Friday, June 11, 2010

Discrimination or Terrible Customer Service?

I've had a bad enough experience with this, that I need to rant about it on this blog:

I've been trying to get an appointment to see my endocrinologist (the only one in the Albany area with expertise in trans hormone issues) since last October! Here is a little chronology on my so far unsuccessful quest:
  1. Summer 2009: make next appointment for May 26, 2010 
  2. October 2009: call to try and get an earlier appointment to discuss an adjustment to my hormones: am told schedule is completely booked (all days and times) up through June 2010.
  3. Early May: get call that my appointment needs to be rescheduled - set it for June 2
  4. June 2: arrive in office and am told my appointment was canceled and they were unable to get a hold of me (I did switch phones in mid-May, but they have my office number, which did not change). Attempt to reschedule - women notes that trans people are now restricted to "Transgender Tuesday" (her words, not mine) appointments now. I am tempted to say "how would you feel if your doctor said African-Americans, or women, could only make appointments one day of the week?" But I don't, and make an appointment for June 22nd - she says she has to confirm this and will contact me. I update my phone number with the person.
  5. June 9: never heard back from them, so I call to confirm appointment. They say there is nothing in the calendar on it. They say "Mary," the doctor's nurse, will call me back to confirm. I ask about the "Tuesday only" policy and the woman states it's just the policy, she doesn't know why.
  6. June 11: never got a call back, so I call again. They say they have to wait until the doctor opens his summer schedule to book my appointment and that "Mary" will call me "within a month." I again ask about the Tuesday policy thing; am told same thing: "I don't know."
So, yeah, a giant WTF here. I'm sort of stuck with this guy (who in the past has been a bit cold, but is generally ok). I really want to march over there and find out what is up with this seemingly discriminatory "Transgender Tuesdays" policy. What could be the reasoning behind it? To keep us away from the "normal" patients? This is bat-shit fucking crazy and, as you can probably tell by this point, I'm a bit miffed about it.


Anonymous said...

Dana: Terrible customer service morphing into discrimination ..... a bit like the endless options one encounters upon telephoning a utility provider or government department ..... 'to serve you better ... please select one of the following options'.

Kaye Martin

Jillian Page said...

These people are so unprofessional, they should be reported to the medical association. And, yes, "Transgender Tuesdays" is discriminatory. Can you not find another endo, regardless of their experience with trans people? Or, how about a GP? This is not that complicated: estrogen, a T-blocker, and some blood tests every six months or once a year.

Good luck with this.


CulinaryAssassin said...

Wow, this is terribly discriminatory. I can't think of a reason for only seeing trans patients on a certain day of the week. I could understand if the treatment (medical wise) was drastically different from the way that the MD's other patients are treated (for diabetes, etc.); but I can't imagine that it is so different to warrant seeing transgender patients on a specific day.

My only rationalization I can come up with is that he may not have that many trans patients in his practice and would like to devote only one day per week to seeing them rather then have them spread out. But this still does not make a lot of sense due to the reasons stated above.

Regardless, it's still discriminatory and I hope you can find another doctor around here with experience with trans issues.