It sucks to be sick. But what sucks more is having to go to the doctor sick. Already you feel awful, then circle the parking lot looking for a spot before you walk into the doctor’s waiting room to sit and wait with a lot more sick people. When you are finally called back, you wait again. And if you have to remove your clothes, you sit in a gown freezing, feeling like the wait is even that much longer. Then, the doctor only has a few minutes to attempt to diagnose your current problem. If you have a couple minor concerns that you have been wanting to bring up, forget it. You likely won’t get a chance.
Well, at least that is how most of my doctors visits go. What about you?
Now, my children’s doctor, their pediatrician, is a breath of fresh air, comparatively. I find parking right in front (and I got the appointment for that feverish child the same day!). I walk in to the receptionist who knows my name and face. Usually there is no one else in the waiting room because he is running on time (except that I am chronically early, so sometimes there might be one). The nurse takes us in and doesn’t make us list all the symptoms in detail that we will have to repeat to the doctor again. The children may stay in my lap to be examined. If he notices that the sibling or I seem to be catching the same thing, he examines and treats us just because it is the right thing to do. He even discusses the options for treatment rather than authoritatively prescribing because he knows we might have feedback about how a treatment or medicine has worked or affected the child in the past.
My children never dread the doctor, and I only dread the day their pediatrician retires.
Recently, I’ve been thankful for the Minute Clinics at CVS (No, I’m not being paid or at all compensated.). A good portion of my pediatrician’s requirements have been met by them. No wait. The P.A. knows my face and name. Test results are immediate (I mean, why can’t my other doctor do a strep test immediately if CVS can?). And she calls in a day or two to check that the treatment is working and adjust if necessary. That is great customer service.
Now, I agree that when I recently had a sinus infection, I knew that it had gotten to a point to need antibiotics, but the P.A. at the Minute Clinic is very conservative on the use of antibiotics. So I had to wait until that phone call 48 hours later to say that yes, it was still getting worse and get them. But, you know what, I respect that. She is doing exactly what has been recommended to stop the overuse of antibiotics.
Why don’t I change doctors or find somewhere else? I’ve tried, but every name for a GP on my insurance list is the same. And there is a time when you need a doctor to do more than the clinic can do. So, I keep that GP (who the only really cool thing is that she is a part of a group consisting of 10 female doctors) because if I left, they aren’t accepting any new patients.
Thank you to any doctors who are like my pediatrician. To the rest, accepting the status quo and excuses is not enough. Change must occur from all sides.