To the Editor:
I am writing to voice our disappointment that Dr. Michotek will be discontinuing his medical practice. Dr. Michotek has treated my 92-year-old father and prior to her recent death, my 94-year-old mother-in-law, for a couple of years. He is devoted and caring, providing excellent medical care for seniors and other home-bound members of our community. Frankly, I do not know what we will do without him. I do not understand why Dr. Michotek cannot get hospital privileges at the MV Hospital so that he can maintain continuity and care for his patients when they are unfortunately admitted to the hospital. Life is challenging enough for our older citizens. They shouldn’t be punished for choosing a primary care physician who does not work directly for the hospital and instead, visits his patients in their homes. While hospital visiting hours are generous, I do not see the need to limit a physician’s visits to his patients to those hours, and stating that is related to HIPAA and privacy issues seems disingenuous. They should be able to see their doctor when they need him. Dr. Michotek is an outstanding doctor who has taken the same oath as the doctors within the hospital walls. Surely there is a way to grant him privileges so he can see his patients any time.
The problems with switching to a PCP at the hospital are numerous. First and foremost is that my father is barely mobile, with health problems that preclude parking, walking across the parking lot, and then waiting in a waiting room of a busy medical practice. Additionally, as my husband has found, he rarely sees the same doctor at the hospital. In fact, he often sees a nurse practitioner. Nothing against nurse practitioners. They provide great care. But this method of care would not work for my father. He wants to see HIS doctor. Additionally, to get my father to appointments at the hospital, I would have to take considerable time off of work to transport and wait with him. And while I am more than willing to do so, he doesn’t like that, nor does my employer. And just yesterday, I was on the phone for over an hour and a half simply trying to reach the medical offices at the hospital. I finally left a very annoyed voicemail with the hospital CEO, Denise Schepici, as she was literally the only person I could reach! It is also worth noting that we have never been able to list Dr. Michotek as my father’s doctor in his hospital records, though we’ve asked several times. Dr. Yukevich is still listed as his physician, though he’s been retired for a couple of years. Yet my own PCP, who does not work at the hospital, is listed in my records. What is the difference between my PCP and Dr. Michotek?
This Island and our seniors need Dr. Michotek’s services. I’m disappointed that the hospital cannot or will not find a way to work with him and support this very important home care for those who need it. The hospital is outrageously busy. Appointments are difficult to get. I myself called over a month ago to schedule a routine test and was given a date in January 2022! As a result, I will likely go off Island for this care instead. If Dr. Michotek gives up his home visits, I quite honestly do not know what we will do. I fear my father will simply go without care. On behalf of my father and myself, and Dr. Michotek’s other patients, I implore the hospital to work with him. Don’t make our lives any more difficult than they already are. Our elders deserve to be able to choose their doctor and they deserve to have the best care possible. Dr. Michotek fulfills that need and then some. We couldn’t be happier with his care and attention and we are beyond grateful that he saw a need in our community and stepped up to address that need with his in-home medical care. Thank you, Dr. Michotek. And to MV Hospital, please work with him so he can continue to care for his patients. They matter. Thank you.