Ratings for Dr. Fabian A. Mendoza Ballesteros
It has been a while since I have seen Dr. Mendoza. I am a Registered Nurse at Jefferson. I made an appointment with Dr. Mendoza after a patient of mine told me how much this doctor helped him after many have failed. Made the appointment without difficulty for within just a few weeks. I was happy about that because sometimes you have to wait months for appointments with a specialist. I made the appointment later in the day so I could just head off to night shift afterwards. The appointment time was 4pm and I didn't have to be in work until 7pm so I figured I would still have plenty of time in between. This was not so. I was very patient the first hour, as being in healthcare and having had worked in doctor offices before, I knew things ran behind a lot, especially when you are seeing a very thorough Doctor. At 1 hour 15 minutes I noticed something was up so I went up to speak with the office staff. They completely forgot about me!! How is that when I have been sitting in front of them? I had to wait a total of almost 2 hours before seeing Dr. Mendoza. The Dr was amazing but seemed defensive of his staff and HIS time when I pointed out that I have to be at work in less than an hour at this point. He did make a spot on diagnosis and did provide excellent education about it. I'm pretty sure that was more for the benefit of the student Nurse Practitioner that accompanied him (which I absolutely do not mind. It is a TEACHING hospital! Don't go if you don't want to deal with students of some sort.) because he was facing her as he explained things and only addressing me when he had a question about my symptoms. Despite the long wait and hard feelings about the staff and being forgotten, I left feeling good about Dr. Mendoza and my prescribed treatment plan. That is until I was trying to get a prior authorization and new appointment! I followed up on all the tests the dr asked for. I called his office repeatedly about this prior authorization for my treatment and messages left were never once returned. It didn't matter if I spoke to a person (because no matter who I spoke to, they were never the right person to help me) or left a voicemail "for the girl who does that" as I was told when transferred to another line. I felt so discouraged. It was yet another set back for this crippling disease process that had already begun making life hell. I finally had hope for the first time in years and the negligence of that staff took that hope and spit on it. I don't think asking for the staff to do its job is asking too much. A great doctor isn't worth a thing if he has incompetent staff. I don't need anyone to hold my hand and do everything for me. But I did MY part, they have to do their part too or it is all a big waste of time and money. This is Philadelphia, we have some of the best doctors in the country. No need to go back to an office that treats you like this. A recent review says the office staff has really improved. I hope for all the patients' sake this is true. I am embarrassed to say they are employees of the same hospital as I am. I can't imagine treating anyone the way they treated me. My Knowledge rating of 5 stars refers to Dr. Mendoza only although this rating should include a doctor's staff also. It's very important for staff to be educated in their roles, but this staff was not. I have never given a bad review on medical staff before in my life. I am very understanding to any problems that arise and usually sympathetic towards medical staff.
Dr. Mendoza is a highly knowledgeable rheumatologist. I went years without an accurate diagnosis and when I finally found him I was very sick. I am doing so much better than I was since I started treating with him. Dr. Mendoza spends the appropriate amount of time with his patients and is fully up to date on his knowledge of the patient. His ability to listen to what I was saying and assess it properly greatly improved my quality of life. He follows up on refills and has called me to check on me or answer a question. Appointments can get cancelled but are immediately rescheduled. The office is quite a busy place and many patients have significant medical problems. Any issues with the office staff are not properly placed on Dr. Mendoza, and the staff has been improving their communication and service.
How do I choose doctors? I do not "shop" for medical care. I do not care about the convenience,waiting time,or having a candy in the waiting room but I want to have the best doctor possible, period. So, when I was diagnosed with a rare disease, I believe he had a chance to be the right doctor for me after a strong recommendation by my local Rheumatologist and after being seen for at least 3 clueless specialists.Traveling 3 hours to see him every few months is now not a big deal after I am feeling MUCH better. This is not a boutique medicine office, it is a busy (overworked?) university based office treating patients that are as sick as I was (or worse). Sorry, we cannot make the schedule predictable for my fellow co-patients with more simple issues ( He took more than one hour with me + transportation to the ER the first visit). Now I understand and I am very thankful (plus I can talk and express my gratitude without gasping for air). Good job doc!
Jefferson's Rhematology department is highly rated. However, plan for refills weeks before you actually need them as it takes forever to get approval and normally requires several phone calls to the office. Appointments frequently cancelled. Very understaffed and poorly run practice.
I was treated horribly at this office. When I shouwed up for my appointment they said I was bumped. Then they told me I canceled. I was saw by Dr. Mendoza for five minutes when he told me to go to the ER across the srteet. I went across the street and waited for five hours to be told that I shouldn't have been there. I was brushed off by Dr. Mendoza for a mistake made by his office staff. I am still in extreme pain and was offered pain meds by the ER but I refused. Total waste of 6 hours.
Dr. Fabian A. Mendoza Ballesteros's Credentials
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