My letter to the attending at the family medicine clinic.

Positively Yours


In two emails1 through my personal health record, I expressed my frustration over the poor care and the lack of orders/referral at the office this afternoon.

I was in yesterday (April 7, 2015) with a sore throat. A rapid strep test was ordered and was positive. I was prescribed the antibiotic Zithromax, which I’m allergic to, and I didn’t learn which drug it was until I got to the pharmacy. It was after 5 by then. At almost 7 last night, I received a call from a different doctor at the clinic saying that I needed to come in this morning for orders for a throat culture that I would have done at the Lab downstairs, and for a referral to an infectious disease specialist.

When I got to the clinic this morning, the referral hadn’t been done and order that was done was for a test that LabCorp apparently doesn’t perform. They told me that a doctor or nurse would have to perform it. When I went back up to the clinic, the power glitch had knocked out the server so the receptionists took my name, date of birth, and phone number and said that I would be called. No call has happened.

I would like to know when my orders and my referral will be ready.

I’ve had 2 positive strep tests and one negative one since March 13, continuous symptoms of strep, and one round of clindamycin, which is the only medicine for strep that I can take. I have seen four doctors and three have said that it wasn’t strep, including Dr. Shaw yesterday.

I think I’ve been patient, but my patience is really running thin. I feel horrible. I feel like I’m on fire most of the time. My skin has broken out in a rash. I am so exhausted that just making my breakfast is enough to make me go back to bed for two or three hours. I can’t exercise. I can’t go out. I just get to sit around and hope that the ice and tylenol will do something while I wait for orders and a referral that probably should have been ordered weeks ago. Please help me out.

I really wish that someone there would take this more seriously. I know that they have a lot of other patients, but, like I told the attending, I think I’ve been patient enough.

I know that the power going out and the server going down today wasn’t their fault, but the information wasn’t there before the power and server issues. And the receptionists were like, “Oh well. It’s not here.”2 I wanted to scream, but that would hurt too much. I wanted to offer to stay until they figured it out, but they indicated that that wasn’t an option. But I knew that if I left, I would be ignored or forgotten or put on the bottom of the pile, whatever you want to call the dismissive behavior they typically have.


  1. They only allow messages to be 1000 characters long. I tend to be wordy. 

  2. Really awesome level of compassion guys. 


About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.

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