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22 November 2007 at 5:02 a.m.
What would you expect from egos at TMH, it's Congenital!
Sorry to see another good Doc like Joel Miller leave. Our loss!
Good Luck and Best Wishes!
20 November 2007 at 12:25 a.m.
I have heard that many people would like to read Dr. Miller's resignation letter. Here it is posted in portions:
November 5, 2007George Rohrich, CEOThe Memorial Hospital
Dear Mr. Rohrich,Since I began working at The Memorial Hospital in March of 2003, I have witnessed TMH (i.e., the Board of Directors and Administration) demonstrate a behavior less than a model of professionalism, which I can only articulate as petty and mean-spirited. This treatment is a byproduct of a history of hostility expressed toward my associate, Dr. Tom Told. Dr. Told has had a thriving practice in Craig for over three decades and has been embraced by the community, evidenced by the endurance of grass roots support. Tom has continually sought to improve the quality of care in Craig and Moffat County. It is in my opinion that Tom has been subject to this hostility because he has been the most outspoken about a primary care over specialist model. Over the years, Dr. Told has had numerous partners in his practice, and not one has endured tenure for an extended period of time. This has been in large part due to undeserved harassment by the TMH; and I have not been an exception to this rule. I personally have been subject to mistreatment on several occasions in my five-year tenure at TMH.I have been targeted and reviewed for several cases mostly involving documentation, none of which involved actual medical decision-making, and in one case, I was written up for dressing up like a clown on Halloween (petty). I was also suspended from working in the Emergency Department, a violation of the contract between TMH and myself, with no substantiated grounds for suspension. I have been subject to examination by lawyers and a peer review panel, again only to be found that my medical decision-making was held appropriate. And now, I am again under fire. This time involving several cases in which my medical decision-making has been called into question; all ridiculous accusations which include: (cont'd)
20 November 2007 at 12:27 a.m.
cont'd: PART 2
(1) Not having dictated a history and physical (H&P); the dictation system was not working so I documented by hand. The executive committee missed this detail, and sent me notification indicating that I did not dictate an H&P, so I then dictated from my hand-written note, and now the Executive committee is questioning the “timeliness” of my dictation.(2) Giving an anemic terminal patient her usual standard daily liter of I.V. fluid “to make her look anemic”, and that giving her a blood transfusion (to improve her quality of life) was not protocol.(3) On another occasion, upon dictating a procedure, I included my name along with Dr. Told's name in the same space as the surgeon instead of the assistant (I indicated a medical student's name in the dictation as an assistant). I had not yet reviewed and signed the chart before they brought this to my attention. The matter was then resolved by a formal meeting of the administration, executive committee, Dr. Told and me, where after a “tense” meeting we all agreed that I would amend the dictation to state Dr. Told as the surgeon and myself as the assistant. I complied and signed the chart and then received a letter stating “this would go no further” and is now included in a formal review.None of these are medical decision-making issues, and clearly administrative ones which should be readily resolved by following appropriate administrative policies and procedures, and not create animosity among professionals.
20 November 2007 at 12:30 a.m.
cont'd: PART 3
It has been my observation that the leadership of TMH is trying to model the hospital after an urban/metro area facility. Meaning that they are trying to build a tiered medical staff with internal medicine, pediatrics and Ob/Gyn as the base of primary care and then a layer of specialists, e.g., in general surgery, anesthesiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, rheumatology, neurology, cardiology, etc., then a layer of sub-specialists such as intensive specialties for Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, and Adults; surgical specialties such as orthopedics, urology, Gyn, ENT, neuro cardiothoracic, etc. While I agree that in a perfect world this scenario would be ideal, it is obvious to the layman this system cannot work in Craig/Moffat County because of financial, population, and geographic factors. It is not that I or anyone else does not want this model, it is just not practical, at this time. The practical solution is the solution every other rural community in the country has adopted, a primary care and referral system. This means a solid base of primary care including family practice and internal medicine with a wide variety of skills (medical, procedural and surgical), a strong general surgery department which refer cases out of their area of expertise to other facilities for further treatment. It is no wonder there is friction between TMH, with their urban-model approach, and the general community at-large, which includes the current primary care providers who are more realistic and satisfied with the system that we already have and is functioning. With this in mind, I feel that TMH's Board of Directors and Administration does not represent the community or the current primary care base. It is just my personal belief. A professional and educated board should place the welfare of the community first. I question whether the incumbents are qualified and concerned agents, and it is my opinion, the community should reconsider who presides in these positions.
20 November 2007 at 12:32 a.m.
cont'd: PART 4 of 4
After examining the past five years, I find myself in a difficult position. This mistreatment, and being denied the ability to work in the Emergency Department for the past two years, I cannot afford to stay in Craig / Moffat County professionally or financially. The E.R. represented almost 50% of my income. This seems to be the same method the hospital has used in the past to rid themselves of Dr. Told's associates. So like the others, I regretfully am forced to leave Craig / Moffat County and terminate my privileges at The Memorial Hospital as of November 30th, 2007 and leave the community and county, less one more physician, which is already in the midst of a physician shortage. I struggle with this decision because I truly enjoy working as a physician in this community and I will miss the people and my patients.Please accept this as my official notice of resignation.
Sincerely,Joel Miller, D.O., A.B.F.P.
Thanks for your support of Dr. Miller and Dr. Told.
21 November 2007 at 5:03 p.m.
Ah yes, the ailment for which there is no cure has run it's course again. I wonder if the disease will spred to the new hospital ?
28 November 2007 at 11:23 a.m.
What a shame that our community loses another fine doctor. Another doctor from Craig Medical Center. Interesting…this has gone on for years and is always swept under the carpet. When will it ever stop.Everyone has their choice and opinion of doctors and her is mine. I have three family members that have been blessed by Dr. Miller and his expertise and tender compassion for other human beings.
My family has had nothing but excellent care from Dr. Miller (and Dr. Told and associates)
#1 He personally carried my grandmother from my car to a wheel chair welcoming her back to TMH after an emergency craniotomy in Grand Junction at a tender age of 88 years age. 18 months later Dr. Miller took his personal time and had Christmas dinner with us in TMH before my grandmother's passing 3 days later.
#2 Just this past May, my Aunt was in TMH and suddenly went into respiratory distress. Dr. Miller was/is my aunt's primary physician and was not in the hospital at the time. Another doctor, not from CMC, called and asked me if my Aunt had DNR (do not recisitate)orders. In a state of shock I said I have no idea. This doctor proceeded to tell me that my aunt wasn't in good shape and that I should make phone calls to discuss our options and that he didn't recommend recisitation. An absolute miracle happend as Dr. Miller arrived at the hospital and he immediately intubated my anut and called for the St. Mary's Flight for Life helicopter. To this day, my aunt is alive and well thanks to Dr. Miller's quick actions. I have no use for the “other” doctor. Dr. Ossen deserves a thanks for his ER care.
#3 Just when you think things can't get any worse it is now my mom. She had been through surgery in Steamboat in June, then onto the Univeristy Hospital via flight for life and by miracle makes it back to Craig for rehabiliation. She came down with CDIF at Sand Rock Ridge. Now in the emergency room at TMH on 8/22/07 I confer with Dr. Miller on what he thinks is best. He recommends sending her to St. Mary's Hospital. He had been in contact witht he infectious disease doctor at St. Mary's. Off we go via ambulance, with two more rounds of near death experiences. After endless treatments in Grand Junction my mother is now on the mend and heading home in two weeks. Another miracle.
So I ask, if this doctor is so incompetent then why have I had 3 family members spared their lives? I do believe in God and miracles but I also believe that we have fine Doctors in Craig that include, Dr. Told and all of his associates.
It is past time for the root of this problem at TMH to be resolved. At the rate Craig is going, we will have a new hospital but no doctors (at least from CMC).
What are you going to do with this problem Mr. Rohrich?
28 November 2007 at 2:46 p.m.
I know how you feel, but I doubt that Mr. Rohrich reads this forum. Does he attend the hospital board meetings? Maybe that would be the avenue to try. This has been going on for at least 25 years. The whole community needs to get behind you. It's like you said. There will be a new hospital, but who is going to practice there? Other doctors will know why Dr. Miller is leaving. You better believe that the reasons for this will spread like wildfire around the medical community. It's a county hospital-that means it's your hospital. You and every citizen of Moffat County should have a voice in things. There won't be doctors wanting to come here if they can't make a living here. They won't come if they have to fight every step of the way to practice medicine. If I still lived in Craig, I'd be there right beside you every step of the way. I really think Dr. Told is one of the best doctors to come to Craig, and I know how much he cares for every one of his patients. I haven't had the good fortune to meet Dr. Miller, but I have heard nothing but good about him. It seems that it's just the doctors from Dr. Tolds clinic that go through this. Makes you wonder why. Good luck!
28 November 2007 at 10:23 p.m.
As a patient at Craig Medical for the better part of my life I was somewhat alarmed when I heard the news that Dr. Miller was leaving/ This will be the fourth doctor I have had at Craig Medical that the hospital has run off. Over the years a couple of questions have come up that I would like answered. The first is rumor that the hospital is wanting to buy Craig Medical. With Dr. Told getting older whisperings of the hospital's desire to buy the clinic have been in the wind I would like to know what the hospital's goals are with regard to providing care to Craig residents. Is your desire to have all the doctors in town eventually work for you and under your control? This brings up my second question. I understand that our hospital is being run by an outfit back east. Is it time to find someone better to run our hospital? People thousands of miles away are making decisions that effect our community. They bring in people who will just be leaving in a couple of years. They make decisions to railroad good doctors on weak charges, make bad financial decisions, and then move on to the next victim. I believe some of the people they bring in have little or no experience running hospitals. As I have read these forums three underlying themes seem to take place. And they are the people who run the hospital are secretive, are self serving, and seem to look out for the company running the hospital and not the hospital. I personally believe that our county government and the hospital board needs to look at the interest of this community and hold the CEO and CFO accountable. It appears that they are both slowing becoming hand pupets of the hospital administration. Sure they are trying to get a new hospital built, but it appears they are doing it more for their benefit and the benefit of their company than the hospital and the county. What good is a new hospital if there are no doctors to care for the people? We are down to just a handful of doctors. In the last few years we have lost many with few added to replace them.
28 November 2007 at 10:38 p.m.
Native, I appreciate your comments and I believe there are two sides to every story. But having both neighbors and friends who work for the hospital, the current buzz in the hive is that new administration is not what it is trying to make itself out to be. It seems that doctors and staff are being turned over left and right over there. Changes are being made with no thought of their long term consequences and good knowledgeable people are being replaced by people who know little or nothing. If the hospital's philosophy is to get rid of seasoned doctors and staff and replace them with cheap inexperienced ones, then I believe it is time for a new philosopher. I would like to know where these people who are now running the hospital came from and what the organizations they left behind think of the job they did. I know that Dr. Miller is by no means perfect, but I bet dollars to doughnuts his track record is better than the guys running the hospital
29 November 2007 at 12:55 a.m.
I appreciate your passion for these issues. Don't get me wrong, I believe we need a new hospital and I voted for one. As a voter and a tax payer though, I should not have to go ask why our hospital is doing this or that. They should be straightforward and forthcoming in everything they do. It seems like they have had both a past and recent history of springing things on the people and the people are left to their imaginations because they do not voluntarily come forth with better information. You say if we want the truth that we should go ask questions to get the truth. The public shouldn't have to ask these types of questions, the hospital should already be providing details and be as open as possible.
As a 52 year resident of this county I have seen my share of people running our hospital come and go. I find it interesting that this group keeps blaming the past administrators who ran this hospital, but didn't they work for the same company? I can't wait for a new group to come in and start blaming this one for all the ills of the hospital.
I believe there are few people in this community that hates the hospital. Most have used it and have had good results. But going on the offensive and saying that just because many people question what is going on and want more accountability that they “hate” the hospital and are living in the past is just pure ignorant.
The fact of the matter is that we are seeing some of the same stuff going on now as we have seen in the past. Those who don't learn from the past are condemed to repeat it. And while I look forward to a new hospital, poor management in a new building will still have the same results (and it's a lot cheaper to have hired hands driving the old pick up than it is to have them driving the new Dodge if they can't cowboy).
For all of our sakes, i hope you are right Native.
P.S. Can you tell me where I can get a new doc to take care of my bad leg? As of next month, I have to drive to Steamboat (again).
29 November 2007 at 10:42 p.m.
Who released this letter anyway? Legally I don't think the hospital can do that. That leaves………..
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