Dr Jerry Tenenbaum: Unhappy Patients, Destroyed Lives?

One of most important issues in the medical care today is the need to ensure that every patient gets professional treatment. Unfortunately, that won't be possible until medical practitioners, and particularly doctors who are entrusted with patient's lives, commit to it. When a doctor registers years and several cases of misdiagnosis, non-professional conduct and patient abuse/mistreatment, it should be a sign of an ending career if not time for him/her to change to the better. The situation is worse when patients continue narrate their worst experiences with the doctor publicly. Patients should check the following whenever they plan to visit a doctor in a hospital or healthcare center.

Doctor's professionalism

When one patient raises a concern about misdiagnosis and improper medication by a certain doctor, that may be understood, but complains from many patients may raise an alarm as is the case with Dr. Jerry Tenenbaum, especially so because the claims dwell on lack of professionalism. Worse still when there are more negative than are positive reviews, and considering that many patients in pain are less likely to be offensive.

 "...he does not take the time needed to contentiously provide proper treatment to his patients. I feel that his negligence is one of the main reasons for decline in my health condition, as I was not provided with the right treatment for my pain." One patient said of the Rheumatologist who is based in Victoria, British Columbia.

Patients who walk into any hospital or health center are entitled to and have a right to be given quality, professional care, otherwise, their health must not be made worse by any doctor. In addition, a doctor providing treatment should be prepared to offer nothing less than better healthcare to help his patient, otherwise, he or she must be prepared to quit public service.

"Dr. Tenenbaum's meds caused chronic hypertension. He does not take the time to give proper treatment like other doctors." Another said of him.

In fact, a doctor who fails to practice professionalism should be prepared to face consequences of his/her actions given the sensitivity of health issues as they relate to people's lives. One patient even went ahead to say that he hopes the doctor will one day be charged with healthcare malpractice.

Doctor's interest in paying attention to patients' problems

Forget about a doctor's personal traits even though we know how important they are for a medical professional who interacts with the sick everyday! An important part of diagnosis is listening to patients in order to determine the root cause of the problem. That alone ensures that the doctor offers the right diagnosis. Not so for Dr. Tenenbaum according to his previous patients. The two above do not complete the list of those who noted that the doctor did not take time to diagnose the problem. An outstanding case is where a patient who had been referred to him with a case history file and had to point out to him the results of the relevant test because Tenenbaum was too quick to notice as he never went through the file thoroughly, even though his treatment recommendation was to be based on the test.

An effective doctor cannot treat problems based on what he/she thinks or feels: he must check the symptoms first. More than one patient seems to be complaining that the doctor has previously rushed them into solutions or he is quick as if not interested, and as one patient puts it, "...as if he had somewhere else to be." One patient said the doctor's office has a revolving door because a patient should be out as soon as he gets in.

Doctor's respect and concern for patients

A doctor who recognizes that every patient deserves respect like himself/herself is less likely to abuse and talk rude to patients. He/she is also likely to offer better care, recognizing that they deserve it. That is where character comes in health care! Reviews from patients tell a different story for Dr. Tenenbaum who they describe as rude and arrogant. One patient narrated how he left the hospital crying after a demeaning experience with the doctor.


"...He is very abrupt and offensive. I have fibromyalgia so am in severe pain all the time. He gave me no new information and said to exercise religiously and to cut out carbs. He poked me in the stomach and said "You have to lose that". It was very demeaning and I left crying. I dread having to go back to him.”

What should you do?

- As a patient, recognize that it is your right to get professional services. Any doctor should offer that without excuse whatsoever. It is your right to get adequate information about the problem in question too, and you should too insist on that. 

-Reviews from other patients should help in judging whether a doctor should be entrusted with the lives of patients, and guiding others in selecting the best doctor.

- A rude doctor is not a reason to get treated unfairly. If he does not listen, he/she should not offer the solution. Seek second opinion if in doubt and report if the doctor abusive.