Ratings for Dr. Mathew Vanolm
He is like in the middle between crazy and genius. I guess it depends which day you see him. Was sent to him back in 2005 for what I describe as an alien trying to claw it's way out from inside me through my back. On my 1st appointment within minutes he is telling me I need to have a biopsy. I see him on a Friday he is scheduling me at Rocky View for Monday. I am losing my mind b/c he is not telling me what he suspects is wrong with me. After the biopsy turns out I have this weird thing called Sarcodosis. Do you notice a trend in the reviews many of us have Sarcodosis. Anyway seen Dr van Oln regularly until I moved away from Calgary in 2011. Not sure why I kept seeing him as we weren't treating anything he just kept telling me to come back so I did. We would redo tests and keep tabs on my alien when one day he randomly tested me for vitamin deficiencies turned out I was super low on Vit D & A like so low I should have been dead. He never tried to find out WHY I was deficient just told me to take insane amounts of supplements. It was only 3 years later when I asked my regular Dr to test me for Celiac's b/c 3 family members were diagnosed and Sarcodosis is a risk factor. I came back positive but with ZERO symptoms so not Dr van Olm's fault but I feel he should have tried to figure out why I was deficient instead of trying get me to see his wife for IV therapy. See there is where the crazy comes in. Look up his wife Dr Seriano and you will see what I'm taking about. Another bit of crazy is when he told me a prescription medication my family Dr had me on was synthetic cocaine. I am not joking I wish I was. I spoke to my family Dr about this synthetic cocaine and he sighed heavily and smirked then he said "Dr van Olm is a brilliant mind but he can be a little different at times." Good to know. I trust my family Dr 110% I still see him even though I live 300 km away so if he felt that Dr van Olm was/is good I would see him again. That being said if he says something crazy like you are taking synthetic cocaine I would just disregard that as the crazy and go with your gut for the genius part. Oh and he is least punctual Dr ever. The one review where some said he was running 5 hours behind yeah that's legit. I learned after appointment 2 or 3 just take the whole day off from work b/c he was NEVER on time. I was always a min of 2 hours behind. In the last few years I got smart and started calling a couple of hours prior to my appointment to see how far behind he was and I would always try to be the one of the 1st appointments of the day to try to salvage my day off.
I was sent to see him a few years back when I was having worsening issues with my lung, my family doctor wasn't sure if my asthma was getting worse or if it was something else so she sent me to him because hes supposed to be one of the best pulminary doctors in the city. My first appointmet with him he was over 1 1/2 hours behind, he got a quick medical history from me and then said he wanted to send me for another pulmonary function test (my doctor had me do one a few months before I was sent to see him) and said that his fellow staff at the Rockyview hospital were the best. He also wanted me to try spending time in a smoke free environment ( I live at home and my mom smokes) and wanted me to try a few other things to try and help my breathing and told me to follow up in about a month. So I went and had the test done but was unable to do the whole thing because of my breathing issues. When I went in for my follow up appointment he was 5 1/2 hours behind which was ridiculous, his receptionist said it was because she had to drive a patient to the hospital because they refused to take an ambulance event though they really needed to. Once in for my appointment he said that the parts of the lung I was able to do were fine and that the fact that I wasn't able to do the other half was because I was purposely trying to make it look like I had issues with my lungs. He the told me that there was nothing wrong with my lungs and that I should stop acting like there was. He said I should just grow up, get a job, go to school ( I was in the process of looking for a job and had dropped out of MRU as I wanted to change career paths), stop expecting things in life to be handed to me, and stop faking things to get attention as there was absolutely nothing wrong with me and I was just wasting his time by coming to see him as he could be seeing other patients right now who don't lie and actually have health issues. After that I pretty much left his office in tears and when I told my doctor at a follow up appointment with her what had happened she couldn't believe how rude he was to me. Since my appointments with him about 6 years ago I still have not been anle to get an answer to my breathing issues and I tell everyone to avoid going to see him as he is a rude condescending man who needs to take some courses on how to properly and nicely treat patients.
He takes a fee for doing nothing at a testing centre and offering zero new medical advice but what's worse is that he appears to enjoy abusing his position, in this case by trying to extract patient information that isn't his business. He was more concerned with persistent questioning about employment, education and parents' employment and education than anything else. After much attempted manipulation and badgering that got a patient to answer one of these out of line questions he'd make a show of dominance by turning to a blank sheet of paper to write out what he just badgered the patient to say in big letters and underlining it. There is no way that behaviour is acceptable and I have to wonder what the Alberta College thinks of him. If they read some of these ratings they should be seriously alarmed about this character. Not only does he bring the entire profession and college into disrepute but the manner by which he did so with this patient made him seem like a potential sociopath. I decided never to return and, based on what I saw, my personal advice would be to stay away. The staff wasn't nearly so bad but I lowered that from 3 stars to 1 because my opinion based on experiences with him was truly alarming and the staff seems to know but chooses to be willfully blind.
I had a very good experience with Dr. VanOlm. I have seen him twice so far and will need to go back again next month. I find him to be very knowledgeable and he takes the time to thoroughly explain things. I do find appointment times can sometimes be delayed when getting into see him but it is because he does take the time to explain things to his patients and answer all of their questions. I do not see that as a fault at all - I appreciate it. The staff is also very friendly. I recommend this doctor.
Dr Van Olm is one of the most knowledgeable specialist I have ever dealt with. My husband was diagnosed with sarcoidosis three years ago and Dr Van Olm really spend the time to treat him as a whole, not just the disease. He is thorough and one of the most approachable physicians I have ever dealt with. When it comes to sarcoidosis, I would not want any other doctor.
He is the worst doctor in this world, the only good thing about my experience was the staff members and reception. He does not care about his staff and he was over an hour late with every patient which is absolutely not acceptable. If you are too old to practice then retire all ready! This is not fare to the people you work with or your patients. I will never in my life go back to Richmond Square just because of the horrible experience I had.
He treats the whole person not just the disease. With stage 3 sarcoidosis he was willing to hold off on prednisone for a short period of time if I was willing to put in the work to change lifestyle and diet first. My symptoms stabilized and then began to improve to the point that I am almost clear on lung scans a few years after initial diagnosis. His support and guidance allowed for a long term solution that treated the root of my disease. His support, knowledge and honesty is second to none. An outstanding physician who uses more than just pharmaceuticals to treat patients.
I've ben seeing Dr van Olm for the past 4 years on and off due to suspected sarcoidosis. I can't believe these other reviews as he seems like the most knowledgeable and caring doctor I have seen for many years. He has spent ample time going over the test results and if all doctors were so detail oriented our Alberta medical system would be better. The only complaint I could give him and it's not really even anything about him, is give the poor man a window or pictures on the wall in his examination room. I will be sad when he retires in a few years.
This Dr is arrogant, not at all interested in reviewing my diagnosis and treatment. He becomes incensed when questions are asked of him of different methods or treatments and why he chose a particular one over the other. I am simply asking for information so I am informed as well. He ignores any medical information from other doctors as they are not specialists as he is. All I ask is to be treated with respect - I am not an idiot.
Dr. Mathew Vanolm's Credentials
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