Ratings for Dr. Joanna B. Ruchala
Since I met her 6 years ago, I have found Dr. Ruchala to be extremely knowledgeable and professional. I have had a life-long chronic illness and need a PCP who can handle everything entailed. She can. She is extremely thorough and listens to me carefully. I might not choose someone of her personality as my psychotherapist, but that's not the role I need her to perform for me. She carries out her responsibility as my PCP with flying colors. I understand that she is bound by outer constraints such as time limits set by HMOs. She employs her staff well to handle tasks that do no require a medical degree.
I read all of these reviews and I have had Dr. Ruchala as my PCP for years and she is great. Her personality needs to be understood. She is quiet at first but once she gets to know you she is less quiet. She if very thoughtful in listening and providing care. I feel many of these reviews are quite unfair and off. I give her a thumbs up.
Initially I was happy with her, although she was often rushed and did not spend much time with me. Then I had an incident in which she was digging in my ear with an instrument to remove some wax. I told her she was hurting me, but she acted as if I was whining and continued digging in my ear. Shortly after this I passed out and was transported to the Emergency Room (in an ambulance even though the hospital was across the parking lot. So $500 for a ride of less than 1 block.). The physician in the Emergency Room commented on the marks that had been left in my ear. In the end I paid $2500 for a mistake the Dr. Ruchala made (thank goodness I had insurance, which picked up half of the original tab of $5000). She even apologized at my next visit for not listening to me. When I tried to get the charges for the visit waved and get her clinic to pay my emergency room costs she claimed that she never apologized and the clinic representatives I spoke to said "fainting just happens sometimes."
Excellent PCP. She is a very good listener and is not dismissive if you have ideas or suggestions about your own care. I feel like she treats me as a partner in making health decisions and I have much respect for her professional expertise. She has gone to bat for me when previous PCPs have not. This is what a patient/doctor relationship should be.
Dr. Ruchala is the best PCP I've ever had. She will be late for her next patient if it means making sure that all of my questions are answered, and her listening skills set the bar. Once she prescribed me a medication that caused significant side effects, and when I told her I wanted to go off the medication, she offered alternatives. I explained that I did not feel an alternative was a good solution for me at that time, and she did not push the subject further. Whenever I express any concern about anything, she is quick to issue an order or send me for testing. I never feel like I have to justify my concerns or hold back with my questions because Dr. Ruchala makes me feel very comfortable when discussing details of any problem that I'm having. I trust her and recommend her if you're seeking a PCP who will take the time to LISTEN first, then respond.
She always refers me to other physicians for help. Last time I was there she was in such a rush she forgot the main reason I was there and pretty much it was a waste of an office visit. She has NO compassion for her patients and her personality is very dry. She doesn't even take the time to read your history before she walks in the room with you... She has NO idea who I am and has no want or intention to find out. Not my ideal doctor/patient relationship! It's unfortunate because the staff is very nice there.
I found her to be knowledgeable, but also blunt, suspicious and judgmental. I recently moved to Wisconsin and asked her to refill a prescription from a previous doctor. Rather than either contacting the previous doctor or referring me to a specialist to deal with my condition (I'm new in town - I would have been happy to get a recommendation for a specialist), she grilled me for 10 minutes in order to determine that I wasn't a drug abuser. I think she was eventually satisfied that I am not a drug abuser. But the experience was so uncomfortable that I promptly switched doctors and regret not having walked out at the point where she asked me if I was trying to hoard drugs. I appreciate that she doesn't want to administer medicines irresponsibly, but there are much more polite ways to determine if patients are drug addicts.
Dr. Ruchala was my primary care doctor for 2-3 years...but I switched about 6 months ago. In the beginning I thought she was nice, but more recently she seemed irritated and judgmental. I found myself going to urgent care to avoid going to her office. Eventually had to switch because it's nice to have a familiar face when you're sick-not someone you're afraid of.
Dr. Ruchala has been my primary care physician for nearly 4 years. The first three years were good and I spoke highly of her -- quiet but kind. In the last year plus I've gone to see her for more immediate care needs and she is impatient, seems annoyed and even laughed at one my concern/question. I am no longer impressed and sadly have decided to seek a new primary care doctor.
Dr. Joanna B. Ruchala's Credentials
Accepting New Patients
- University Of Wisconsin Medical School (Grad. 2003)
Areas of Expertise
Awards & Recognitions
Publications & Research