Saturday, September 1, 2012

distractions and sidetracks of diagnosis

Certainly one of the more curious distractions or sidetracks of my pre-diagnosis and diagnosis of lung cancer is my pulmonologist story.

Through my original x-ray, CT scan and PET scan I trusted my nurse practitioner as my medical guru and spiritual guide … she eventually advised me to see a pulmonologist.

For many with lung issues above, beyond and including lung cancer a pulmonologist is already a member of their medical team for others like me a pulmonologist serves more as a gate keeper to the next level of oncologists and/or thoracic surgeons.

Anyway after matching my insurance with available pulmonologists we set up an appointment. Since I do not trust medical people easily I began Googling: 
“His boards have expired and also his malpractice insurance. He is awaiting indictment for insurance fraud, don't give him your money or time.”  (
Whoa!!! I went from freaking out to ‘freaking the f#ck out’!!!

‘We are shocked’ the office manager informed me after I faxed them my google results. All she could only offer in explanation was that they had to let go a disgruntled employee recently.

Anyway I was over the barrel and running out of time. Fortunately I was able to confirm that his boards and insurance were indeed in order so I met with the guy.

Plus in my case he was just a gate keeper and IMHO he did me right hooking me up with great people for my thoracic surgeon and oncologist. I have never had a reason to see him again.

Though when I first met each of these people he referred me to – there was an awkward twilight zone moment … they did not know him.

In June I read he was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he embezzled funds from an employee pension plan. Then Friday I saw a TV news report that he was arrested again this time on alleged charges of health care fraud and money laundering.

Lung cancer pre-diagnosis or diagnosis is totally mind and emotion consuming. I have to count my blessings for my own cancer timeline. Can you even imagine if in the middle of everything - suddenly your medical records were caught up in some legal nightmare as your pulmonologist is arrested and the office phone number is “temporarily disabled?” 

by Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. wow - Well Teddy has a great pulmonologist - love the practice and staff, but they are here in Kensington - I had to battle to get him in there, he is one of their youngest patients.

    1. Hi Jane! Thanks for the offer but I think I will look for someone closer :)and fortunately (knock on wood) I do not need one at least as I write this. It has to be comforting to have Teddy being treated by who you want.

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