Bored Pain Physicians & How To Spot One Before It’s Too Late

Bored Pain Physicians & How To Spot One Before It’s Too Late

Ever wonder how doctors actually feel about you and if they’re genuinely interested in improving your quality of life? Normally its not that big of a deal when visiting for routine check ups or small injuries but that all changes the second you develop a chronic illness, especially when there’s no clear etiology.

From my personal experience its an extremely important consideration particularly when you’re doctor shopping. Over time even caring healthcare providers can also become disinterested especially if their hit & miss drug treatments are failing you or worse, they begin harming you.

Dennis Capolongo

So before you fall into their comfort-zone routine of collecting their fees while not improving your quality of life, here are a few tips to tell if your doctor has become bored with you during your short 15 minute visits.
You are often rudely interrupted mid sentence with, “So, what can I do for you today?” That line always cracks me up since they know darn well why I’m there, their care thus far hasn’t helped.
They continuously stare at one or more of their smart devices while making facial expressions unrelated to your comments or they rarely look up to make direct eye contact with you. This disrespect is a clear indication that its now time to seek out another doctor.

Depending on your symptoms, they rarely if ever physically examine you or the area in question. After seeing a doctor for nearly a year, I suddenly realized he never once laid a finger on me, ever.
Your self-diagnostics are routinely dismissed even when you provide supportive medical literature and/or test results that say otherwise. Insulting a patient’s instincts is always a bad idea.
Taking calls and/or repetitively looking at their watch is another clear indication that you and your chronic condition have become a bore and that its now time to move on.
The doctor often forgets your name or what you are suffering from, calls you by another person or neglects to follow-up on promised research. Yup, all of these and worse have happened to me.
The front desk keeps extending your follow-up office visits by a factor of 2x or more. Why won’t they just be honest and simply say, “Get lost!” … lol

Seriously, how many doctors have you seen that were genuinely willing to take the time to listen, to comprehend your symptom’s complexities, to seek out their root causes and most importantly to demonstrate their honesty by acknowledging their possible ignorance when faced with multilayered symptoms and/or intractable pain conditions that fit no known pathology?

I’m often reminded that the true test of a person’s character is how they respond to challenges they don’t always fully comprehend. I’ve come to respect doctors that say; “Hey, I’m really stumped here!” or “I really don’t know what to do about this!” or “I need help, allow me to reach out to my colleagues and do some research!” rather than the often encountered ego-driven narcissist that experiments with multitudes of drugs, unproven interventional procedures or unorthodox ethics in order to meet daily financial quotas. These are the doctors the pain community should try to avoid because if something were to seriously go wrong due to their lack of interest, the authorities will question your mental stability, not theirs. That doctor will then most likely deny their lack of attention in your case and will seek protection from their peers. Therefore it is vitally important for chronically ill patients like us to feel respected and comfortable with their doctor because only then will the trust be mutual if something were to go sadly awry.

Nowadays when I visit a new specialist I make certain to take note of their attentive demeanor when explaining my extremely complex condition. Then based on their response, I will often point to my mouth while pleading for them to consider my words as a very sophisticated onboard self-diagnostic program that is far superior to anything found on their so-called smart devices. This sets my standards as I am now the captain of my ship that had often run aground with inattentive physicians in the past.

So please tell us now about your experiences with bored pain physicians?

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Authored by: Dennis J. Capolongo

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Jeannette mastenbrook

Martha you are soooo spot on !!! All about the money.

Rosalind Rivera

I was not too long ago telling my pain management doctor that I’ve been a patient of for 8 years now how no one cared. He looked st me and told me that he cared. Last month there was a snafu in my insurance and I was told by his receptionist that I could not have my Ablation nor could I have my two prescriptions. She did say that I could get my prescriptions if I paid $ 150.00. I know that he remembers me very well as we often have conversations not only about my conditions but also on many other topics. So, he couldn’t write two prescriptions which would take perhaps five minutes at the most because I couldn’t pay the $ 150.00? How much if at all does he really care????
He knows my suffering or at least what and how I explain and my body itself shows my suffering???

I really liked this doctor. He fooled me completely. I really did believe him when he said the He cared???


I too have experienced the same situation. A former PCP told me I was too complex of a patient for her. I told her no problem I will find someone who is competent so I will need a complete copy of my file and you won’t have to worry about my care anymore thank you. Since then I am on my 3rd new PCP and am hopeful.
Now my Orthopedic Surgeon is contradicting himself and seems distracted. I’ve been in his care for 19 years. Being that I am inoperable, I’m probably not profitable enough anymore?. Plus since I refused to get a spinal stimulator surgically implanted,
( for the 2nd time in 20 years & 2nd Dr.), there seems to be a loss of interest, afterall it’s a loss on the kick back they get from the patients who are getting them. I’ve done the research and know people who have had them and the failure rate has been 100% for them.
Most Doctors are unfamiliar with chronic pain having never experienced it firsthand. They too get frustrated as we who suffer are frustrated. It’s hard to find doctors in today’s healthcare community who can weather the volatile conditions that exist with all the unrealistic regulations and misunderstandings of rules etc..,
All we can do is keep pushing forward, stand up for ourselves by speaking up. So what if you have to find a new doctor, if the one you have isn’t helping, leave, you went to him or her at one time. You can get one as easily as you got them.
Only you can trap yourself or free yourself.
Life is about choices, choose to make positive changes, choose to do all you can to make your pain manageable, choose to not let things get to you and make your pain worse. Choose who is your Care Team and if that team fails you, choose to move on. Your body Your life and Your Choices.
Be strong, Stand up and Take control my pain warriors


I’ve been seeing a PM doc like that for 5 years now! The only time he did any kind of test on my body was my 1st visit as a new patient. Visits are charged regularly for 15 minutes but if he takes 1 minute I’m lucky. He frequently asks “what surgeries have you had?” Then he asks is there any change in your health? The last visit with him was the longest & it was when he explained that he had to go to 1 pill a day & only if you take Ketamine with it. I’m sick of doctors of any kind! There aren’t any that really care about you or your health! So I’m getting off them myself & be done with them all. I’m too gun shy to try & find another one. Plus I have only Medicare & there aren’t that many who accept it in my area. The problem with Ketamine or CBD oils or whatever else they want to prescribe it’s all extremely high $ & I live on fixed income. I work 3 days a week at a very sedentary job & I’m afraid I wont be able to do that with no meds.


Yes, yes, yes! Too many times. I especially like it (sarcastic) when they get right up in my face and say, “it’s your chronic pain and there’s nothing else we can do.”
I had new back symptoms 2 years ago and it took a year for my PCP to get an MRI. She kept refusing to refer me back to the pain clinic or to order the MRI. I had to listen to the lies about suboxone every visit and she dismissed anything else I said. I refused the suboxone and was labeled noncompliant. I was in horrendous pain but I didn’t dare ask for an increase in my pain meds. After she relented and got the MRI, I had a spinal stenosis in both my lower back and my neck. She never apologized. I got my medical records to see how long she had refused me and not a word about the new symptoms, that I had repeatedly asked for an MRI or anything noted outside of my usual chronic pain complaints. I had 2 surgeries this past year so now I’m back to my baseline chronic pain again. But I got so debilitated in the process that I am having a hard time getting any energy or endurance back. And that was only the past 2 years. I’ve had 35 years of doctors refusing care I’ve needed until it gets too bad. The last thing any of us needed was to have the government interfere in our lives. It’s already been a battle to get what I’ve needed in the Healthcare industry alone. With the added problems from the government, that started in 2016 and those fateful CDC guidelines, it is becoming increasingly difficult and a constant struggle to get the opioid medication I need to have any life at all. I can’t battle everyone and everything. The anxiety alone has significantly decreased my quality of life. Good luck finding another physician. I have changed doctors in the past but they are all becoming this way. The only thing that helps me now to get through these appointments is to always bring my dear friend with me who understands my issues because she endures the same issues herself. My husband left a long time ago.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories and insights. Although we vision the model physician when seeking care, a compassionate, attentive, and well focused doctor with great bedside manner, most times we have little to no choice and must settle for whomever the roulette table dishes up. But that’s no reason to give in and submit to their lazy routine habits. May I suggest challenging your doctor once in awhile with precise, focused questions, observations or why they appear to have lost their interest in your case? Fear of losing access to pain medication is a tool they use to keep us in check, especially if they get what they want from the relationship which often is a lucrative off-label procedure that helps keep their bills paid and doors open. But unless you have given up on your condition and are happy with that, its time to confront bored doctors, to revitalize & motivate them to get involved again with their patients condition, to explore outside the box they helped create, to seek the truth regarding your condition and to stop being just an automated PEZ dispenser for Big Pharma.


I had surgery to fix the previous botched ones. My new surgeon said it was a pretty severe case of adhesions and my bladder wasnt in the right place. He had overdosed me with a little too much fentanyl, ended up in ICU with aspiration pneumonia. Maybe a month later I developed this horrific pain on the left side of my pelvis and a bulge. (not a hernia). I saw him in the hospital where we both worked and he told me to follow up with my PCP. for this issue. Its times like this I wonder am I crazy. You almost killed me, I ended up very sick in the ICU, ended up staying 13 days versus 3 and now your kicking me to the curb!! I was so angry and hurt. He caused this issue and wouldnt even give me the time of day. I spent years searching for a cure, finally found out I had entrapped pelvic nerves. This surgery was pretty much the end of my reproductive life. I’m glad I never went back to him for anything but I will never get over the way I was treated like [edit]

My Dr. at an HMO never sees or inquires about me, if I am in a lot of pain just says “ its time for another RFN, or epidural” and never schedules an office appt. to examine my body, talk to me about the pain and what’s going on. It’s just meet him in the OR, where he’s joking around with staff/ nurses, center of attention. Never asks “ where does it hurt, actually, where does the pain go in your sacrum, lower back, knee, hips? Then on with the shots. Off he goes to the next pt. At least I get my 30 pills of Oxy refilled every couple months- so don’t want to rock the boat. But what a jerk. He’s only an anesthesiologist. When I told him I couldn’t work any more , applying for disability due to severe pain at work he said “ lots of people work in pain, good luck in your endeavors.” WHAT. I’ve been working on and off in pain since my 20s, I’m 60 now.

They’re not bored when they find a way to make a large sum of money off you. I have seen the ones that seem nice & then stab you in the back with Incorrect & demeaning, insulting inaccurate medical records that of course blame me. Only bc I did not agree 2 a procedure that would have made them large sum of money. It seems normal now for them to look at their watch or their computer w/o ever making eye contact & when you need to be physically examined it never happened but the document it happened even given to what degrees your hip socket range for surgery , never examining I guess it’s just their best guess sound good on the medical report. the ones that bother me the most that say I don’t get reimbursed enough to do that test or procedure. They admit you need the test or procedure but it’s not enough profit for them to do so . So that means you go w/o being medically treated. I feel like they’re all robots with different faces BC weather there pain Physicians or not all Physicians seem to be made in a factory somewhere & come out with the same speech with different faces. It’s about making money not your health. The private practice doctor barely exist. Corporations have bought out the Healthcare System. The insurance company’s rule over everything a doctor does. Follow the green brick road.

Jeanette French

Bored doctors for any chronic condition, especially un-diagnosed ones. Been sick for over 3 years, no one knows what it is, and no one orders tests, i have to ask for every test or scan. I am left to self diagnose. John Hopkins was a joke as well as NIH. Couldn’t get rid of me fast enough, poo pooed everything and sent me on my way. I continue to suffer severely and no doctor cares, only one has so far. He is a good doctor and wish there were more like him. Insurance does not cover genetic testing for diagnostic reasons, which is [edit]. The cost of it is way down. So unless I keep asking, no one cares if I am better or not. Doctors more you along after your 15 min. and if there are no answers they really don’t care.NIH has an undiagnosed program and they have refused me, over and over again. It doesn’t seem to matter unless you are a child or already have a diagnosis for them.The whole system sucks, doctors don’t work in teams anymore, and each specialist just shakes their head and moves on. Maybe when they do the autopsy they will find the cause. For the richest nation, we suck !


I haven’t had the experience of a bored physician as much as I have of a “wary” physician-hesitant to discuss or address my pain beyond completing the required questionnaires and other paperwork for the all-powerful government enforcers.

I know full well that I’d better NOT speak honestly about pain and its impact on my functionality and quality of life (perish forbid that I might consider ending my life). I’d better NOT express the need for a modest med increase due to age-related progression of underlying degenerative medical conditions. If I tell my physician that the low dosage of a mild opiate that I am currently allowed is no longer as effective in controlling my pain, then I must be “drug seeking”, right? Result: I get cut off! I won’t risk that.

Needless to say the current punitive environment ENcourages wariness and totally DIScourages any open communication between physicians and patients. I am reluctant to bring up any new medical problem or symptom if it might involve an invasive diagnostic procedure or treatment. At almost 83, I’m not willing to take on any more pain than I already have. However, what amounts to “don’t ask/don’t tell” cannot bode well for the health of Americans in general.

Cindy too

I havent’ had that problem, but what I have had is that my PM’s NP, on my monthly visits, has one foot out the door the second she hands me my Rx’s, and if I want to ask a few questions, she indicates that she’s out of time.

I’d much rather be able to get my Rx’s by mail or have them sent to my pharmacy since the drive to the office is one extra errand for my very limited bandwidth to have to manage, and means that I wont’ get something else done, like loading the dishwasher.

I mentioned to my PM that I’d heard that my state now allows opioid Rx’s to be sent electronically to the pharmacy which would make patients’ lives much easier, but he said he wants to maintain control over Rxs which he doesn’t think that system would allow in his large office; plus he said the software is very expensive.

But as long as I do have to go in person every month, then I think I should get more than one minute with the NP w/o her being booked to another patient.

My PM has been very good to me compared to most others I’ve read about here in terms of Rx’s. I see him on occasion, but for the monthly visits, see his NP who I really like.

But lately she has been so rushed, and yes, they are taking my insurance money, so that it is frustrating.

I’m seeing my PM next month (and not the NP) and have my list of questions ready.

Connie M. Schmidt

I have been struggling with serious back pain due to two herniated discs and a cyst in the vertabrea between them.
After receiving relief from my back pain through cortisione injections, only to have the pain come back, I went back to my orthopedic surgeon. My insurance company wouldn’t approve more injections so soon,”within 6 months”. My surgeon told me he could not prescribe opioid pain drugs without a procedure being done because of new guidelines by the CDC. But he said my general practioner could.
My doctor retired, so in search of a new general practioner I chose one who dealt with geriatric and arthritic patients. At first I thought he was a very careful, but overall good doctor.
I went back to my general practioner and explained that I had to wait a month before I could have the proceedure done to alieviate my pain due to insurance guidelines. My doctor said he made it a practice to NEVER prescribe any kind of opioid for any period of time. He had me try pain patches, Tens electrode patches, new antinflammitory drugs, massage therapy plus hot and cold packs.
When I went back and told him that nothing was working he sent me to a Pain Management Clinic. i really didn’t understand why I was going to this clinic because I didn’t understand the function of a Pain Management Clinic. They wanted to do nerve blocks?
My general practioner knew my orthopedic surgeon, and he knows that this surgeon is one of the best in the area. So why would he send me to a Pain Management Clinic?
Nothing worked. I spent days in bed because I was in so much pain. I’ve nearly lost a month of my life because the pain causes me to get migraines.I am paralyized with pain!
Now that I finally quality for Medicare and purchased a Medicare Supplement policy, a new MRI was approved along with the cortisone injections AFTER another consultation by my orthopedic surgeon.
I have spent a total of $250. in co-pay fees just to see these doctors with no relief.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Yes I understand this very well. Thanks for reminding us about these things. Unfortunately in many people’s cases they have no where else to go. Thank you.

I believe that there should be a public listing of doctors and/or facilities that discriminate against pain patients and that refuse to treat with opiates when other treatment does not work.
I know I am not the only person that has gone to a new patient appointment (asking before appt. was made if the doctor prescribed the medication I need) only to get a call from the nurse a couple of weeks later saying the doctor does not prescribe or the doctor telling you since after you are in the office. They are charging insurance with a “new patient fee” knowing full well they will not treat you. I now regret that I did not file complaints the. several times this had happened to me.
The facilities that hire these doctors do not want to be getting complaints and another thing pain patients can do that hurt these doctors is to leave descriptive feedback online on health grades and vitals.
Writing these posts to fellow pain patients is great but it will not change how we our being treated unless we change how we expose them.

Michael Kastner


Christine Sparks

Oh, well said!! We’ve all been there and your wit has just eased that memory for me. Thank you and all the best in your journey.

Michael Kastner

Well written alarming and oh so true article! Certainly hits home. Thanks for the insight

Sandy Miller

I can relate to this. My Dr doesn’t take the time to listen to me. I’ve been to so many pain management Dr’s that it’s to the point of them thinking I’m drug seeking instead of seeking better treatment and trust. I’m to the point of not knowing where to turn for help with my CRPS.

Kathleen Kaiser

I’ve experienced this enough now that I can spot it with my hands tied behind my back. Doctors hate us patients using Dr. Google, but I’ve had no less then 3 times when I found my diagnosis when my doctors didn’t.

J. A.

Thank you for your discourse but the doctors I’ve seen over the past 9 NINE YEARS have dismissed my 21 TWENTY-ONE YEARS of chronic pain issues by stating that due to DEA REGULATIONS and state licencing they ( 5 doctor’s in 9 yrs)they will not Rx any opiate ANALGESICS which is what I had taken, as prescribed, 13 yrs prior to 2010.
I won’t get into why bc it’s exactly what you’re speaking to: uninterested/bored professionals. For the past 9 going on 10 yrs nothing but bs gabapentin. Bs Suboxone and other random pain substitutes which do not affect my chronic pain issues.
This is so trying and exhaustive. I’m done.


I was in pain management in TX. I am legally deaf but read lips. The doctirs and PAs would consitently sit at their devices facing away so I had to take an interpreter to my appointments. Any discussion of symptoms or meds was constantly tabled as “We are checking this out and will let you know next visit” next visit ALWAYS had a diffrent PA who knew nothing about previous visits.
The final biggie was a medication which made me suicidal. I tried to end things. And the head Dick?? NOT a typo! He said very nonchalantly that oh. They never had that reaction before. And THEY DONT CARE! Their ONLY priority was to get me on OTC and if I killed myself, so what.


Well I can honestly say 2 my primary will sit w me 3 and a half hours my PM like 30 minutes . ..So one day he walked in I got up and shut the door .as I stated you are a pain doctor so what do you know about pain I know you feel sorry for me you sympathize .. With me pain but you have not walked in my shoes 7 surgeries you were there for 5 of them HE WAS SPEECHLESS.. FOR ABOUT a minute..i gather ..I never asked to get hurt I have done it all ended up in hospital many times and admitted I almost died from RADIOFREQUENCY oh yeah the spinal cord stimulator my body rejected it 2 years of infections no more injections I got ARTHRITIS plus t 11 T 12 plus lower back is whack … The 1st surgery now worse no one will operate I am tired of all the test omg .. But I fight back ..oh yeah Gd is good I make it to the gym 6 days a week no weight s cardio and legs only .i will not I refuse to let anyone bring me down rite now I want to scream my back is killing me since 2 am .. But I am forcing my self to get out now thank you for sharing


I dont know where you are hoon but my doctor mutts the [edit] when leaving the room.
He knows I am going to die from Pnuerolathic pain. How long can I stand it.

Bram Judy Cast

I have had MEAN pain doctor experiences!!