I consulted Dr. Hartwell for a routine physical in August, 2010 and returned a week later to have blood drawn for testing. Late in the day following the second visit, I began feeling sick with what turned out to be pneumonia.
After suffering with the disease for eight days, I returned to Dr. Hartwell?s office for diagnosis and therapy. The doctor performed a cursory examination, failed to diagnose the problem and sent me off with a prescription for Augmentin, an antibiotic related to Amoxicillin. Though the infection was very likely nosocomial (resulting from visiting the doctor?s office) and the doctor acknowledged as much, I was nonetheless charged for this second visit.
Three days later, the first day of the long Labor Day weekend, I was still extremely ill and called the doctor?s office. Nobody was in the office and the doctor did not have another physician covering for him over the long weekend. He also has neither a fax machine nor an e-mail address nor a residential listing in the phone book, so he is completely unreachable.
I ended up in the hospital Emergency Room where at great expense the pneumonia was diagnosed and the proper course of therapy prescribed.
Over the course of that long weekend, I had left four urgent messages on Hartwell?s answering machine. I never heard back from him.