About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
What are Medic 1 patients supposed to do?
Few stories that I’ve done recently have generated as many questions or as much criticism as the stories about Medic 1. Reader unhappiness hasn’t been directed at me. Instead, it’s aimed at Dr. Warren Parmelee, the owner of the urgent care clinic.
Parmelee closed Medic 1 suddenly on May 4, apparently with little thought given to the patients. These patients continue to call and write here to say that they’ve been unable to find their former doctors, talk to anyone at the clinic or get their records.
Greg Gruszewski of Caroline County said yesterday that he and his wife Nancy were patients at Medic 1 for more than a decade. They left messages on the clinic’s answering machine when they first heard about the closing. But they’ve not heard from anyone or seen their records. Now the answering machine is full and will not accept new messages, Gruszewski said. They’d also like to find their former doctor, Dr. Jacqueline Sicari, but no one has been able to help them, he said.
Another Caroline resident said yesterday that her mother, a former Medic 1 patient, needs a prescription refilled. She called and visited the office but has not talked with anyone there. Her mother “needs her medicine right now, not tomorrow,” the woman said.
Lisa Williams, another patient, wrote on Friday to say, “Medic 1 states that you can call for your medical records however no one answers the phone or returns the four messages I have left. How do they expect people to get proper care and medications without a medical history?”
One caller last week was so mad when she left a message on my machine that I didn’t call her back. I knew her anger wasn’t aimed at me, but I didn’t know what to tell her.
At one point, Parmelee gave me his cell number, but when I called him yesterday, he did not answer, and there was no way to leave a message.
So what are Medic 1 patients supposed to do? How do they get their test results, prescription refills or medical records? Why would a doctor close a practice with no warning and then not respond to patients?