Since I got a new job in August, I also got new insurance. I'm spoiled...my previous employer had a PPO plan and I got to choose who I wanted to see whenever I wanted. My new plan is an HMO and requires a Primary Care Physician. Now most normal people probably already have one of those. Thanks to moving, I do not. I don't really remember having one main doctor I went to in Florida for everything, either.
Anyway, I did some research and chose a group close to where I live. And I was assigned a doctor from that group by my HMO provider. No problem, I was thinking. I picked the group, so I'm okay with the doctor I was given.
And then I had my first appointment with her. The office staff was very nice and professional. I was told to arrive a half hour early to get my new patient paperwork filled out. After doing so, I only waited about 5 minutes before being called back. The nurse that took my temperature, weight, blood pressure, and pulse was very nice. After these initial tests, she took me to the exam room and asked me some questions about current prescriptions. She also asked if there was anything else I wanted the doctor to address aside from the new patient check-up. I actually did have a few things, so I told her and watched as she typed the notes in my computer file. She then left me to wait.
Less than five minutes later, the doctor arrived. She introduced herself and shook my hand. Then she sat at the computer and looked over my file. She asked me the same questions about my prescriptions the nurse did. This was my first issue as she should have been able to see what the nurse had written when I’d answered the questions a few minutes earlier. But, whatever.
Then she asked me if I’d always been the weight I am. No, I’ve gained over the years, but I am trying to lose. She then proceeded to tell me that I can’t just exercise and expect to lose the weight; I have to be mindful of what I ate too. She didn’t bother to ask what I was doing to try to lose weight or if I had lost any. She just launched into her nutritionist spiel. This was “strike two”.
She then proceeded to “check” me. She looked in my ears and throat, barely. Checked my lungs and heart and then ran her hand down my throat and leg (weird). I assume her hand at my throat was to check it, but she barely did so I can’t be too sure.
And then she was heading out the door with orders to get blood work done. No mention of “is there anything else?” or the issues I’d addressed with the nurse. No questions about my medical history (which is sketchy, at best). No second glance. I was completely dumb founded.
I have to admit, in a moment of stressed out, I actually cried in my car when it was all over. I felt like I’d been run over. I was already super stressed about a new doctor (I hate going to the doctor!!), and then everything happened as quickly as you read through it. It was all little more than my emotions could handle.
While the quickness of the time the doctor was actually in the room with me should have been strike three, it was only part of it. The other part was the fact that nothing was asked about my medical history. Now, normally, that probably wouldn’t be a big deal. But, as I said, I have a bit of a sketchy medical history. When I was eleven I was hospitalized with a build-up of fluid around my heart. Every doctor I have EVER been to since then, when they see that on my information, had spent at least five minutes questioning me about it and any residual effects I may or may not be having (I’m about to be 35). I even had one doctor, five years ago, ask me to contact the hospital I had been in and see about getting the records sent over to him so he could have my file and make sure all is still well (this is the doctor I’m having to replace due to insurance changes and him selling his practice three months ago…super sad face!).
So after the initial shock of what happened wore off, I got mad and upset. I mean, what’s the point of taking 30 minutes to fill out paperwork with lists of previous surgeries and conditions and prescriptions if you’re not going to take the time to talk to me about it. And speaking of prescriptions, if you can’t find what I’m on based on my misspelling the ridiculous name the drug has, you are not be looking hard enough! I can type in a misspelled drug name and find what I’m looking for.
Anyway. After all that, it has been decided I will not go back. I’m going to change my group and doctor on my HMO information and see about getting in with another doctor here in town.