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Dr. William Hwang Complaint - Doctor's Visit Gone Wild

Review by Disaster Worker on 2008-11-06
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Since the beginning of October, my husband has been to numerous doctors to find out what is causing his vertigo. Our family physician recommended Dr. William Hwang in Dallas, Texas. I was unable to go my husband's first appointment since I was on shift (EMS) but he texted me frequently that day giving me an update on how long he was having to wait. After 2 hours, he finally saw the doctor. We thought this was an isolated event since they had to work him in for that day.

Numerous MRA's, MRI's and labs have been done by both this neurologist as well as a cardiologist with everything coming back as "negative". My husband got a phone call yesterday, 11/5, from the neurologist's office saying that he needed to be seen by the doctor ASAP as something was found to be wrong in one tests. You can imagine what we were thinking! Although I've been on best rest for bronchitis, I knew I had to be there for my husband should he be giving devastating news. The person calling certainly gave us a sense of urgency to see the doctor.

Our appointment today was at 2:15; we arrived at 2:05. The waiting room was packed, and we began visiting with the other patients. Some had been there up to 3+ hours. No one was a happy camper. We finally got called back 2 hours later than our appointment, and I asked what had taken so long. Of course, the doctor being God and all, was busy and terribly important. I went up to the front desk to ask for the office manager's email so I could complain about how long patients have to wait there. Apparently, they don't like getting complaints and would not release her email address. I did get her name and phone number.

After being in the treatment room for just a few minutes, the very important doctor came in to tell us if we weren't happy, we needed to get another doctor. He was very busy and didn't have time to answer a patient's complaint about the long wait. We either could get up and leave right then without receiving the bad news, or we could just wait our turn. He came back in 30 minutes later, and I completely kept my mouth shut. On the way out of the office, I said "Good luck" to the other unfortunate patients still waiting, and went out in the hall to call my mother-in-law. While talking to her, two big cops arrived ready to arrest me for the disturbance. There was never a disturbance at all, only us telling the doctor our time was valuable, too. We don't know what lies the office staff told to get them there so quickly. I was told I could never enter the building again unless I wanted to be arrested. I asked the cop about freedom of speech. He said we had no right to complain about the wait, and that freedom of speech was a limited right. I then said they'd probably have to arrest me several times a week because I'm in that building often running EMS calls.

So now we know the truth - patients have no rights. Doctors are very important and don't like to be questioned about their office management skills, and instead of being their customer, we're supposed to sit quietly and take the abuse.

If this were an isolated event for this doctor, I'd never be writing this. This is his normal way.

And what was the horrible news my husband needed to hear immediately? He needs to take folic acid vitamins.
Comments:36 Replies - Latest reply on 2012-11-24
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-06:
You are a brave woman. I would never piss off a person who may ask me to disrobe while they are putting on rubber gloves.
I had the cops pay me a visit at a hospital one time. It is amazing how fast they respond. Hey, it's just one more story I have to tell. lol! Sounds like you wouldn't have used this clown again anyhow, so if I was you I'd laugh it off.
Posted by Principissa on 2008-11-06:
How dare he. My time is just as valuable as any doctor's. I pay them to provide me a service. If they are unable or unwilling to provide me with the care I need, they should state that up front. This doctor sounds like he is slammed with patients and is unable to care for all of them in a timely manner. I suggest he stop taking new patients and perhaps contact other doctor's to take on one's that he cannot care for. Nobody should have to wait 2-4 hours past their appointment time. Things like this make me so angry.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-06:
'Nobody should have to wait 2-4 hours past their appointment time.'

I agree with Princi, that is waaaaaaaay too long.

Posted by Disaster Worker on 2008-11-06:
Of course, we'll never use him again, but this is the pattern with the doctor...keeping patients waiting. All it would have taken is for the women in the office to come out to tell the restless natives why everyone's having to wait, or to have called the patients to reschedule when they started getting 2-3 hours behind. I'm a nurse and in EMS; my husband is a Critical Care Flight Paramedic. We're certainly not naive in how the system works, but to have the cops called was completely insane. My youngest girl was shocked in that she's never seen me lose my cool, and I certainly didn't this time...just asked to be treated with the same amount of respect to our time. Just an unbelievable event! I can just see calling my preacher to come get me out of the pokey because I asked what the hold up was!
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-06:
And, for crying out loud. They couldn't have told him over the phone about the folic acid vitamins?

My Nurse Practitioner called me at home today, after hours, to let me know that my CT Scan late this afternoon was OK. She'll call me back in the a.m. to further discuss the findings.
Posted by NeveragainAmazon on 2008-11-06:
A two hour wait is excessive, I agree, however a doctor runs a business and his business is taking care of people that need medical assistance. I am sure his office staff has an allotted time frame for each patient, but its apparent that he gives quality care to each patient by your wait time. You can't fault him for that. You made it apparent to him, his staff and all in the waiting area that you were displeased with his operation. That is an insult and a threat no matter which way you "felt" you presented yourself. Doctors are human, and when a patient is unhappy with their care their whole medical experience and healing are effected by that. His suggestion for you and your husband to seek the care of another doctor was excellent advice. Bottom line is...people, in general, do not seek the assistance of law enforcement unless they feel threatened.
Posted by Principissa on 2008-11-06:
Doctor's may be human just like us, but that is no excuse to waste other people's time. If they were behind or had an unexpected emergency, they should have asked patients if they would be willing to reschedule your appointments. People have lives outside of those waiting rooms and they deserve to have that taken into consideration. Business or not, nobody should be treated in such a manner. My doctor's office has a policy, when you check in and they are running behind they tell you "doc's running about (insert amount of time), did you want to reschedule for another day or can you wait?" How hard was that? If I am short on time, I reschedule (depending on how behind she is), if not I wait. It's a matter of respect for your patients. Plain and simple. And as far as the folic acid, really, they couldn't tell him that over the phone? My doctor called me as soon as a blood test came back and said she called in a prescription for cipro for a kidney infection for me. Not that difficult. Guy sounds like he's got too many patients and is treating one's he's got like crap because he's stressed.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-11-06:
Many years ago, I was late for and missed a Dr's appointment...they billed me for it. No problem, my fault, I paid it, even though I knew a "fill in" took my place.
Several weeks later, I went for my appointment and had to wait an hour past it before I saw him. Upon receipt of the bill. I sent him a consulting fee for my time (and I do charge fees for my time in my business) for him failing to make his appointment on time. He owed me @$300.00 less his office charge of @$50.00. We discussed it, he gave me the visit free, I forgave the charges.
I've never waited since.
Got a lawyer, doctor and insurance man younger than me so I won't have to find another one 'fore I die. LOL!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-06:
I walked out of my dermatologists office after a one hour+ wait. They said you can't leave, you have an appointment. I very nicely said, yes, but that it was over an hour ago. I rebooked and left. They must have put a big red X on my folder because I never wait more than 10 minutes now. They probably have a list of who walks out and who they can jerk around.
Posted by Ponie on 2008-11-06:
Although waiting for an appointment for two hours isn't my idea of a fun thing to do there are several factors to consider here. First, you say your husband had been to 'numerous doctors' and they hadn't found the cause of his vertigo. It must have been very important to you (and probably would be to me, too) for him to see this particular doctor. You also state they had to 'work him in' for his first appointment. This meant the next appointment was delayed. Then on the second visit, before even seeing the doctor, I can hardly believe you were all sweetness in asking for the office manager's email address so you could send a message of complaint about how long you had to wait. Do you really think I'd give you my email address so you could send me a complaint about one of my temps? No way. The law isn't called out for calm, cool, and collected reasons. They perceived a threat from you and wanted to nip it in the bud. I'd have told you to go elsewhere, also.

jktshff1, I once jokingly said the same to my dentist after having to wait 45 minutes past my appointment time. Although it was an isolated incident, the result was the same--no charge for that particular visit.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-06:
"Doctor's Visit Gone Wild"

Cops called and two big burly Coppers escorted Spouse of Patient out of building

Spouse of Patient told to never enter the building again or face immediate arrest

Which episode of Reno 911 will this be on?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-06:
Note to self: do not EVER let this moron be my EMS worker!!!
Posted by BobJohn on 2008-11-07:
How can you be two hours behind after working 4 or 5 hours? Day after day, week after week... Don't you think you could learn to schedule better? And what kind of quality care is it to make you sit in a room full of sick people for 2 to 3 hours?
Posted by yoke on 2008-11-07:
Sounds like this doctors office fits patients in. They did it for the OP both times. I find it hard to believe that the 11:00 appointments were still there at 2:15. That would mean the office does not close for lunch.
Posted by Disaster Worker on 2008-11-07:
No, they apparently don't close for lunch. Here in Dallas, you don't see medical offices closing for lunch.
Posted by yoke on 2008-11-07:
Are you saying the employees don't get a lunch break and then have to deal with patients like you? I don't agree with having to wait in doctors office past the appointment time, but in this case you were fit in both times. I have a feeling there is more to the story and that is why the police were called.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-07:
I've waited to comment on this post because I wanted to make sure that I did not answer as a reaction rather than being civil. I think this story is full of half truths.

I agree, there is no just cause for a patient to be delayed each time they go into a doctors office. It is unacceptable. Not that doctors are not prone to not being civil, because they are. I've dealt with them many times on a work related basis and some can be real jerks but this is not the norm. Most of the time if you take the time to spell it out for them "Dr. Jones, I have been in your waiting for XX minutes and my time is valuable too. How can we work to adjust our schedules so both of us are accommodated" ... it usually works. I have done it and my doctor was surprised to know that I waited so long (he had not been looking at the appointment book). He now looks at and knows the schedule and everyone is happy...not just me because I am the one that brought it to his attention.

Something else must have happened for the police to have been called. You have no idea what reasons the other patients were in there for. Did you needlessly upset them and cause their condition to become worse due to the needless stress you inflicted? You should have remained quiet in the waiting room. If those patients choose to complain, then let them. But it is not up to you to cause a disturbance in the lobby which is what I believe you did. You can tell by the tone of your post that you are not the easiest person to get along with.

There is another side to this story and we are not going to get it from the OP.
Posted by Disaster Worker on 2008-11-07:
JohnInSoCal, there are absolutely no "half truths" in this. I'm a healthcare professional myself and certainly aware how the system works. Working with doctors every day, I know how to communicate with them. This was just bizarre.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-07:
My opinion is that there are half truths. Just as you are allowed to express your "experience" I am allowed to express my opinion. I am also in the healthcare profession so do not assume that I do not know how to communicate with them. Anyone can communicate in an effective manner with a medical professional as long as they keep it on a professional level.

The whole tone of your post and your subsequent comments have been confrontational. I think I am getting the entire picture now and understand why the police were called.
Posted by yoke on 2008-11-07:
How do you know it was the office staff that called the police. It might have been a patient that you scared. How old was your child you had with you?
Posted by Sam Smith on 2008-11-07:
I guess my Dr. likes me, If I have to wait too long, they let me know or reschedule my appointment. But then again, I don’t make all of the office staff mad, as they are the ones that run the place. Take them cookies and stuff once in a while, see what you get then.
Posted by yoke on 2008-11-07:
I wish we could have the office staffs side of the story.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-07:
I'd also like to see the police report ;-)
Posted by SilverWngs71 on 2008-11-07:
I once had to change to a new Dr. I had an appt at 2 and was seen at 4. Because this was a new Dr I waited but not w/o going to the secretaries and asking why they over booked me. When I was finally seen by the Dr, I advised of the situation. The Dr then went to the front and told the girls that no one should have to wait that long to be seen. I am still with the office, even though the Dr has since retired.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-07:
SilverWngs is the perfect example on how to handle this type of situation. They spoke to the doctor, he educated (or reminded) his staff of the scheduling policies and the problem was corrected. See, the problem can be fixed without causing a scene in the lobby and without police intervention.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-07:
But you got to admit John, it's a heck of a lot more entertaining (for the rest of the patients in the waiting room) if the police are involved.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-07:
Oh heck ya! I would have been all up in that if I had been in that waiting room. I'd be.. use the club! She's resisting!! :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-08:
Double (and triple) booking is nearly universal. Every minute an exam room sits empty adds to the doctor's overhead. It would amaze most people how inconsiderate patients can be about not keeping appointments or showing up late. Some days every patient shows up and the waits are horrendous. Sometimes patients book for a 'routine' concern, and it turns out to need a very extended visit...adding to the wait times of others. Some people will beg to be 'worked in' and then complain if they are not the second person taken back to the exam area after they arrive. The best thing a patient can do if the wait is excessive, is to politely ask to be re-booked. It does NO good to make a scene or complain to the doctor...he/she is already aware of the wait times. The most concerning aspect about this complaint is that the doctor's staff implied that there may be a serious issue needing immediate attention and it turned out to be only a folate deficiency. It not 'nice' or ethical to scare patients into making appointments or to encourage them to wait for extended times out of fear. As for calling the police...it would be just, plain silly...unless the person was disrupting the practice or acting in a threatening manner. I have no way of knowing if this was the case. But, I have to believe EMS workers would be less prone to this type of behaviour than the average Joe.
Posted by jammam on 2009-04-06:
I agree 100%. I saw Dr. Hwang for several years for migraines and while he did help me immensely, the quality of his care has deteriorated. 2 hours is too long to wait on a regular basis. I would go after work and not get home until 6:00 (after getting up at 4:45 in the morning). I would be so tired and hungry, I would get a migraine. Talk about counter productive It took me three months to get a brain MRI (for possible stroke or early onset Alezheimers) scheduled (fortunately it was OK- I think) and I was supposed to go to a specialist in epilepsy, but that never happened (this was a hospital that only made appointments through the doctor's office and as far as the pharmacy getting refills- forget it. It would take a week- too long while you're waiting for it. He used to say it was the staff's fault, because he did't get the message and they said they gave it to him and it was just sitting on his desk. His office staff is the worst! I all too often had to reschedule my trigger point injections (for migrain) because they failed to order. I finally wound up ordering myself because the girl told me she didn't know how! I have had an appointment card with one date, and their calender showed another. I have seen this happen to other patients. I do not know why the wait is so long, although it's the opinion of his patients is he double-books to get in as many (money) patients as possible. The big problem is his office staff-he has such a bad temper, they do not stay long. Also, he hires only temps, instead of having a full-time staff, because it's cheaper (one of them told my husband this). As a result, there is no continuity of care, hence the difficulty of getting my tests. Every time you call, you have to go over your needs with the new girl all over again. Fortunately I have never been the object of his anger, but I have heard him yell at other patients. Not at all professional. I have switched to another neurologist 1 hour from home (Dr. Hwang was only 10 minutes), but I am so much happier with my care. And I don't have epilepy or early onset Alzheimers. My symptoms were caused by one of my migraine medicines. What happened to the Hippocratic Oath.
My PCP no longer refers patients to him. Now that's bad!
Posted by jammam on 2009-04-07:
To respond to "Amazon", no, Dr. Hwang does not "give quality care to each patient," I.e. spending a long time with them. He's rushes in and out and barely gives you the time of day. There's just incompetency, greed and lack of caring about the patients' well being.
Posted by jammam on 2009-04-07:
Oh, and by the way: they collect the payment first, so you can't leave.
Posted by Disaster Worker on 2009-04-14:
Sent you a message elsewhere, but I think the reason for the over-booking and rushed visits is just for money.
Posted by jammam on 2009-04-27:
Dr. Hwang's office tried to call security on me, too. They had failed to order the serum needed for my trigger point injections. I had had a headache for about a week and believe me, the thought of getting those injections and feeling a little relief was all that was keeping me going. It was going to take at least another week and I was upset and crying and yes, mad. It seems calling the cops is the only way this staff has of dealing with problems- especially the ones they caused.
They also tried to bill me $200 for "office surgery" for the shots, and told me it was the law that injections given in the office were considered office surgery. Does that mean that allergy shots, a cortisone injection, a flu shot are all "office surgeries"? I've never paid that before, and my new neuro doesn't charge me "office surgery."
Hint: when you have a bad experience with a specialist, tell the referring doctor- he/she needs to know.
Posted by Disaster Worker on 2009-08-21:
Update on Dr. Hwang....I've heard from several other people in the Dallas Ft. Worth area that they've had similar experiences with this doctor, e.g., waiting extremely long times (3-4 hours) then having security called when the patient asked about the long wait.

The day of this event when the hospital police arrived, I was told I could never set foot inside the building again. Of course, that's impossible as I'm there with patients all the time. A couple of months after this event, I'm with an extremely combative patient and we called for police back-up. The same two hospital system cops show up and after the patient was restrained, we visited. They recognized me and gave me interesting insight into my event. They apologized that they had to talk to me so firmly in front of the doctor's office manager and said they're called there at least 3 times weekly for the same type of event. Later I met a patient that used this doctor and she relayed the story of being kept waiting 3 hours and once she got into the exam room, the office staff closed the door. She opened it; they closed it. She got up to see where the doctor was, and he was in his office with his feet up on his desk watching TV. She had the exact story...long wait; no pts leaving the office, only more patients entering. Too bad this horrible doctor gets away with treating people this way.
Posted by Sick_n_Tired on 2009-08-24:
The Board of Medicine VP, Kevin Costin- "Physicians have to be professional with patients and remember everyone is an individual. You should not be inflammatory or degrading to anyone."

File a complaint @ ama-assn.org
Posted by Mr. True Review on 2012-11-24:
Everything bad you read about this doctor is probably true. He is horrible, short tempered, zero bedside manner and has a rude unprofessional staff. Beware and find someone else.

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