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All Doctor Visits Go Like This

publication date: Mar 4, 2017
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author/source: Marcus Counterman

Urgent Care is my primary care physician. That’s because my kids only get sick on nights and weekends. It’s uncanny.
It’s easier to go through customs than it is to check into a Doctor’s office. “No my insurance hasn’t changed since last week when I was in…but ok, here’s the card again.”
“Fill out this 11 page family history questionnaire.”
“I already did that last week when I was in-”
“Well, do it again. Did you travel outside of the country in the last 30 days?”
Sigh. “No.” Thanks for rubbing that in.
“It looks like your insurance doesn’t cover Doctor visits, so you’re going to need to pay $$$.”
They verify your pharmacy information while you’re checking in because there is a zero percent chance they don’t write a prescription. Then they ask you why you need to see the Doctor. I love saying what I need to be seen for in front of the entire waiting room. Glad I just signed that HIPAA privacy form…. Could you just give me a doll so I can discretely point to where it hurts?
Then there’s the waiting room. Some advice: if the last empty chair is next to the kids’ toys, stand. How about the magazines? Ha! Nice try influenza. I’m not so easily fooled. The other patients in the waiting room that are asked to wear the surgical masks just make every thing worse. Causes panic. We like to pretend everyone else is only mildly sick, or just here for a physical. The mask implies an infectious disease.
Once you get called back they start with a weigh in. It’s just an illusion of gathering medical data from you. I’m here for pink eye. There’s a 100% chance you’ll prescribe eye drops: How does my weight effect that? It’s all part of the dog and pony show. Like the examination table that they make you sit on. Um. You’re not operating on me. This is pink eye. I don’t even need to be sitting at all for you to look at it. Much less on the edge of this table with my feet dangling. Or how about when they have you take deep breaths and listen to you breathe. Hmmm. I’m not a Doctor but this seems pretty unrelated to pink eye , but sure I’ll play along I guess.
The Doctor is always too busy to listen to you as well. It’s like they are just waiting for you to say certain key words. If you say ‘runny nose’ they prescribe ‘this’. If you say ‘cough’, they prescribe ‘that’. If you say ‘chest pain’, they refer you to someone else. Of course on my end I never know how much I actually need to tell them. I either tell them my life story in order to say that I have the sniffles or I don’t let them know that I can’t feel the left side of my body, because it doesn’t seem pertinent. They are annoyed at you either way. Ever met a nice Doctor? New guy. Give him a week.