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Doctor won't accept payment

Yorktown Linda

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Okay, this is very unusual but I don't know quite what to do.

I first met my oncologist after my first surgery lasy year. He visited me twice in the hospital and then began managing my care once I was discharged.

I saw him in July and he arranged to take all my charts and scans to MSKCC where he volunteers once a week -- yes, he's that kind of guy.

Since then I've seen him every 3 months -- he orders blood work and CAT scans and then discusses the results with me. (He and/or his office manager spent at least 1 hour on the phone trying to get approval for my last scan!)

When I scheduled my next surgery, he said he'd come to the city (I live and he practises about 30 miles north of NYC) to see me.

Anyway, he has never billed me! Now I know my insurance has paid $150 to $250 for shorter, less helpful dr's visits in the past, so I asked him to bill for his time. He said no as I wasn't in treatment with him -- i.e. no chemo. I will probably have this disease forever, see him every 3 months and never have chemo, so he'll never bill me.

I don't know what to do. Yes, he's obviously not about the money but I want to do something. Should I send him a case of wine, a gift certificate to a local restaurant, what? Even though money is tight for me and, of course, insurance won't cover this, I want to do something.

Any ideas?


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That is amazing Linda!!!

I give my onc. a gift each time I go see him. Something I hope he can use but each time to let him know how much I appreciate him.

Gift ex.

I got a humorous little doctor calendar and a doctor mug from a local bookstore.

Leather journal and nice pen

A special t-shirt that keeps bugs away and organic.


He always gets a little embarassed and says "youdon't have to do this Jamie" and I tell him this is small compared to what you have done for me.. It's soooo nice to have caring oncologists!!

God BLess!!


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My husband's radiation oncologist is the same way.

Alan's last PET/Scan was denied by my insuance company, which we all know is

a very expensive test. My husband's radiaiton oncologist has his own clinic and

owns his own PET/CT scanner, so he did the scan and

did not charge me one dime. I even went in with lots

of cash as a good faith down payment and he refused

to take my money.

I can not begin to tell you how many radiation treatments Alan has had.

I added up what my portion should have been after the insurance portion was paid.

Lets just say I would need to take a 2nd out on my

home to cover the cost. I have NEVER received a bill. Asked about it one day and

Alan's Dr. told me he was satisfied with what the insurance company paid and

the rest has been written off.

I give back to Alan's Dr. by volunteering at his office and all their fund rasing events. Will never

add up to what I owe, but my way of saying Thank you.

There are some great men and women out there taking

care of patients, I think we just don't hear enough about them.

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Yes, Linda, that's very unusual -- but what a wonderful problem to have! He must be one of those people with a strong inner need, even a compulsion, to help others, with no expectation of anything tangible in return.

Do you do any sort of crafts? Scrapbooking, pottery, embroidery, woodworking, that sort of thing? I think something unique, "from the heart," would be more appreciated than an expensive case of wine or a gift certificate. Right now I'm looking at a handmade "gag" momemto I got from my office crew as I was leaving for another Air Force assignment in 1976, but all the shiny plaques I accumulated over the years are packed away! Aloha,


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Good doctors are a special breed. What would we do without them. They give of themselves to their patients...I sometimes do not know where they find the strength and compassion. Am sure he would appreciate a card with your heartfelt thanks. And how thoughtful of you to be thinking about how you can express your gratitude.

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What about sending in lunch for everyone one day? Call his office and ask what would be a good day to send in lunch for the staff. Or you could take in breakfast stuff...bagels, fruit etc. that everyone could munch on all day.

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Oh I like both Ry and Randy's ideas, they both sound really great. Given this guys clear desire to help his patients, a donation in his name would probably be well received. And who doesn't like to get free food? :) Kelly took French pastries to both the medical onc and the radiation onc groups on her last days of treatment. They loved them! I'm also thinking of buying shirts for the two docs that we made for our bike ride. They say "Kelly's Posse" on them and who better to be part of her posse than the two doctors!

Your doctor sounds like a dream, we could always use more of them!

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Hey, thanks for all the suggestions.

I wish I was crafty so I could make something. As for volunteering, I just don't have the time or energy -- I'm working full-time, I have a 28 yr old disabled daughter at home, and my husband works very long hours so I do most of the housekeeping stuff. I know, excuses, excuses!

Anyway, I was thinking maybe a book, as that is my area of expertise. I'll speak to his office manager to see if he has any special interests. Or maybe he'd like a bunch Kris Carr's books to give out to patients.

Thansk again,


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Wow - amazing man, your doc!!!

Find out what his favorite charity is and donate to it in his name. Maybe you could even get some friends and relatives to donate, too.

Like your idea about the books, too.

You are very lucky to have a doc like that - the world needs more of them, for sure!!

Hugs - Patti B.

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