Monday, April 20, 2009

Interesting last few weeks

I can say the last few weeks have been a bit hectic. I have been to Poland and Montreal for work giving presentations and sitting in on our (Tata Communications) Sales Kick-Off conferences. It was nice to travel to Poland since I have never previously been there, but it was great to come home to the family.

While I was in Poland I received a call from my wife which had some bad news. It turns out my former oncologist, Dr. Parvez Dara, did not know how to manage his office and let things get real bad over there.

I received an official letter from the Ocean County Health Department telling me of problems they found at Dr. Dara’s office. The Ocean County Health Department said five cases of hepatitis B were reported to it and the state Department of Health and Senior Services in late February. All of the infected people were patients of Dr. Dara. It turns out I was one of the 2800 people who received this letter urging us to be tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, hepatitis C and hepatitis B.

OK, take a step back from read this and ask yourself “what would I do?” I was in Poland with nothing to do. I could not come home to take tests, but I did recall the nurses at the time I was there (mid-June 2006) did in fact take the needles they used on me out of properly wrapped bag and since that time I have had multiple blood tests done on me for my cancer that I was confident I was OK. However, you do not stop thinking about how messed up the situation really is.

I consider myself a good judge of people. I did not like Dr. Dara the first time I met him. Not because of something he said, but when I sat in his office he barely looked at me and Kristy. He was looking 95% of the time at his laptop and not a me. That is a sign that he could care less. That stuck with me and I have never gone back to see him. Though I will admit that I did call him several times as my urologist, Dr. Martin Schor, encouraged me to go back and have my follow ups with Dr. Dara. The problem was his office would never answer the phone and when the actually did pick up they would have me on hold for 10+ minutes and never come back.

I finally gave up and told Dr. Schor he is my man for check ups and he agreed. Dr. Schor has been giving me my regular 4-6 month checks ups ever since. He is simple the best doctor!!

I did have blood work done out of Dr. Dara’s office when I was there. I do not believe I am at risk because what I have heard from my primary doctor, Dr. Ruben Crisital, is the people who saw Dr. Dara for chemo are the ones at high risk. Each of the 5 apprently recieved chemo from him, which I did not. I have 4.5 weeks of radiation, but no chemo.

I had all my blood work the OCHD requested done this past Friday afternoon and I should know soon the results. The results have to get sent to the Ocean County Health Department so they can check my name off their list.

I cannot forgive such extreme incompetence by Dr. Dara. I hope and pray that man never gets to serve as a doctor anywhere for the rest of his life. I mean come on; they found several blood stains on the floor….that is unacceptable. Last week, the state Board of Medical Examiners suspended Dara's medical license indefinitely after investigators said there was evidence of unsterile practices and procedures in his office.

Dr. Dara lost control of his office and that should never happen. You cannot make excuses for lack of management control. If you cannot properly support your patients then you need to turn some or all away until you can support them.

What is shocking to me is the fact some of his patients are supporting him. Though some or even the majority might have good things to say that does not take away the fact Dr. Dara was a horrible office manager and the health department found so many issues that they were compelled to suspend him. I, for one, am glad he is suspended. He never said a bad thing to me and he treated my grandfather for 17+ years for Leukemia CLL and my grandparents loved him. However, just because a person is nice to you does not mean he/she does everything the right way. I am sure some people thought Jeffrey Dahmer was also nice. I think you get my point.

As I waited in the lobby to get my blood work on Friday an older man sat next to me with the same letter I got from the Ocean County Health Department. I looked over at him and said I was in the same boat as him. He said and I quote, “I cannot believe they are making such a big deal out of all this. Dr. Dara is getting a rail-roaded.”

I took a deep breath and kept my opinion to myself, but I was thinking of slapping this moron on the back of the head to try and knock some sense into him. HELLO, he was getting blood work as there is a chance he could have been infected.

I hope people stop making excuses and be thankful Dr. Dara was caught. If by some chance they allow Dr. Dara to practice again one would have to assume he would have gotten a wake up call and would run a tighter ship.

Now I sit and wait to hear that all tests came back negative.