Monday, June 22, 2015

University of Utah Orthopedic Center and David Petron: rude treatment, denial of service, refusal to weigh (of all things!)

June 23 video commentary:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIfsodaO4yU


Original June 22 post:

Here is the general text of a complaint I have filed with various federal & state agencies regarding the University of Utah Orthopedic Center, and a doctor I tried to see there today for knee and foot pain.

----------------------

June 22, 2015

Complaint against:

1. Dr. David J. Petron

2. The medical assistants who spoke with me during my 6-22-15 7:45am visit to the University of Utah Orthopedic Center.

3. The University of Utah Orthopedic Center, 590 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108 (801) 587-7109

4. The University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics, 50 North Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah (801) 581-2121

Summary of complaint:

Being overweight is a large contributing to the status of my health. Being able to be accurately weighed during my health care visits needs to be a key part of my care. I have arthritis in my hips, knees, and feet. My arthritis directly impacts my ability to walk and hike. Being overweight makes my arthritis worse.

On the morning of June 22, 2015 I was turned away from the University of Utah orthopedic center, because I requested that I be allowed to be weighed on a scale in the clinic before I saw the doctor I was scheduled to see.

Scheduled for 7:45am on 6-22-15 with Dr. David Petron.

Details of visit:

Arrived at the clinic at about 7:32am.

Was handed a health survey electronic tablet. Started answering the survey.

A medical assistant young women took me back to an exam room. I asked the woman if I could quickly use the restroom. She agreed.

When I returned from the restroom the survey tablet screen had turned black. I asked the woman why. She said there was no need to deal with that now. Her tone was generally curt and dismissive.

The medical assistant asked about my height and weight. I told her my height and approximate weight. But I also asked her if I could be weight on a scale, so that we all weren't just guessing.

The medical assistant told me that no scale was available "in their hallway."

The medical assistant finished her questions and walked out of the room.

I waited more time for Dr. Petron to come into the room.

While waiting I went to use the restroom a second time. While near the restroom I spent 30 seconds going out (via an external public atrium hallway) and verified that another clinic on the 2nd floor of the orthopedic center had a patient scale available. The staff at the very near clinic answered yes, that they did have a scale.

Within 60 seconds of my departure from the restroom near Dr. Petron's exam rooms I returned to his clinic area. I informed the staff that the other 2nd floor clinic in fact had a scale I could use to be weighed. However the staff at that point refused to take me back to the exam room I had been placed in just a couple of minutes before.

10 to 15 minutes later a manager man came out and told me that Dr. Petron was refusing to see me because I had walked out of the exam room.

I explained to the manager that I walked out to use the restroom, and I quickly checked to see if a scale was available at a nearby clinic just a very short walk down the 2nd floor atrium hallway, because the medical assistants refused to do any such checking themselves.

At no time did I actually see Dr. Petron first hand, and I never had a conversation with him. All my talking before I spoke with a manager was with Dr. Petron's medical assistants.

The manager said that maybe he could get me in to see a foot doctor, but that Dr. Petron would not see me, "because he was busy."

I told the manager that I was the first person on the schedule, and the matter of being too busy to see me was a ridiculous claim.

When the medical assistant staff refused to see if there was a scale I could be weighed on, I then had the gall to do such checking myself, for 30 to 60 seconds, while using the restroom and while waiting for Dr. Petron.

Dr. Petron never made any effort whatsoever to speak with me in person about the matter. He simply allowed his staff to, in the first instance, act rudely. Rudely about the health survey electronic pad turning off. Rudely about my repeated requests to be weighed before I saw Dr. Petron. And he refused to speak with me directly before booting me out the door.

I am overweight. I was morbidly obese in the past. I have arthritis in multiple joints. And my weight and arthritis and the associated high levels of pain all does impact my ability to walk, and to engage in exercise activities such as hiking. It also impacts my ability to care for my two kids.

Today I was booted for simply asking to be weighed, and after spending 30 seconds to verify that a scale was in fact available in a very near part of the building, and after lower-level staff refused to check to see if a scale was available nearby and after they brushed off my weighing request.

Being properly weighed at each visit is a key part of my care.

Strange that Dr. Petron and his staff refuse such requests.

And if a patient has the gall to spend 30 seconds to verify that a scale is available very near in the building and on the same floor (after low level staff refuse & brush off his requests), that's enough for Dr. Petron to boot you out the door.

Unfriendly. Pompous. Rude. Uncaring. This atmosphere pervades the orthopedic center now, apparently.

And a full willingness to actively retaliate against patients who take simple actions to find out if a given simple medical test (eg: being weighed on a scale) is in fact easily available in a very nearby part of a given building.

Yes there are caring providers at the university. But there's also some providers who, at the drop of a very small feather, and on a whim, will turn people away.

A sports medicine doctor who refuses to weigh his patients.

A sports medicine doctor who boots long standing patients quickly out the door if they have the gall to verify that a patient scale is available nearby to use.

Strange.

For a patient with a history of weight issues, and where weight issues are a large contributing factor to his health, that's a very strange stance to take.

Discrimination claim: That the University of Utah Orthopedic Center, and Dr. David J. Petron, actively discriminate against people who are overweight, and whose weight has a high impact on their health. A refusal to follow any reasonably conversational health care process before booting a patient out the door. No conversation with Dr. Petron at all - just with dismissive rude lower level staff who refused my weighing request. And when I spend 30 seconds out in an external public hallway during a very brief restroom visit break period to verify that a scale was in fact available, that's enough for Petron to simply & easily & quickly boot people such as myself right out the door, in spite of my history with the orthopedic center as a past surgical patient, and a general patient of the University including when I was even more obese at a morbid-type level. Also in spite of the fact that my entire family are patients of the University, and in spite of my wife having kids born at the U Hospital.

Doctors with zero patience for their patients really don't deserve to be within the medical profession.

And a State health care institution should be interested in serving the public who pay their salaries, and serving the citizenry generally as a whole.

So this is not just a matter of being turned away by Dr. Petron today, I was also essentially turned away by the State of Utah today, because I asked to be weighed on a scale, and because I had the gall to verify that a scale was easily & readily available on the same floor of a State of Utah facility. I needed to be weighed as a key part of my health care. They were angry that I asked. They were angry that I checked when they in the first instance refused to check. And they happily booted me out the door when I came & told them I could be easily weighed at the office very near to their office all on the 2nd floor of the Orthopedic Center.

At the Orthopedic Center I have had two carpal tunnel surgeries, and I've had knee evaluations done there.

My wife had babies at the U of U Hospital.

My wife and my kids are patients of the University.

When a doctor and his staff act very rudely, and when they turn people such as myself away, not just my health care is impacted. The care of my entire family is impacted.

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June 22 addendum - quotes from related social media comments:

Federal & state agencies have been informed. Also the accrediting agency who accredits the University Hospital.

The days when a doctor and his staff can act in such a rude and unprofessional and uncaring manner, act in a vacuum that is, have passed.

And for a State of Utah organization to act in this way really is pitiful. The citizenry of this state deserve better.

Today I was treated with essentially zero care. The medical assistant who first met me, her attitude, typified the entire visit. Rude. Curt. Dismissive. And when I pressed to be weighed, outright anger and threats of ejection quickly came. Then your Dr. Petron followed through and booted me out the door - all because I wanted to be weighed. It was too much for him.

A patient, standing up for his rights - too much for the pompous rude god-complex doctors w/in some of your clinics.

Patients are way at the bottom of the pile at the University. God-complex doctors are at the top. No one listens to the concerns of patients there.

===

Heart disease is probably made worse when patients visit rude doctors, for example Dr. Petron at the Orthopedic Center.

Also being able to exercise effectively can help with your heart, as can loosing weight. But there's no scales available for patients to use at the orthopedic center. If you ask to be weighed by one, even if they have one, you'll be booted out the door.

Thanks, University of Utah Health Care. Thanks to the angry MAs at Petron's office. Thanks to the angry managers who helped carry out the "protocol" of completely ignoring the requests of patients - a request to be weighed. Too much for a sports doctor to handle.

When a patient pops their head up at some locations of the University system, a game of whack-a-mole is then engaged.

"You speak up? You question my god-like-status as a doctor? You're out of here!" --- is the general response.

Heart disease awaits.
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June 23 addendum:

University Hospital staff saw some of the above posts on their main Facebook page. They deleted them all, and they blocked the ability for my regular Facebook account to post on their main Facebook page.

I have just transmitted the following complaint addendum to the University of Utah Office of Equal Opportunity. The following addendum text will also be shared with relevant federal & state authorities.

---

As a follow up to my 6-22-2015 complaint, further adverse action has been taken against myself and my family by the University.
The University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics maintains a public Facebook page. I posted a complaint on that public forum page where the Hospital has chosen to have a public presence, and to allow public comments.

The hospital staff who operate their public-facing public-forum Facebook page saw my complaint notes, deleted all of them, and then blocked my regular Facebook account from being able to post any comments there going forward.

So my regular Facebook account has been completely blocked by Hospital staff from being able to post in a public forum where the Hospital maintains a public presence.

Members of the public may well comment on their treatment at University facilities in that forum.

To block & censor comments from members of the public in that forum really is inappropriate - for a public entity.

The University of Utah is a part of the State of Utah. The U Hospital is not a private hospital and their doctors are not private employees.

Rather than having any dialogue, their general response has been so far to a.) refuse to talk, b.) refuse to have relevant medical managers & doctors call me on the phone [after requests were made to the Hospital customer service dept.], and c.) attempt to censor any and all complaints I may make about the University in public forums - where their staff can click on the delete & block buttons.

State of Utah employees clicking delete on comments from members of the public, comments from patients, comments made in a fully public forum where the University Hospitals & Clinics have chosen to have a public presence.

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June 24 addendum:

Copy of 6-24 email sent to the University of Utah Office of Equal Opportunity:

On the main Facebook page for the University Hospital, at
https://www.facebook.com/UofUHealthCare
, they have a "posts to page" section where any member of the public can post comments.
There is still one complaint on there from someone else about a prisoner who died due to scheduling error at the hospital. But my posts were deleted by U staff.

I posted:

1. The text of my UOEO [University of Utah Office of Equal Opportunity] complaint.
2. An addendum comment.
3. A comment in response to a posting of the U Hospital on their main page.

All of these comments fell within the bounds of a public-forum type exchange. Initially someone responded asking for my contact info so that customer service could contact me. Then a few hours later all of my posts had been deleted, and my ability to post anything whatsoever on that particular page had been blocked by hospital staff (page owners on Facebook can block certain people from being able to post).

Page owners on Facebook can decide to allow posts or not generally, or to allow "posts to page" or not. But when those features are enabled it's generally understood that anyone can post.

A private group or individual blocking people from their Facebook page is one thing. A page which is put out by a State of Utah entity (a government-set-up group more directly covered by the First Amendment & so on) which censors comments and blocks citizens is quite another.

And this is all in addition to what's occurred with my virtual excommunication from the Orthopedic Center in response to being asked to be easily and quickly weighed on a scale, well before Dr. Petron was ready to see me.

The first MA woman who saw me asked my weight. In response I asked to be weighed on a scale. And things went down hill from there. Continual deferments. More irritation and anger on their part. And when, during a quick second restroom break (needed because I take blood pressure medicines) I had the gall to verify that a scale was in fact easily & readily available, that was too much for them. They had plenty of time to weigh me before Petron was ready to go into a room with me. And when I pressed to be weighed when Petron was ready, that made them even more angry. An MA young man stated that they weren't sure if Petron could see me because he was busy. But I was the first person on his schedule that day. And then several minutes later a manager man claimed that Petron didn't want to see me because I "walked out." That wasn't true either really. Again during a very quick second restroom break well before Petron was ready to go into a room with me I simply verified that a scale was in fact easily available at another very close clinic on the second floor. I quickly came back & asked the front end receptionist to let me back and to tell the MAs that I had found a scale I could be weighed on. But I was never brought back in. They let the clock run. Then a male MA came out and I saw Petron in the far distance. The male MA spoke to me ultimatum-style, and said "do you want to see Petron or not?" I responded that I wanted to be weighed on a scale as part of the visit. The male MA walked with me to the other clinic & then disappeared. As he walked he stated that he wasn't sure if Petron could see me. Then 10 to 15 minutes later a manager man came out to deliver the excommunication. The manager man was angry and upset also. He said it was Petron's protocol to not weigh anyone, and that Petron would not see me because I had "walked out." He also said Petron was too busy to see me. I told the manager that I was the first person on Petron's schedule, and so the "too busy" claim was ridiculous. I then left.

Because took the initiative myself to get an accurate weight, so that I could answer the first MAs question accurately, that made them even more angry. And so they retaliated in the ways they did - by expressing anger, by expressing irritation, by deferring my request and making me wait out in the atrium-waiting room for several minutes, and then by claiming that Petron could not see me because he was busy and because "I had walked out." It was all very disingenuous and strange.
They refused to let me back in after a second restroom break. They refused to walk with me to the other 2nd floor clinic well before Petron was ready to see me, so that I could be weighed there. They refused to have Petron talk with me before a.) making me wait 10 to 15 minutes more, and before b.) having a manager booting me out.

Separately I have requested of the Orthopedic Center management that they not will myself or my insurance company for the 6-22 7:45AM appointment. They have not responded.
[wife's name] - my wife & patient of the Midwife group, and of Greenwood dental & family care.
[children's names], my children, patients of Greenwood pediatrics and family care, born at the U hospital.
When staff at the U hospital & clinics act in this way, the care of an entire family is impacted.
When other U hospital staff act to censor and shut me up on their public Facebook page, our care is impacted.

I simply asked to be weighed in direct response to a question about my weight from an MA. For several years I was morbidly obese, and I'm perhaps up to 50 to 70 pounds overweight now. I have high levels of left foot & knee pain which are directly impacted by my weight. So being asked to be weighed in response to an MA's question, and while visiting a sports medicine doctor, seems like a reasonable request. Weight tracking would be a highly useful activity for such a person I would think.

I took some initiative during a very quick restroom break well before a doctor was ready to see me that a scale was available. But that initiative was too much for these people.

===

Copy of related 6-24 email sent to the University Hospital customer service department:

Today I found the following note on another U page:

"Censorship is incompatible with the goals of an institution of higher education."
at
https://support.csbs.utah.edu/tiki-index.php?page_ref_id=38

It's also incompatible with the operation of a government. The University is a part of the State of Utah, and Utah is a state within the USA, and therefore is subject to the First Amendment. Employees at the U are government employees.

On the main Facebook page for the University Hospital, at
https://www.facebook.com/UofUHealthCare
, you have a "posts to page" section where any member of the public can post comments.

There is still one complaint on there from someone else about a prisoner who died due to scheduling error at the hospital. But my posts put on there this week were all deleted by U staff.

I posted:

1. The text of my UOEO complaint.
2. An addendum comment.
3. A comment in response to a posting of the U Hospital on their main page.

All of these comments fell within the bounds of a public-forum type exchange. Initially someone responded asking for my contact info so that customer service could contact me. Then a few hours later all of my posts had been deleted, and my ability to post anything whatsoever on that particular page had been blocked by hospital staff (page owners on Facebook can block certain people from being able to post).

Page owners on Facebook can decide to allow posts or not generally, or to allow "posts to page" or not. But when those features are enabled it's generally understood that anyone can post.

A private group or individual blocking people from their Facebook page is one thing. A page which is put out by a State of Utah entity (a government-set-up group more directly covered by the First Amendment & so on) which censors comments and blocks citizens is quite another.

Your State of Utah employed staff have actively censored and blocked my speech, in a public forum, a forum where other members of the public are still allowed to comment, including a still-present comment put on there by someone complaining about the death of a prisoner due to a scheduling error. You have attempted to shut me up as a patient.

And this is all in addition to what's occurred with my virtual excommunication from the Orthopedic Center in response to being asked to be easily and quickly weighed on a scale, well before Dr. Petron was ready to see me

[wife's name] - my wife & patient of the Midwife group, and of Greenwood dental & family care.
[children's names], my children, patients of Greenwood pediatrics and family care, born at the U hospital.

When staff at the U hospital & clinics act in this way, the care of an entire family is impacted.

When other U hospital staff act to censor and shut me up on their public Facebook page, our care is impacted.

I simply asked to be weighed in direct response to a question about my weight from an MA. For several years I was morbidly obese, and I'm perhaps up to 50 to 70 pounds overweight now. I have high levels of left foot & knee pain which are directly impacted by my weight. So being asked to be weighed in response to an MA's question, and while visiting a sports medicine doctor, seems like a reasonable request. Weight tracking would be a highly useful activity for such a person I would think.

I took some initiative during a very quick restroom break well before a doctor was ready to see me that a scale was available. But that initiative was too much for these people.