I called the office 2 months ago for an appointment with Dr. Wickersham . I was told at first that he didn't take new patients. I have been living with chronic pain and other issues for 8 years and meet 9 of the 11 criteria set by the ACR to help diagnose Lupus, which runs in my family. Finally, after begging the office staff to ask the Dr. if he would take me, I was told I could see him...in two months. At the time, I had insurance and a full-time job. I agreed to wait and booked a visit. In the 2 months prior to my visit, I lost my job. I still kept the appointment because my symptoms are steadily becoming worse and more frightening. When I got to the office I was given forms to fill out, and when I took them back to the desk, I was told that since I have no insurance I had to give them $200 to ""hold"" and then I would be ""allowed to see the doctor"". This statement was made in front of everyone in the waiting room. I said I did not have that much, but I could make payments, and even give them $50 that day. They got the office manager, who took me to the back to discuss payment. I told her I had waited 2 months to see the Dr. and I had lost my job recently. She stated it is their policy to collect $200 before a Dr. will see a patient with no insurance. I told her I have severe symptoms, including numbness in my legs when I walk, and I desperately need to be seen. I told her that even being in the sun for a few minutes gives me a rash and a fever, that I can no longer drive in daylight as the sun hurts my eyes so badly, and I am afraid to drive at all due to my leg numbness. She asked how I got there if I can't drive and I told her I had a ride. She gave me a skeptical look and asked me how much I could give them. I told her I could give her $50, all the money I had left. She shook her head and said that wasn't enough. I was in tears by then, and asked her to please ask the Dr. if he would see me and let me make payments. She said ""All 5 doctors agree with this policy."" She said she will hold onto my forms and when I ""come up with $200"", she will get me in to to see him. She said this while herding me out the door; a clear sign that she was done with me. I told her I fear that I will die from this, as I have gone into respiratory distress many times, been hospitalized repeatedly for pleurisy, nephritis and unexplained tissue inflammation, and I almost died in my kitchen last year when I stopped breathing. She just shook her head and said that is their policy, no exceptions. Finally I gave up and left, trying to hold my head high in the waiting room with all those people staring at me, and walked out with tears streaming down my face. I have been a medical professional for 13 years and I have never seen such a lack of compassion. The message was loud and crystal clear: we will only care for you if you have money, no matter how sick you are. I wonder how many others are out there in pain and terrified like me, rejected for not having insurance or $200 to secure a visit. Are there any doctors still alive out there who practice because they really care about patients? I hope that by sharing this with others, I can help prevent other people from suffering the shame and degradation that I was subjected to. I honestly thought that this Dr. would help me. I was so very wrong.