Thursday, August 6, 2015

You have physcian options with Veteran Affairs (VA).

When you get a medical appointment with the VA, you go to a VA Medical Center (VAMC) or a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) or clinic.

You may be seen by a physician, a physician assistant (PA) or  a nurse practitioner (NP). All three are collectively referred to as clinicians.

Suppose you get a bad clinician. I hear about complaints about "doctors" all he time on the Internet. Of course, the bad doctor may a PA or an NP because the VA has a huge shortage of physicians. In fact, VA secretary, Bob McDonald, wants to hire 28,000 for physicians.

Bad doctors are not unique to the VA. In the past 7 years, I changed private practice endocrinologists twice and neurologists once. You can often go on the Internet to find information on physicians, PAs and NPs.  You can also subscribe to Angie's List and pay an extra fee to get patient ratings of people and institutions in the medical community.

If you get a bad  VA clinician , what can to do? You can contact the Patient's Advocate office and ask for a new physician. Make it clear you want a physician, and not a PA or NP.

If the second physician is also problematic, then go back to Patient Advocates Office and file another complaint.

This time a patient affairs is supposed to assign a private practice physician to provide medical care.

Hopefully your third attempt for medical care will be successful.

By the way, the CBOCs or clinics often have many of the functions that a VAMC has. For example. the Palm Harbor CBOC has both Patient Advocate and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) offices.

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