Stace L. on BirdEye
5 months ago
05/10/2021, 19:02 PM
Terrible Dr. Thunder and assistant Ellie.
My experience has been about as bad as one could imagine. In summary, this place is a meat market driven by profit for the doctor, without regard for patient care. I was referred to Dr. Richard Thunder for lower back pain. After waiting a few weeks, I had my first consultation. Five minutes later, he ordered an MRI and went on to next room. My wife and I could believe it when we saw him yelling across the office and a patient who was late! A few weeks later on my second appointment, the MRI showed a herniated disc. Dr. Thunder quickly became a used car salesmen and insisted he would fix it and operate on my back right away. He said that I shouldn’t bother with a second opinion, as nobody would care enough to get me on their schedule. Dr. Thunder walked me and my wife over to the “scheduling bullpen” and insisted with assistant “Ellie” to schedule me at the end of a long day of many surgeries.
I’m told that this simple procedure that takes about 60-90 minutes and will net the doctor $14,000. I was also told by a doctor in the emergency room, that orthopedic surgeons have been hit hard by COVID and desperate to cut. After researching herniated discs, it’s clear that the herniated discs do resolve themselves on their own, however, it’s how much time and pain you are willing to endure.
Back to the surgery. I nervously got my COVID test to prep for surgery. About 24 hours before surgery, my pain went away and I was able to walk 2 miles and I felt pretty darn good. I cancelled surgery and Dr. Thunder’s assistant, Ellie, said no problem. Well over the next 4 weeks, my pain returned with a vengeance to unimaginable levels. I called Ellie and left a message to ask for my MRI to be sent for a second opinion. No response. When I met with the other doctor, the MRI was not sent after a week. I called again and asked to have them send it to me. Still not sent… no response. My pain was getting worse by the day. I was desperate, so I called to schedule surgery with Dr. Thunder. I called 3 times on that Monday and 3 times on that Tuesday. No return call. I went to the emergency room for morphine on Wednesday morning. No call back. Was Ellie on vacation? I called into a scheduler for another doctors in that bullpen and they confirmed that Ellie was working, just with other patients. She was avoiding my calls. Worse yet, I believe this was at the hand of Dr. Thunder, as retaliating on her own would cost her her job and have little upside. Ellie told that assistant to let me know that she could get me in on July 23rd. It was April!!! For me, the hours mattered with the increasing waves of suffering.
This was clearly retaliation. I believe it was both Thunder and Ellie. Dr. Thunder has a god complex. Just despicable considering the pain I was in. To not call back, to see my phone number on Caller ID, to not refer me to another doctor, to not release my MRI records. The pain was so intense for so long, it broke me.
Good news, I found another Doctor, who scheduled me a week out, however, I was in such bad pain, I went to the emergency room again and fortunately the doctor had a previous surgery and could operate that day. He did a great job and I am currently pain free. I highly recommend avoiding the terrible god complex shamsters at Torrey Pines Orthopedic & Sport Medicine.