Maureen Miller, Administrator
Joslin Diabetes Center
3229 East Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13214
Dear Ms Miller,
I am writing to file a specific complaint against Tulsi Sharma and a general complaint about the Joselin process.
Who is Tulsi Sharma? I have seen her twice at Joslin however I now find that she is not listed on your web site either as a physician or as staff. She was identified to me as a fellow. MyChart identifies her as an M.D. Other Upstate sites report her to have an MBBS, which may or may not be an equivalent of a doctorate in medicine, all depending on the country and university of origin. Substituting an M.D. for an MBBS is fraudulent.
Ms Sharma’s on-line Upstate profile says she has been at Upstate for five years. Doing what? I have never heard of a five-year fellowship. There is no other information provided about Ms Sharma—no country of origin, medical school attended, internship or residency served, research participated in or anything else. Based on her relationship with me, she could be just a secretary who’s paid attention.
Ms Sharma has elected to address me by my first name. In fact, I am two generations older than her and deserving of respect, which she does not offer. I am offended.
There are multiple minor examples of her not paying attention and not thinking, e.g., looking at my chart and asking who is Patrick Smith when it clearly states that he is a DDS, and posting “palpitations” to my chart when I never, ever, complained of them. All this adds up to me having no respect or trust in her ability to make reasonable and accurate observations about my status.
At my first appointment I presented with a glucose of 570; my follow-up appointment was not scheduled for two months. I think that is grossly poor doctoring. When I inquired about that, I was told that seeing the educator in the interim would compensate for no doctor’s appointment.
I have a dozen chronic illnesses including myalgic encephalomyelitis, diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, chronic kidney disease and sleep apnea. I have an indwelling catheter, travel by power wheelchair and am unable to work outside the home. I am really sick.
At the appointment with educator Kate Obrien, we discovered that Ms Sharma had referred me for hypoglycemia. My average glucose is around 450, I am taking no medications and I was referred by Sharma for hypoglycemia? As sick as I am, Sharma dragged me out of bed for this? Ms Obrien was puzzled; I was infuriated.
At my first appointment with Sharma, Dr. Kelly came in as the attending. I explained to them that my most serious problem is myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), known locally as chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome (CFIDS) or simply chronic fatigue syndrome. I had researched on the Internet and found two reports of medical research published in 2012 that had been done on the subject of CFIDS and glucose. I passionately asked Dr. Kelly and Sharma to do the same research and tell me what it said. I do not speak medicalese; I needed the doctors to educate themselves on my rare condition and how it impacted my devastatingly high glucose.
ME/CFIDS is a neuroimmune disease (see attached). I have been unable to get any appointment with a neurologist. At the educator’s appointment, Ms Obrien went to talk to Dr. Kelly and came back to report that Dr. Kelly would do a referral to a neurologist, and that she did not have time that day to talk to me about ME/CFIDS.
There has been no follow-up on the neurological referral that was supposed to have been done.
My next appointment at Joslin was March 26 at 2:00 p.m. for thirty minutes. I showed up on time; Sharma was ten minutes late, therefore blowing one-third of our scheduled appointment. She handed me two articles on chronic fatigue syndrome as if she was doing me a favor. Her attitude was that the patient wanted this information. Fact: I wanted a doctor to look at the literature.
One article was an undated two-pager from “Special Concerns for Women”; the other was dated 2002. Do you have any idea how much research has been done and how much has been learned in the twelve years since this article was written? When I asked Sharma what the article said about CFIDS and glucose, she didn’t know. She admitted that she hadn’t read it.
Here are the facts: Sharma was asked to do a literature search of CFIDS + glucose two months ago. She did nothing until the day of my appointment, then she only searched on CFIDS, not glucose, and did not read what she printed.
I cannot begin to describe the extent of my anger. I need a doctor, not a secretary.
In the two months that Sharma did not research my illness, I did. What I found was—
• Dr. David Bell, who was on staff at SUNY Buffalo, did primary research with Dr. David Streeten at SUNY Upstate, and was appointed by the U.S. HHS secretary to chair the CFIDS advisory committee.
• The International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, which published the “ME/CFS Primer for Clinical Practitioners” in 2012.
• Dr. Sarah Myhill’s “Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Practicing in Great Britain since 1982, she has treated about 5,000 patients who have chronic fatigue.