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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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I’m a disabled vet who has a thorny problem with a VA

Customer Question

I’m a disabled vet who has a thorny problem with a VA psychiatrist and need help. About 2 ½ years ago, I was approved for the VA’s Choice Program which allowed me to seek outside help for some, but not all, physical issues. As a result, I found myself subjected to retaliation from the medical staff at the local VA clinic – in particular the shrink. I am forced to go to this clinic as the next closest facility is over 100 miles away through Dallas traffic. In short, I’m stuck at the local clinic. I filed a formal complaint about the retaliation, as well as abuse of other clinic patients, and the complaint was upheld in our favor.
For that period of time, I have been returning to the clinic every 3 months for blood work and to keep a one-hour appointment with the shrink. He is overtly hostile to me, and has subjected me to several of his anger tantrums. Very, very unprofessional conduct. My psych med (buspirone, 40 mg daily, alprazolam, 3 mg daily) expired some time ago and he refuses to renew them, telling me to get them from a Choice provider.
My appointment is next week and I’m in a quandary about how to confront him: my instinct is to tell him to make his refusal official by entering it on my records (which he hasn’t done yet), and to also insist that he provides an on-record explanation of why he feels it necessary to subject me to his repeated tantrums.
You can probably surmise what kind of tense situation this would create, so I’m asking for a professional opinion beforehand about how to handle this. Right now I’m in a “he said, I said,” situation, and filing another formal complaint could get sticky.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.

This is Dr. David

this can be a very difficult situation if you are stuck in the VA system and if your insurance will not pay for you to see another doctor or psychiatrist.

at your age of 70, you should also be able to have medicare federal insurance which can allow you to see doctors outside of the VA system

you may need to get a secondary insurance to cover the 20% Medicare doesn't pay for.

if you have this, you can leave the VA and find another psychiatrist or primary care doctor outside of the VA system

so you don't have to keep seeing this abusive doctor at the VA