August 7, 2019 at 6:50 pm #25974
I need some advice, I went to a walk in clinic here in Halifax ( no Family doctor)
asking about 2 spots. one completely new mole, 3mm raised very asymmetric with a dark center.
the other is a mole I’ve had on my arm for about 8 years. was always small (under 3mm), now its spreading just over 6mm and again very asymmetric.
he didn’t even look at my other moles I was concerned about, completely dismissed me.
the doctor at the clinic basically laughed at me and at first wouldn’t give me a referral to a dermatologist. I pleaded and he gave me the referral. that was 3 weeks ago and I haven’t heard back for an appointment. my concern is he has me at such low priority I wont be seen for a long time.
should I try another walk in?
August 8, 2019 at 10:38 am #25976
Hello to you!
First of all, good for you for going to have your suspicious moles checked. I never know what to say when I hear of doctors dismissing a patient’s concerns. I know they see a lot, but when they hear that something is changing, it should not be dismissed. Hardly a week goes by and we don’t hear from someone who tells us that their mole was dismissed and now they are dealing with full blown advanced melanoma. So I congratulate you for being persistent. Family doctors – they do so much good, but truthfully, most would not be able to distinguish a problem mole or lesion from a benign one. It is difficult even for dermatologists sometimes, so best to push forward and get in to a derm. I am sure it is frustrating that you are still waiting for an appointment. Eyeballing a mole or questionable lesion to determine if it is melanoma (particularly if, as you indicate, it has been growing and changing and is asymmetrical), is not an accurate means of diagnosis. A dermatologist, who is trained in the use of dermoscopy (using a special little camera-like tool that can look into the mole for telltale signs of melanoma), is one of the best methods.
I would suggest two fronts on this: 1) call your doctor/clinic back or go back and see him/her and get a copy of the referral and find out which derm he/she referred you to and why there has not been any follow up – sometimes summer and holidays are problem times with many taking vacation, so could be as simple as someone is away. 2) If you don’t get satisfaction from there, go to another walk in clinic or try to get a family doctor (I know it sometimes isn’t easy and takes time, but you could try this at the same time as you are waiting). There are actually a few more dermatologists in the Halifax area than I thought, which is good, but you still need a referral. https://dermatology.ca/public-patients/about-dermatology/find-a-dermatologist/
A last means would be to go to the emergency centre at the local hospital. The wait would likely be really long, but I am sure they would either bring a derm that is there on staff or give you a referral. Hoping this helps.
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