Rate Dr. Raphael Stricker
Dr. Raphael Stricker's Ratings
13 years ill, Dr.Stricker saved my life. Lyme Disease, backed up by bloodwork, but he already knew before labs returned. He has a remarkable bedside manner, his staff very helpful and kind. On my way to recovery instead of cemetery.
Dr. Stricker is the only Lyme doctor I have seen. His knowledge about Lyme is vast, but you should educate yourself & come w/ your list of questions. He never rushes me and this could be a reason why he runs behind. I have had great improvement from when I initially came to see him. It is true that you have to let him know how you feel about your treatment, he seems to not provide you with more information than the basics, which leaves me constantly asking him "why?" I don't see this as a bad thing, but it can be a challenge for some. His staff, though polite, seem to be incredibly overwhelmed or just disinterested in being helpful. Over the years of my treatment, I have rarely had anyone return a call and if they do it is only because I am very persistent, calling every day to get a response. If you use him, get all your questions in during the appt. because getting a response by phone is nearly impossible and get a primary doctor who is familiar with Lyme (that has been key for me).
I strongly discourage those suffering from Lyme Disease from visiting Dr. Stricker. Despite his impressive CV and list of publications, as a practitioner, he is uncaring and disorganized. He had never briefed himself on my treatment prior to my appointments. I always had to explain to him what his current treatment was. He did not seem to taylor treatment to me specifically, but only be cycling through the typical laundry list of antibiotics, hoping one would work. He had the audacity to take personal calls during my appointment (arranging to meet family members for dinner). His office staff is rude, uncaring, and unprofessional. I never waited less than two hours extra for my appointment. When I sought to correct this issue by getting the first appointment of the day, I found that Dr. Stricker actually arrived at his office over two hours late. Unconscionable behavior for a doctor with so many sick and suffering patients. He is truly unprofessional.
Dr. Stricker is very knowledgable and kind, as is his primary nurse, but he's very expensive, and considering the seriousness of the diseases he treats and how much he charges his patients, sometimes his approach - and particularly the behavior of his front desk staff (not getting back to you with doctor's answers even when they've said they would, acting like they've never heard your requests before, rarely apologizing, not checking files to see if necessary paperwork is there prior to visits) - is too casual. As one fellow Stricker patient said to me, "It (referring to problems she's had with front desk staff) doesn't make you feel very cared for." As my husband said, "It's not a healing place; the staff causes too much stress." For what they charge, they could hire more office staff and treat patients better.
This guy put me on a pic IV line in seattle,(by signed order)when the line failed I called and asked what to do, the office delayed for weeks finally they had another line put in. When I finally spoke to Stricker on the phone, he did not even have a record of me getting a pic line. Not to mention two pic lines. It was bizarre to me. But also frightening that his office could do something like that. I am still suffering from vein pain years later. Lyme is not better after spending $30,000. The office staff were probably a large part of how this happened. However the truth is when I corrected Dr Stricker on the phone he did not seem at all surprised or apologetic that he had no record of two hospital visits for pic lines that he himself had signed the orders for and his staff had faxed both to seattle hospital. Not even the Rocephin IV medication he prescribed was noted in my file. When we spoke he still thought I was on Bicillin after 6 weeks of the iv and 2 pics??
$600 for the first visit, I think. $350 thereafter. The man is extremely knowledgeable and doesn't make you feel like you're just a number. He is very thorough in his search and really tries to find out what the problem is, before branding you with the lyme disease stamp . I definitively would recommend him, and I don't recommend doctors easily. One piece of advice, though. Take a good book, a big one, kind of "War and Peace" when you go to your appointment - and turn the wait into reading time. Don't schedule a return flight time based on your scheduled appointment. You will miss your flight.
Dr Stricker does not give up on difficult cases and is the responsible for helping me return to a productive life, close to what I experienced before six years of untreated lyme disease. His knowledge and willingness to explore every possibility make him the exception among doctors. The only reason his punctuality rating is lower is the time spent with patients. He spends as much time as needed with his patients, and some take longer than others to solve complex problems. He also tirelessly (and courageously) works to educate the medical community, and the public as to the danger of tick borne diseases, often exposing him to criticism from the less knowledgeable.
He knows his stuff. Period. There is no one else in CA with his expertise in Lyme. Go in with a list of questions ready to ask and record answers. He isn't going to pat you on the back, but he will help you get well which is why you're there, isn't it?
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