice that you WON'T put up with being mistreated, especially when your poor mother is unwell and you are both feeling maxed out. 


    Hope this helps!