Ratings for Dr. Helene A. Emsellem
I was referred to Dr. Emsellem many years ago. Even though she is a neurologist, her lack of over knowledge in the field of neurology was surprising. She was certain that my problems were psychiatric related and referred me a psychopharmacologist as well as tried high doses of numerous medications. The result of these high doses of medicines cause severe allergic reactions. When we would call her office telling her staff of the ER visit from the allergic reaction, Dr. Emsellem didn't return our call. Her staff is inadequate, Dr. Emsellem lacks the knowledge, compassion, or empathy when working with patients. I finally stopped seeing her which was the best decision of my life. A leading neurologist in the country determined that she wasn't listening to my symptoms and didn't know how to due a proper spinal tap which would have saved me significant less money spent as well as finding the source of my problem sooner.
I was referred by an ENT who had assured me that we would avoid CPAP therapy. I conducted an at-home sleep study. The resulting data apparently alarmed Dr. Emsellem, and she expedited my case. Unfortunately, the result was that I was never consulted about my own therapy. My insurance company was consulted without my knowledge, with a pre-authorization for a CPAP purchase. I was contacted by efficient but very unpleasant millennial staff who raced me through appointments and plans but who never gave me a chance to understand 1) what apnea was, 2) what options existed for treating apnea and 3) what CPAP therapy entailed. The next thing I know, I was fitted for a CPAP mask and told to select a machine. I was never given the opportunity to provide feedback, ask questions, relay concerns or participate in any way to this plan. I felt like a child being led around. By the time I consulted with Dr. Emsellem, I felt as if I were being sold a plan rather than listened to. Worst of all, only when I received my CPAP machine was I told that I would be expected to make a copay for the machine and monthly payments for repair parts. I was never told ahead of time what to expect in terms of cost. I feel conned and mistreated. There is no real sense of patient care in this operation. I get the feeling that the ultimate goal are profit and patient capacity. The office -- in an extremely expensive part of the Washington, DC, area -- is overbooked and underserves. Please rethink this option for sleep therapy. If you do choose these people, I strongly advise you to do your own research on therapy for apnea ahead of time. This service is about selling you a CPAP machine. Whether or not it is a viable treatment -- and I am not saying that it is not -- you as a patient deserve the breadth of knowledge a sleep specialist should provide.
I hit bottom as my sleep disorder had become my life. I let staff know this when I made the appt. Still unable to get appt for *5* Months!!!! They said they'd put me on a cancell. list. I called periodically but no luck. On appt day,I was SO hopeful. I was disappointed I was to see Linda, one of Dr E's minions. She was cold as ice, no emotion or compassion, took information in robotic style. I never saw a smile or felt even a hint of warmth. I told her I *wanted* to be evaluated overnight to see why I was unable to sleep or if I took a benzo to relax to sleep, why I kept awakening. Unless you have sleep apnea or are a DC elitist, forget it. After Linda was done w/me, Dr E bounced into the rm, full of vim, vigor, and herself. She looked over Linda's notes, said little, then blew me off with a name of a shrink who would dispense the right "anti-dep". I was devastated. BEEN THERE! That's how I got to Emsellem! Later, I sent Linda a note requesting relaxing music and she never responded.
You will not get to see or talk to the doctor after your initial visit. I was very disappointed with the quality of care I received here. I found this office inflexible, felt like I was given a constant runaround, and there was very little focus on the patient or integrated care. Given the options for sleep doctors in DC, GO ELSEWHERE!!
Rather than having to schedule an appointment, take time off from work, and drive to her office, I requested just a simple (and very short) phone conversation about a sleep study I had taken at her clinic. Her staff was helpful in attempting to schedule something but she never responded. After trying for months - yes, months - she simply didn't call or take my phone calls. I would offer her the opportunity to select the date and time, but to no result. I understand doctors stay busy and that they prefer we come to their office so they can get the money for their time, but all I wanted to do was ask 2-3 simple questions about my study. Was that too much for a patient to ask? Sleep studies are very expensive and you would think a follow-up to answer questions and discuss would be a wise suggestion, but that never happened.
Dr. Helene A. Emsellem's Credentials
Accepting New Patients
- George Washington Univ Sch Of Med & Hlth Sci, Washington Dc 20037 (Grad. 1977)
Areas of Expertise
Awards & Recognitions
Publications & Research