Swedish Medical Center / Discrimination
2 July 2015
Ms. Katie Brock,
Manager Accreditations & Grievance Operations
Seattle, WA 98122
Re: 1 July 2015 appointment w/ Mark A. Tomski, MD
To Whom It May Concern:
After presenting w/ chronic pain, and being (somewhat) briefly examined by Dr. Andie Leskowske at the Swedish Cherry Hill clinic on 15 June 2015, she referred me to Tomski for what I was told would be a (EMG) Nerve Conduction study.
I cannot remember a more degrading and humiliating experience!
To begin w/ the paperwork (previous diagnoses, MRI results, IME evals, etc.) that I'd given to Leskowske (two weeks ago) were not in the system. We were told by the acerbically rude nurse (Vijay?) "...if she [Leskowske] was [a provider] with Swedish they will be [in the system] there..., ” They weren't.
Upon entering the room Tomski introduced himself and asked “…what is it that you need from me?” I explained that I was there as a referral from a Dr. Leskowske for a nerve conduction test, He did a very brief exam. He confirmed that the additional paperwork was not in the system, and told us "...it doesn't matter, I can tell from what I see anyway..." This is rather unique given the fact that he'd spent less than five (5) minutes doing any type of examination. After he’d repeated his question of what I wanted from him…and I repeated my explanation, yet again…his response was that “We don’t have the equipment here to perform the (EMG) test.” He then asked me to “…explain what it meant [in my medical records] that prison had caused my condition to get worse?” I explained to him that I have never made that statement. He blathered on to inquire why I was in prison, where I was in prison, where the crime was committed, where the prison was (when I stated I was convicted in Washington State and had also lived in California) he asked, “…if the crime was in Washington State why weren’t you sent to California..?” in a voice/manner that was clearly condescending. He said over and over, “…in twenty-five years of practice I’ve never heard of such a thing as this crime…” (CAN YOU SAY BURN OUT?), and with disdain in his voice inquired about my lawyer, etc., stating over and over that he had never heard of such a thing. When my fiancé tried to explain that the court of appeals has heard the case and we are awaiting decision he just rudely cut her off. He kept inquiring “what is it that you need from me?” I explained, AGAIN! that I now reside in a half-way house and needed a note from a physician explaining to them that I need to take a walk every day to keep circulation going for the pain issues that I was experiencing, and that I was applying for MA recertification, and needed something that stated my physical limitations that might prevent me from doing certain things at work. He had the nerve to state that "...nobody will even hire you as a Medical Assistant with a Felony here [in WA State]...and [you] should consider a new career."
Tomski FINALLY took a moment to type something into the computer…and showed it to me. One stupid line… ("Okay to exercise as tolerated."). As many times as he’d asked and I’d answered, This was clearly NOT what I had asked for. It was beyond obvious that this (so-called) doctor wanted very little to do with me because when I asked him if he felt that what he'd written would be considered substantial and/or official enough to warrant what I needed, he informed me that he was "...not willing to negotiate... how to write something (that obviously meant so little to him!)...and “I am not a babysitter!" When I asked him about my limitations for the license he stated that I just needed to learn my limitations and work around them. He never did ask about the pain medications that were prescribed to me, the level of pain I was currently feeling or any of the questions that a professional doctor normally inquires about. When I asked about when I should see him again, his response was if anything showed up with the nerve conduction test he would call me.
Tomski’s attitude toward me changed the moment he found out I had been in prison. It is against the law to discriminate! That is how I feel, CLEARLY discriminated against. When he read the word “prison” in my file he was finished with me, and could not get me out of there fast enough. Oddly enough, where the customer service part of this ordeal had so clearly failed, he walked me to the front desk to make the appointment for the nerve conduction test. He curtly presented me to the front reception, told the woman I needed an EMG appointment; told me that once I had the study done I could come see him if I wanted to turned and walked away. All I thought was “Why would I come see this A-hole again?”
For the record I was not there for some undocumented back pain. I have some serious issues going on from a MVA in '05 (i.e., DDD - C5-C6; Levator Scapulae pain; Lower Lumbar Disc problems; radiculopathy; & CHRONIC PAIN), all documented from several physicians and with recent MRI’s.
I was not asking for anything more than a moment of time, a Real/Decent evaluation and RESPECT! I was not asking for medication, I was seeking advice and knowledge on how to deal with this ongoing issue. None of this was offered by this quack. I have worked for some egotistical doctors in my time, but this guy took the cake! This goes beyond losing a patient. In Epidemics, Book 1, of the Hippocratic Oath: ‘Concerning disease, practice two things – to help, or at least to do no harm.’ This (so-called) doctor did not help with the disease but did harm to his patient…Emotional harm. . I left there feeling like I was the lowest life form on the planet.
I believe something should be done to remedy this situation because this person is going to cause even greater harm to others if he continues to act in such an inappropriate and obviously unprofessional manner.
cc: A. Ostrovsky, Esq.
cc: KIRO-7 NEWS