I have worked with many doctors in the past. I’ve seen good doctors, and I’ve seen bad doctors. Dr. Mark Perl is the most unprofessional and negligent of them all so far.
I don’t say that lightly. What are my reasons for making such a strong statement? Here are three:
1. He does not know what medications I’m taking, even though he prescribed them to me.
In my latest visit, we were discussing my sleep issues, for which he prescribed medication during a previous visit.
When I struggled to remember the name of the medication and asked him, he first said the wrong medication, and then said, “I don’t know!
You tell me,” very indignantly, as though it was not his responsibility as the prescribing doctor to know.
2. He doesn’t recall my medical history when I visit, and he asks for it again and again.
Poor sleep has always been one of my chief issues.
Every time I’ve met with Dr. Perl, we’ve discussed my sleep issues.
Yet at my latest visit, when I started talking about my sleep issues, he asked very earnestly, “Has this been going on for some time?” This is one of the chief reasons I am seeing him.
It’s baffling how he would not know this, or did not write it down, when we’ve discussed this extensively at every previous meeting.
Also at my latest visit, I started picking up where I left off about a topic I had told him during my previous visit.
“The housing situation has gotten worse,” I said. He responded by saying, “The housing situation — can you describe it?” This was a familiar pattern by now — asking for information I already described in detail before.
Previous times I would overlook these slips — maybe part of his therapy style was for patients to repeat themselves — and just retell what I said previously, but since it was becoming a pattern, and I was starting to worry if it was in fact a therapy technique or if he really just didn’t take notes, I decided to ask him gently, “Can you remind me what we discussed at our last meeting?” He had his notes from previous visits in his lap, so it would’ve been easy enough for him to jog my memory.
Instead, he answered condescendingly, “David (not my real name), I’m not going to play games with you!”
3. He is factually wrong about basic knowledge of medications he prescribes.
He prescribed lorazepam 0.5 mg per night to help me with my sleep.
When I told him that I didn’t feel any effects at 0.5 mg, and that I’ve read that 2-4 mg is the recommended dose for insomnia (I try to stay educated about my medications), he said to me, “I don’t know where you got that, but it is wrong.
I would never prescribe someone that dose — that dose is at addiction levels.”
However, that’s incorrect, and you can check that for yourself with a quick Google search.
In fact, just to make sure the online resources weren’t wrong, I asked a relative in medical school afterwards to check the official medical database of drugs (Lexicomp), and he’s confirmed that the 2-4 mg dose is correct for insomnia.
When I gently tried to point out that I was pretty certain 2-4 mg was the recommended dose for insomnia, Dr. Perl flat-out said to me, “David, I don’t think we can work together.
You’ll have to find another doctor.” I walked out early, and that was the end of our relationship.
I don’t think this needs to be said, but what does a good doctor look like? A good doctor is someone who knows your medical history, who knows which medications he prescribed, and knows basic facts about those medications. Dr. Perl is none of these.