VA patient claims physician told him to consult YouTube

A retired Lieutenant Army Colonel reports his primary care physician at the Wilmington (N.C.) VA Clinic told him he has been extremely overwhelmed, leading to months-long delays in care, and said to consult the Internet for medical advice on multiple occasions.

The frustrating experiences led Dan Morgan, who has been seeking an appointment with a specialist for almost a year and who had to wait four months for test results, to go public with his concerns on WECT TV.

Mr. Morgan informed WECT he was told to consult YouTube for physical therapy exercises and to search "cheap Chinese glasses" to find a website where he could enter his measurements and get new glasses, according to the report.

After waiting four months for lab results, he received a letter from his physician explaining the delay. "At times the demands for response to all the requests put on me are overwhelming and get put aside to do later and then are lost among others…" the letter said, according to the report. "I think the VA in general is understaffed, underfunded, and I am now put in a position to do an amazing amount of keyboard data entry work for documenting visits, filing records and ordering labs and consult that no physician would have to do without secretarial help in the private sector."

A nurse suggested Mr. Morgan request a new physician, but that requires approval from the original physician who still has not processed the transfer, according to the report. However, Mr. Morgan is now receiving a new physician by default because his old primary care provider is being transferred to a new field of medicine within the VA, according to the report.

"It's frustrating to me, but I don't have any extreme serious health problems like other people I see in the clinic, and I feel sorry for them," Mr. Morgan told WECT. "I don't want to have to end up going to the Wilmington VA when I have to have something serious done. It terrifies me."


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