The doctor is almost 85 years old and just now stepping into retirement. But it’s not a willing step; the rural family doctor is being forced into shutting down her office by New Hampshire’s Board of Medicine. The board questions decision-making and other fundamental aspects of her work such as her record-keeping.
The native of Poland began practicing in the U.S. back in the 1960s. Beloved by her patients, she has stuck to what works for her and them. All her records are on paper, not computers. (It should be noted that she has a computer, but can’t figure out how to operate it.) She has stopped working with insurance companies; all office visits are now a flat $50.
NPR says that when it talked to her patients it heard “story after story of medical turn-around, of admiration and gratitude.” She listens to them, her patients said, and she learns who are you and where you come from and how you’re feeling both physically and mentally.
She said modern doctors spend too much time with their computers and not enough with their patients.
But her time with them – at least professionally – has come to an end. She agreed to a voluntary retirement in the face of the medical board’s allegations.
Her patients are not taking the news of their doctor’s forced retirement lightly.
“She’s changed my world and I’m terrified,” said one woman. “I’m absolutely terrified.”
The woman says that with the doctor’s help, she has cut her medications in half and now can move about without a walker.
NPR notes that “many of the doctor’s patients” – more than half, the doctor said – are receiving prescriptions for opioids to manage pain. The physician is adamant that she’s not overprescribing opioids and that she can, in fact, often get them to reduce the dosage.
There are a number of complex issues in play here. The bottom line for all concerned is undoubtedly the health of the patients.
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