Dr. Maharaj and the downfall of western civilization
Pretty sure that Dr. Maharaj swore a hypocritical oath rather than Hippocratic one. She claims to care about the health and wellness of her patients, yet has caused me more harm than she has ever helped solve. She is unprofessional, condescending and frankly a disappointment to the central Florida medical community. I have been seeing her for years as my PCP. In the beginning, she used to mange my thyroid disease without issue, and prescribed Synthroid without any concerns. When I started having seemingly benign and routine questions about my thyroid health, she didn’t even try to answer me and instead snidely referred me to an endocrinologist. It was almost as if she implied that my endocrinological questions were in an attempt to stump her when, in reality, I just wanted to know why I had a never-ending skin rash and weight gain. So, at her urging, I started seeing an endo for my thyroid disease. I kept her as my PCP.
I went to Maharaj in June 2020 after telling her I had had a low-grade fever for almost three months, as well as dizzy spells and general fatigue. Her office treated me like a leper (despite multiple negative COVID tests); upon being seen, she told me that my symptoms were most likely from “anxiety.” I asked how a fever had anything to do with anxiety, to which she didn’t have an answer. She chose to not follow up with additional testing. I thought this was highly unusual, as she did not attempt to help me in any way. It appeared as if she did not take my health concerns seriously at this time. I made an additional appointment with my endo, since she was 0% help, which led him to order labs. I found out shortly after that I was dangerously deficient in iron and vitamin D. I called Baldwin Park FP back asking if I should be seen since I was still feeling unwell and that there were laboratory reasons for my symptoms – they were not caused by anxiety or psychosomatic response, as she had implied. I sent her my lab results and received no response other than “received, thank you.” I called back asking if I could come in because I felt so ill and was told that it was “not necessary.” I ended up in the ER in December 2020 because of complications related to anemia.
Though Maharaj had been medically useless throughout this ordeal, I scheduled a follow-up with her in January 2021 when I was unable to secure a telemed appointment with my endo. I explained to the receptionist that I was relocating outside of FL permanently and couldn’t get a telemed appointment in time to receive a Synthroid refill. I proceeded with the appointment though Maharaj was no longer in my insurance’s network because I was so desperate to get a refill (the endo was booked through April.) I paid the $75 office visit and went back, only to find an even more abrasive and curt Maharaj than I remembered. Imagine a caricature of a pessimistic doctor with horrible bedside manner and you’ll have maybe ¼ of the attitude I experienced from her that day. It was like she was Dr. House, but way less knowledgeable. So basically, the negative personality without the professional skill to back up such an attitude.
I explained how I would be leaving the state, how my endo was booked through the time of my departure, how I couldn’t get a refill without an appointment with my endo, and how I would run out of medication if she didn’t help me. This is where the story goes from seemingly routine to straight up incredulous – she laughed at me as if I was onstage at an open mic. (That’s a lie, no one laughs at open mics. She did laugh at me though. It was the kind of laugh where you know it’s at your expense rather than at your amazing and brilliant sense of humour.)
She said there was no way she was going to refill my Synthroid because she “did not feel comfortable.” I told her that I was going to run out and that I’ve been on this medication (which is not a controlled substance, fyi) since I was ten. She laughed, stating in the most wildly informal manner, “Dear, your doctor will not let you run out of medication.” BRO, AREN’T YOU MY DOCTOR???
I told her that my endo would not refill without an appointment and that the only times they had available (I had been calling since November) were not until April… so they clearly were going to let me run out. I asked her why she had once “felt comfortable” filling Synthroid only to now decide in my desperation that she “no longer felt comfortable” filling it: no answer. This was after providing her with all labs necessary to see that my levels were still within the normal range. I can’t even begin to describe how asinine that is. If she used to manage my thyroid disease and prescribed Synthroid in the past, and my levels were within the normal range, why suddenly did she grandstand when she could see I was so desperate? I asked point blank, “So are you suggesting that I let myself run out and stop it cold turkey since you’re refusing to refill my medication, my endo won’t refill it without an appointment and the only available appointments are after I will have already run out?” At this point, she told me that there was “no way” she would refill Synthroid. She almost implied that the only reason I needed this refill was because I was somehow abusing Synthroid, or that I am some kind of deviant drug dealer. Yeah, totally, “doc” – levothyroxine sodium is super popular on the mean streets of Orlando. It’s not like I’ve been taking it for the majority of my life and need it to live or anything. PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT
In some way, I actually felt her eyes smile in a snake-like way at me as she refused to help me, her patient of many years. It was mind blowing, to say the least. She concluded the waste of my time aka “appointment” with this fascinating bit of advice: “Should you believe you’re running out, you may want to consider going to an emergency facility.”
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being taunted by someone who is supposed to “do no harm.” She not only instigated in my time of desperation, but proceeded to turn a routine appointment into what could only be described as a shit show. She morphed into a person so unprofessional and unnecessarily hostile that I left Baldwin Park Family Practice feeling truly defeated. It’s yet to be determined, but I believe she will be the downfall of Western civilization. (No, that is not libel – it is a joke. Just like her practice.)
For the record, her website (baldwinparkfp.com) no longer has a valid SSL certificate. So, in case you want more than your time and well-being stolen at this practice, now you can also have your information stolen too!
I would not recommend Priya Maharaj to my enemy. Unless, of course, my enemy wants someone who is more willing to provide cosmetic Botox injections than legitimate, needed prescriptions. Then, by all means.