Since July my Mother has been treated at the main campus in Houston. When a hospital touts itself at being number one and the best, that’s what I expect.
Maybe I was wrong to give such high expectations, they led me to believe I should have. The doctors without a doubt are super smart and I feel most really do care for their patients. That’s where it ends. The hospital is massive and is spread out over numerous buildings.
We realized that some appointments would be in one building and the appointments, the same day, are blocks away. That was incredibly frustrating when my Mother was sick. Dragging her from place to place only added to her anxiety and mine. The drivers that take you from place to place routinely complained about the hospital and disgusted personal issues with each other.
When appointments are scheduled, they are hosted added to your portal (everyone gets a log in and ID for a private portal page). Your schedule is never considered, it’s just thrown on there and you are expected to come. We would have long breaks such as one appointment at 8am and another at 1:45. When someone is sick on chemo, sitting in a hospital all day long is far from ideal.
The waiting rooms are usually crowed for testing areas too. It’s not comfortable at all and the rooms are freezing cold. I wore several layers and brought warm socks with me. The people who work those areas are anything but friendly.
They call you up like cattle and you have to recite your name, patient number, and date of birth and are pushed along to the next step. Do not expect that your appointments will be on time or anything close to it. It was common for us to wait hours past our appointment times, with no updates during the wait. My Mother is also diabetic and we learned very quickly that the cafeteria isn’t open during hospital hours.
They have breakfast, lunch, and dinner windows and that’s it. Try getting a fresh fry 5 mins early...it’s not happening. We started bringing a cooler with food and drinks and lugged that around every time we had appointments. The food is also disgraceful for such a heavy name in medicine.
I have food allergies and nothing is labeled. If you ask for help, it’s like you’re speaking another language. The selections aren’t what I’d expect for cancer patients either. Greasy pizza and burgers, bbq, and dried out selections.
The areas for fork and knives were rarely stocked and a mess. The tables weren’t clean and you’re hard pressed to see any employee in the dining area itself. Depending who you speak with will depend on the answer you are given. We were told Mom couldn’t gave blood draws at any satellite locations so we believed that.
Months later we received a new appointment reminder that clearly stated you can have testing done anywhere, but it needs to be a day before. That would have incredibly helpful for us had we known. We had a nurse tell us, months into treatment, that the blood draw appointment times really don’t matter just to arrive about an hour and a half before your appointment. Sometimes they would schedule those for three hours before...keep in mind my Mom was sick and weak and the extra couple hours at home would have made a huge difference.
Getting a hold of anyone once you leave the office is a major undertaking. They all say to email using your portal. You typically have to wait 2-3 business days for a response. Calling the nurse desk for anything medical was pretty much a waste of time.
We were told either go to the ER or make another appointment with the doctor. There is no attention to you once you aren’t physically in front of the staff. We waited in the exam room one occasion for five hours...five hours. The doctor was running so late and nobody bothers to give you a clue as to how long you’ll wait.
We just sat in a small windowless room for hours. Major lack of communication and setting proper expectations. We had to tell every person who saw my Mom every drug she was on and the dosage. Sometimes we would see four people for each area.
It’s complete insanity to repeat that list to the doctors nurse, PA, intern, and whoemever else he or she has working with them that day. This is done everytime you go also and for every doctor. The supplies they give you are barely enough to get by for half the time you’ll need it. Some of the nurses made us feel like they were sneaking us bandages.
They are a research hospital and several times we met with people who we thought were part of the doctor team and they ended up being researchers wanting blood or tissue or to enroll her into a clinical trial. It was uncomfortable at times and a waste of time for us on several occasions. The one doctor we didn’t like was Dr Lavis. He’s just rude.
We asked if what the test results meant he handled us. He was annoyed to explain it and was very condescending with his tone. Guess he thinks we routinely read bloodwork and understand what it all means. His waiting room is usually completely full and we were forced to either stand or go find chairs near the elevators in the hall.
It was incredibly hard to hear them calling names and had to keep walking to the front to check that we didn’t miss them calling us. After surgery they want you out ASAP. My Mom was dizzy and told them that several times and they never addressed it. She was barely awake and they were getting her dressed and pushing her out the door.
During her one operation he monitors weren’t working and it showed she was still waiting to go back to the ER, hours after I watched her be wheeled out. The ladies at the desk were clueless and sent me back to her waiting area we had been in. She wasn’t there and I roamed around and found a nurse who had to check. They finally figured out she was in surgery and the board was wrong.
I had no idea as to the progress of the operation until it was finished and the nurse came out. I’ve been trying to reschedule two appointments for over a week and keep getting pushed to other people and departments. My bottom line is this, MD Anderson is no different from any other hospital expect that their marketing is the best. They have done an excellent job branding themselves and making one believe they are the best.
Some of their doctors maybe but, the hospital and supporting staff is anything but! I’ll seek other options going forward. An option that treats us as something other than a number and has their ducks in a row. All of them.
Not just top doctors. That’s where it ends with MD Anderson.
Product or Service Mentioned: Md Anderson Cancer Center Medical Care.
Reason of review: Bad quality.