Category Archives: Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons

Only Child gets bitten and hunts for walk-in medical clinics

Tool Shed and compost bin by the biting bugs lair.

Tool Shed and compost bin by the biting bugs lair.

Saturday evening at dusk I finally got around to taking out the veggie and fruit scraps to the compost bin. The bin is at the end of my backyard by the tool shed. As I was trying to close the bin a swarm of bugs flew up from the ground and bit my ankles. One even got me through my blouse on the back. I quickly jumped back, ran into the house to put on winter boots and a jacket (I already had on longish pants and a gardening hat) and returned to the bin. I had to close it tightly because if not, racoons would get in.

Sometimes I think I should buy a huge water gun, keep it filled with water and prop it outside on the patio. Then when God’s ugly creatures arrive to do their damage I am ready to defend my property and me without hurting the culprits.

The bugs stung where they bit and then the big itch began. By Sunday morning the areas were also red and swelling. After some research on the Internet, I headed for Shoppers Drug Mart for some Witch Hazel and a new supply of Tea Tree Oil. Sunday night a blister had started to form in one area. By Monday morning the blister was larger and kept increasing in size.

Those of you who follow these blog posts know who I blame for all these travesties of “nature.” But He is not to blame for what followed in my quest to find a walk-in medical clinic.

First, I called Tele-health Ontario and talked to a nurse practitioner. After a Q and A, she suggested I see a doctor within the next few days. As the blister started looking like it might be infected I decided that then (yesterday) was that day. I had fired my GP a few years ago (that’s another story), so a medical clinic was it.

The O’Connor Doctors’ Offices Medical Excellence Inc. (about a 10-minute walk from here) is billed as a Walk-in Medical Clinic. However, being conscientious and suspicious, I phoned first to confirm their hours. I called the phone number on a postcard they had sent around a couple of months ago to introduce a new doctor joining the group. The postcard says “Please walk in or call for an appointment.”

The phone number is a call centre for the Apple Tree Medical Group who have several medical clinics in Toronto (including the one mentioned above) and Ottawa, Ontario. The fellow there told me the one near me is not a walk in and the doctor would not be in until Wednesday. Furious, I yelled, “I could be dead by then,” and hung up. I will be complaining to the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons about this one – at the very least it is false advertising and I have the proof even if I have to scan it and email it to them.

The next two were a medical centre across from the nearest hospital. My boarder called 211 for its phone number and name because when I called the hospital for info about the clinic the phone kept ringing at the hospital end. No voice mail. What do people do phoning about sick family members in the hospital? Carrier pigeon anyway?

I also called another clinic found in the phone book and was told they take two hours for lunch but would be back at 1 p.m. and yes, they were a walk-in clinic. As this one was a short bus ride from my place, I headed for there, arriving at 1.05 p.m.

According to the phone book (June 2014 version) the clinic was located over the Shoppers Drug Mart. Rthe clinic name was posted on the outside wall. I finally found the entrance to the area and took the elevator up, to discover the place didn’t exist – not even the room number 203. I checked at a lab in the building and the answer was a curt, “There is no medical clinic here. The only one is at 194 Main St.” Too far to walk with my sore legs. I got back on the subway and headed to another clinic, not so close to home, but it had been once recommended. From the subway exit it was a block-and-a-half walk.

The Albany Medical Clinic is a wonderful walk-in clinic which takes up most of their new building. It is very efficiently run but is not unfriendly. The two front-line intake ladies are very sympathetic, friendly and funny. The one I spoke to lives near the Apple Tree Misnamed clinic. She said they have odd hours but seemed horrified about the call centre and doctor-not-in-til-Wednesday bit. Anyway the Albany Clinic has  a relaxed atmosphere. I waited about 50 minutes before she gave me a small sheet of paper with my name and the doctor’s name plus verbal instructions to go to the fourth floor.
Dr. Pound saw me in five minutes or so and he was very relaxed, friendly and helpful. He reminded me of the doctor I saw years ago in Halifax, Nova Scotia for food poisoning. Dr. Pound held out his hand when he introduced himself. He also listened. He said I had an allergic reaction to whatever bug bit. From my description, neither of us could figure out what bug. He lanced and bandaged the blister (he said it wasn’t infected), gave me a topical anti-biotic cream because I am allergic to all oral anti-biotics and suggested I get a non-sedated anti-histamine. I did both and I see a bit of improvement.

Once better, my next health task is to register a complaint to the OCPHS about Apple Tree. May the apples all fall on them as they rot. Appropriate? Right?

Do you have any medical clinic horror stories to share?


Sharon A. Crawford’
Only Child Writes


Filed under Health, Medical walk in clinics, Only child, Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child comments on physicians’ religious beliefs and patient responsibility

Only Child  contemplates physicians refusal to treat patients

Only Child contemplates physicians refusal to treat patients

There’s a brouhaha in-the-works about whether physicians can refuse treating patients if the treatment goes against the doctor’s moral or religious beliefs. There are already small rural communities with only one medical practice or clinic that won’t perform abortions because of moral or religious beliefs. But now that has escalated to refusing birth control in some parts of Canada. In Ottawa, Ontario, three physicians circulated a letter saying that they won’t prescribe birth control. A medical clinic in Calgary, Alberta just posted a sign on their door to that effect. Read the Globe and Mail article at

What happened to treating the patient for what is best for the patient? Based on what is available for treatment and what is legal in that category. But religious and moral values being imposed on patients by their doctor(s)? Last time I checked, birth control (and even abortion) is legal in Canada. Whether you are for or against abortion, doesn’t it make sense to prescribe birth control to avoid a situation that may bring on an abortion?

Don’t they teach “common sense” at “doctor school?” More important whatever happened to the physician motto “do no harm.” I’m not saying that physicians should automatically prescribe the birth control pill without considering the patient’s overall health. If the patient has high blood pressure obviously the pill might have to be avoided. But there are other birth control methods.

For the most part physicians (unless they are obstinate) consider several options when a patient comes in with symptoms and gets a diagnosis. He or she would discuss these with the patient and suggest what would work best for the patient. Sometimes there is only one option for treatment but that should also be presented to the patient.

The patient’s health and concerns should be the doctor’s focus, not the doctor’s religious values.

Let’s take this scenario further.
What if the police refused to investigate a murder because the victim had different religious beliefs than the police officer?

What if a retailer refused to serve a customer because the retailer was a very religious Christian and the customer was a known atheist?

What if the federal tax department suddenly decided that you had to be Christian to file your income taxes?

I know – these are silly and stupid scenarios. But what about the physicians’ sudden rise in the attitude that their religious morals and beliefs trump their patients’ health? That is being not only stupid but going against the grain of the law.

And speaking of laws, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons is revisiting this issue with their regular policy review and update. They are even welcoming public input until August 5. The last policy review in 2008 ran into this issue but the OCPS backed down on stating doctors should park their beliefs at the door because – are you ready for it? – doctors raised a big stink about the issue.

And doctors wonder why some people think they act like they are God.

For the record I am not referring to all doctors here. Some are good and have the patient’s interest and health as their first concern. It’s this other bunch who seem to have tunnel vision when it comes to their religious beliefs and imposing them on others. Maybe this latter group are in the wrong profession. Maybe they should switch to some religious ministry.

What do you say about this? Have any of you ever encountered a doctor refusing you any treatment because of the doctor’s religious beliefs? And if you are a doctor reading this post, what are your views here? Do you treat your patients based on your religious beliefs or based on what is best for your patients?


Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes


Filed under Birth Control pills and abortion, Doctor religious beliefs vs patient treatment, Health, Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons