I went to the bariatric support group meeting tonight after my walk at the lake. It was held at the dr.s office and the group was smaller and subdued. I learned why soon after; my doctor is closing his office and moving out of state. He’s going and most of the staff is going as well. Their last day is April 26 and he won’t do any surgeries after April 12.
To say I was shocked is an understatement. Stunned is more like it. It came fairly suddenly one of the group leaders told us. He signed the contract with the new hospital last week and he’s out of the office this week but will be back next week. I can’t say I was too surprised, his office has been at odds with the hospital for some time and he did his surgeries at another hospital. I had my surgery at the other hospital, he was just renting space here. They even hired another doctor to run their bariatric department and while he is a competent doctor he doesn’t have the experience my doctor has. He’s done only a handful of surgeries compared to my doctor, who has done thousands and knows about the various and unexpected complications that can arise and how to deal with them. I don’t have the same confidence in the hospital’s doctor.
The staff has always been professional and good about answering questions. I knew there was tension between my doctor and the hospital but they managed to co-exist and I figured they would go on this way for some time. It wasn’t just the hospital the group leader said, changes in healthcare legislation (Obamacare) had some to do with it as well. We were told his office will be taking our files with them, if we want to continue to see him he’ll see us too. If we want a referral to another local doctor he’ll do that too. I am not sure but I think I’ll be making the four hour drive out-of-state to see my doctor, he’s that good. I have an appt in 2 weeks and probably won’t need to go back for another 2-4 months.
If there’s anyone here who lives in the Hot Springs, AR area who’s thinking of having bariatric surgery I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Russell Gornichec. He is an amazing, caring and excellent surgeon. He’s good-looking too, my husband even had a man crush on him. I just hate that he’s being forced to leave but the good people of Arkansas (heck, the bad ones too) will benefit.