Why docs do this?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 7/7/2010 2:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, haven't posted in a while but still read.
Called PM doc today for my monthly refill only to find out they're on vacation till next Tuesday.
After 2 days of not being able to get ahold of anyone there, I called the doc's office next door to them and that's how I found out.
Now that I know I can stretch out my meds until then but just curious how they can't take their patients into consideration when they go on vacation?
I can't be the only one who is due for a refill this week and they don't have anyone that fills in at all. They're just all gone for the week.
What happens to others that didn't know who may already be out and can't stretch it?
Everyone has a right to vacation but just curious why they wouldn't check on who needs refills that week and inform their patients or plan accordingly rather than just leave all their patients in the dark and outta luck. Strange that they'd do that IMO.
Also curious what happens when your PM goes on vacation?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 7/7/2010 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
The same thing,. With my EX pm but still my BF ( for now) we can't call them in on Fri., and even then it takes over a week to get them to call it back in. Tried to call it in early so they would get back on time and make arrangents ahead of time to go get them. They call back to say it is early even tho we told them we are calling them in early but wont pick them up until it is time. Can not win for losing. Now the PM is calling back with the wrong RX on my BF. I am so mad right now I can spit nails. The more I find out about this pm the madder I get.


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/7/2010 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
   Dear TB,
      My pharmacy just does a "patrial fill on expected approval". Last time I needed this done the H1N1 flu had apparently reached my doctors office and half of the office was sick. So, it was a good thing I got the partial fill. Also, I don't deal with the doctors office for my refills. My pharmacy does all the refill paperwork. It takes alot of stress off my shoulders.
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
Chronic Pain Moderator

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 856
   Posted 7/7/2010 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow. That's not right! I'm so sorry that you're both dealing with this. I had a doctor recently order a test and then go away on vacation. He said he was going to get the MRI approved, but didn't! He is pushing me off to my specialist.

My PM does not do refills--ever...so I don't have to deal with that. For me, it's easier that way because I don't have to call and wait. I just go to my appointments.

Your doctor should have a back-up plan. I'm surprised that he/she is leaving the patients without medication. It seems so very careless to me!{


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 7/7/2010 4:40 PM (GMT -6)   
My PM always posts when doctors will be on vacation or the clinic will be closed. This is horrible that they would do this to you without letting you know. I know when I went to my doc appt yesterday I did not see my usual doctor. Instead I saw the nurse who made sure that I had all the meds I needed.


I live to "Tame My Pain!" 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/7/2010 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear TB,

That is very frustrating...! I'm the same way as Flower - my PM doesn't do "refills", per se. I *think* that w/ certain opiods (Class 2), that is actually the law, isn't it? I'm sorry - I used to know this stuff in and out, but my brain is tired right now. I have to physically go in each month for refills on my narcotic meds.... That being said, I have a 2+ year relationship w/ my PM doc, and there are times that he will make exceptions for me due to my health - and leave me a written script at the desk. But this is the exception, not the norm.

That being said, regardless if it was for a narcotic or not - yes, I feel they should have informed their patients on being closed - OR had someone to cover for them in their absence. I've not had to deal w/ this because all the doctors that I go to are in partnership w/ 3 or 4 doctors - and they just all cover for each other when one is gone.

Anyway, I understand your frustration - I'd feel the same way!


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16787
   Posted 7/7/2010 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
RetiredMom you are right about the certain Class 2's there is no refill, new script each month. My drs offices have always posted it when they are going on vacation. If this is a one dr only office, looks like they could designate someone to call the patients and let them know.

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 7/7/2010 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, it is a new script each month. Percocet 5/325 2x day. I only referred to it as a refill. My appts have been monthly for so long (1 and 1/2 years now)  but this one was 2 months this time so they told me on my last appt a month ago to call for my next script and I would go pick it up. I can stretch mine out until they get back next week but concerned for all the patients who may run out and not know they're not available this week.
I had no way of knowing they're on vacation all week. I just thought they would see who would require meds the week they're out before they leave patients stranded.
They've been very good to me over the past year and 1/2 so I won't complain.
Just wondered what standard procedure is for vacation (if there is any).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/7/2010 11:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Doctor's should have someone on call when they are away, or sometimes they just direct you to the ER. If they've been good to you as you say, then you may not want to rock the boat too much, but I would definitely ask at your next appointment how you can keep this from happening again. I used to call in for refills to my neurosurgeon's office every month, but unexpectedly hit a vacation period once or twice and had to just stretch what I had. Then I learned to ask if they could give me some idea when they generally close the office. Some places do it the same time every year, and the whole office is closed. A larger practice might not run into this problem, but I think you should make your doctor aware of it in a respectful way.

If you wanted to rock the boat you could call and report him to your insurance company. Most of them require doctors to have a 24/7 on-call policy for patients and make other arrangements if they are going to be away.

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