Ratings for Dr. Stephen Whittaker
I love Dr. Whittaker! I’ve been going to him since soon after he opened. He’s very knowledgeable and helpful. His newer secretary on the other hand, is horrible to deal with. She is so unhelpful and rude. You can’t get any emergency appointments, even for prescriptions and she just tells you to go to a walk-in if you don’t want to wait 3 months. You’re also supposed to magically know how long the wait time is for an appointment and plan ahead. His old secretary, Ginger, was absolutely wonderful. Such a shame. Makes me dread calling to even make an appointment.
Dr. Whittaker is a very good and caring doctor. Sadly though, his staff are not. The new receptionist is very rigid about the "rules", and she is controlling and rude. She is extremely unhelpful ESPECIALLY if it is urgent. She just repeats the rules and tells you, "No, he cannot see you, but I can make an appointment for you in three months." !! I need a doctor who I can see in urgent situations but here you have to call at 9 am on urgent care day and call and call and keep calling/redialing hoping not to hear the busy tone and that someone will answer! (It gets stressful because you have a very short timeline to get through to reception. By 9:05 it's all over. You either are the lucky one who got the appointment or you're going to the walk-in clinic! His former receptionist Ginger was always flexible with me and tried to get done what I needed promptly and politely. I don't like going to his office because of the new receptionist but I do think Dr. Whittaker himself is excellent. I don't know if he is aware of how difficult his staff can be to work with.
I have been with Dr. Whittaker since he first opened his practice, I absolutely love him and his staff. He's very attentive to his patients he has never been in a rush with me. If I need medical tests or imaging and there's a long wait he will call and get you pushed up further. He always goes through his previous notes to get caught up on how things have turned out. The second he gets an alert back on test results he calls you right away. Is he a busy doctor yes he is very busy I do not agree with any of the comments that he's in this for money that is completely false! Most Dr's offices have the same policy about refilling meds ask when you see him he will give you a prescription good for the three months unless it's a level one drug like opioids by law he has to see you in person to get those meds filled. There are plenty of times I don't realize I have no refills left and the pharmacy will fax it to him and he will fax it back.
Dr. Whittaker used to be so caring for his patients. It now appears that Dr. Whittaker is in the field for money, and not the well being of his patients. And his reception staff are just horrible to deal with. It's all about how many people he can see per day, as he gets paid per patient. This is why he spends no time with patients, rather quickly writes a perscription and sends you off. Also, they stopped doing prescription refills by fax from pharmacy in order to have patient come in person to get money for seeing them. Was told by admin to go to emerg or walk in clinic for refill prescription because Whittaker did not have an apt availabile until three months! And she was so so rude about it. So I was basically told, " find another doctor who cares." Nevermind that it's lifesaving medication that could easily be refilled over phone with pharmacist. Would never recommend Dr. Whittaker and his office doesn't care either, in fact they are the biggest reason. However it comes from Whittaker, and they have their marching orders. It's awful that our public dollars go to fund these medical "services".
I have had Dr. Whittaker as my family doctor since 2008 when he arrived in Ottawa. For the first several years he provided excellent care to me and my then-teenaged daughter, who is now an adult and has moved out of the area. However, the level of care he provides, and the ability to actually have an appointment to see him, have delclined dramatically over the last five years. I have the impression that he went through a great deal of stress related to treating a significant number of patients who themselves were experiencing high levels of stress. Many of them may have been federal public servants who required disability management, which would have placed a heavy burden on him. His true personality is a deeply caring one. It is possible that the empathy he felt for others, combined with the ridiculous paperwork and disrespectful attitudes of the insurance companies and federal employers, drained him as a person. I need to see him only once per year to renew prescriptions, but that is very hard to do. Although doctor's offices are in fact privately-run businesses -- the public part is the fee for service paid to the doctor by our provincial insurance plan -- Dr. Whittaker's office does not allow callers to leave messages seeking an appointment. They also do not provide appointment reminders. I wish they would set this "business" side of the office up to resemble that of dental offices, which are run like real businesses. I hope Dr. Whittaker regains his health and happiness again. And at the same time, I would be thankful if he could write me a reference note so I can search on my own for another doctor. But, I've never been able to get through to his office to make an appointment to ask for that note.
I had started with Dr. Whittaker when he open up his practice and was very pleased with him as a physician and their office procedures. But the last couple of years have been a very different story. It is next to impossible to get an appointment even if you are very sick or have an acute condition. I spent more time going to walk in clinics because his office is booking up to 3 months in advance. He now only sees patients on Monday Tuesday and Wednesdays so this also makes access difficult. He does not renew prescriptions by fax but if you need an appointment to renew meds you are lucky to get one in 2-3 months. Have had to go to walk in for this as well. The secretary Ginger can be difficult to deal with and is very gossipy. I have overheard her talking about patients while waiting in the reception area. Very unprofessional. It is frustrating to think you have a family physician but cannot see him when you need it most. To bad he can't go back to practising medicine the way he used to when he first came to Ottawa. A new medical secretary would be an asset as well.
Dr. Stephen Whittaker's Credentials
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