I have posted here before about neurologists. At this point I do not have a high opinion of them in general, and several specifically, for cancelling appointments at random without communicating that, preventing me from using a new neurologist within the same department, and jumping to conclusions without evaluating or listen to the patient. Furthermore, I believe this to be true for too many physicians in too many specialties. I do not talk here about "bedside manners" but about taking the patient serious rather than thinking of the patient as the object and ignoring the fact that every patient knows him- or her-self better than any doctor could.

I had an appointment with a neurologist. That appointment was cancelled without informing me. 3 months later, his secretary finally re-instated the appointment for a sooner date. This is just to let anyone here, who is interested, know that I will be seen by Dr. Schmahman on the third of September. I hope that he will be able to sort out if I have EA1, MS, MSA, or if my symptoms are caused by my cervical stenosis.


Dr S. will get to the bottom of it. He is one of the top docs in the northeast regarding movement disorders.

Good luck,


Not much different to UK Norbet but I hasten to say that is about medical consultants in general and not just neurologists.

I find that it is often the case with those with good reputation as they cant cope with the heavy case load [and their long periods of annual leave!]

Some have other distractions too such as research work.

I do empathise with you, particularly with your suspected diagnosis and send my good wishes.

Personally, I am finding neuro physio much more helpful than any other I have had but it was neurologist who persuaded me to see her. I had told the neurologist that I was done with testing and trying for diagnosis other than idiopathic ataxia and dont want any further monitoring of symptoms. At 71 years, I have done my bit to contribute to meaningful database for future research.

However, that is easy for me to say with a very slow progression of symptoms.

Dear Norbert, My oh my, you've had problems with neuros...,sorry! Personally, I have not. My first neuro I saw every 12 months and when he retired, I now see one every six months. Fortunately, they are very caring as well as great listeners! The only problem I've encountered is recent. I had to cancel my June, 2014 appointment due to an scheduling conflict. He had no openings until January, 2015. I hope you get the answers you deserve when you see Dr. Schmahman! ;o)

Even though I am in the UK Norbert IO know whhat you meean about Neuros. I am in a dilemma about my Neuro.

I was going to someone in Oxford.That is quite a long journey for us.I am a bit of a mystery to them as I was expecting the Neuro to say he had seeen it all before.,.He seems to flick through the notes of his ppredessessor. Thhey both said not to rule out MSA.So I went to the local meeting and the MSA nurse was horrified.I didn't fit.

I am confused and cynical. Should I still go to Oxfordd whichh I thought was an Ataxia Centre or should I see my Dr and get a referral to somwhere more local??

where are you from?

The best Neuro for me was/is Dr. Eidelman at Mayo in Jax. I was able to find him after years of clowns. Found him via referral from my new, at that time, Cardiologist in central Fl. I was diagnosed with CA and later with an overlay of MSA. So I can tell you the search is frustrating - but it CAN be worth it! Good luck and keep moving forward (even if you stumble sometimes).

Just throwing my two cents worth in here. I have had no trouble at all with my neurologist, I think he's the best thing since sliced bread! And from what I can work out our medical system is a lot different here (Australia) to what it is in other parts of the world.

I have been to many doctors, specialists and gps over the years, and I find that there can definitely be a problem with taking the patient seriously and actually listening to him/her. This is across the board, gps and specialists alike and is not confined to neuros. On the subject of making appointments, cancelling etc, this is generally the domain of the receptionist/secretaries, some of whom are like Hitler. I suppose they are "protecting" their doctor, but we the patient often get rather bruised in the process!

All the best with your appointment, Norbert, and I hope you get some answers.

Thank you all for your good wishes and for the response,


Hi Search,

I may have told this elsewhere: This doctor that I am about to see at the MGH has agreed to see me only after he saw my letter and/or heard from his secretary what the letter said. In it I tried to summarize my relevant history from age 11 to now. I had tried several times before to get an appointment with him but every time he told his secretary that I should get a more general specialist. Then I decided to send this letter by snail mail, called the secretary the day after it should have arrived, and only then did I get an appointment. As I said before, even then they cancelled the appointment and reinstated it only three months later. I hope that he will will consider every possibility to find the cause of my symptoms.


Searcher said:

Hi Norbert

Sorry you are getting frustrated , You have stolen the words right out of my mouth . I am not far from you and have been battling all this for almost 3 years now , not one of my docs has taken more than 5 mins to listen to what I am telling them is happening with me , I have been to 5 neuros so far , along with at least a dozen specialists for all sorts of things.

I have a sheet listing all my symptoms , I bring this sheet with me to appointments , and hand it directly to the doctor . I list each symptom on a separate line that is numbered in order 1,2,3,4 etc

Line # 4 reads as follows : Hi Doc , sorry for this test but I would like you to shake my hand when you read this and acknowledge that you are actually reading this list of my symptoms .

Wanna guess how many responses I have gotten so far ....? Can you count to ZERO !

Its line #4 not line #40 , they dont have the time or for that matter the interest to read 4 lines !!! I do this with not just Neuros , but any of the so called specialists I am sent to .., this is why we go undiagnosed and subsequently untreated for so many years , but they all certainly have the time to see you for more subsequent useless visits and they have the time to send out bills .........

I have cerebellar ataxia, three years now. I go to my neuro in New Hampshire. I live in Vermont.

I have nothing but praise for him. I use the list method when I see him. He will read the list in front of me and ask me questions as he goes though it, as well as a physical.

Also, my visits with him usually last about 45 minutes.

About two weeks ago, literally over night, my condition became worse. This week I called to make an appointment to see him. I was unable to see him until November. So, they have given me an appointment in two weeks with a new colleague of his.

Being able to receive an appointment so quickly gave me the feeling that they didn't want to wait too long.


Hi Norbert: Please keep me posted on how you feel about Dr. Schmahman after your appointment. I have given his name to my sister in law, and if you think highly of him, I may urge her to make the trip down from Maine. Hope all goes well. Marcia

Hi Hopeless,

I tried to friend you and send you a more private message but the system keeps telling me that I need to friend you. I have been all over the place. Since 1970 I've been living in Eastern Massachusetts, before that in Israel, Southern France, London, and Austria.

hopeless said:

where are you from?

Michigan then Hawaii then DC now Fl.p

Sorry for your experiences. Not all Neurologists are alike as not all people are alike. I have had great results with all of the Neurologists I have seen. They realize MY time is valuable too. They are compassionate. They don't assume anything, they test, examine results, ask me questions and most importantly LISTEN to me and my concerns. I forgot how to figure out where you are, I'm in the U.S.A. about 30 miles west of Chicago in Illinois.

It could be an indication of your areas health care system...I don't know. You might have a gypsy curse. Whatever it is, it isn't the experience any patient should be having. Best of luck with FUTURE Neurologists. Cheers,



Dr. Schmahman refused to see me several times before he accepted my request. I would strongly suggest that your sister in law gets a referral from an other specialist. I am pretty good at justifying what I want (I was also accepted into disability on first try, based on my justification letter) but not everyone has this gift.

Thank you and good luck to your sister in law.

Marcia said:

Hi Norbert: Please keep me posted on how you feel about Dr. Schmahman after your appointment. I have given his name to my sister in law, and if you think highly of him, I may urge her to make the trip down from Maine. Hope all goes well. Marcia