Simple Rules to Picking a Doctor: Part 2
By Lori Shandle-Fox, our guest blogger, is the author of Laughing IS Conceivable. Lori, a standup comedian and mom of triplets via years of fertility treatment, aims to de-stress those dealing with infertility, their families, friends and medical teams.
As I went on and on about in Part 1, there are things, little things, so irksome about a doctor's office, things which seemingly have nothing to do with the doctor, that make you not want to go there anymore. Such as:
I'm often perplexed by office hours. How do you have office hours only during regular business hours? I work. You can't work with me? You come in at 9, take a two hour lunch at 12 and then quit at 5pm. You get in an hour after I have to be in. Take lunch when I take lunch (and then some), and leave before I leave. You work no early mornings. No evenings. No weekends. You have banker's hours. Not to change the subject but, hey, are you guys hiring?
Waiting rooms also matter to me. The idea of me being a snob is absurd. My hair's always messy and my clothes always wrinkled. But there are limits even for me. I require a waiting room that's neater and cleaner than I am and one that doesn't look like it started falling apart in 1982 (like I probably did). I once entered a doctor's office and spent the first five minutes searching for a piece of furniture to sit on that didn't have either a gaping hole in it or duct tape to cover one. I guess the doctor's point of view was: "We're saving money on the waiting room so we can spend it on quality attention to our patients" Of course his thoughts translated to me as: "Who gives a crap what the waiting room looks like? Only 2 more years until I retire." Maybe it was all my fault. Maybe if I'd paid what was left over after my insurance company was done giving him what they thought he deserved he could've bought a chair or two. Or at least a new roll of tape.
Something that can't possibly not bother everyone... Finding out first hand why it's called a "waiting" room. Having an appointment at 1 o'clock should mean something will happen involving me at 1 o'clock. But sometimes it just means they know I'll be there at 1 o'clock. I understand that any doctor can have any number of circumstances which will make him or her run behind but what is really unsettling is when I hear 3 other people go up to the receptionist and say: "Hi. I have an appointment with Dr. Green at 1 O'clock. We all have appointments scheduled at the same exact time. That bastard. He's seeing other patients behind my back right in front of my face. Did he think I wouldn't find out?
Even if I show up a little early, somehow every time, this clipboard-verify-your name-&-address + Hippa stuff seems to be part of my appointment time. I'm so excited to finally hear my name as I'm ushered into the examination room. But...oh wait... It has the medical props to make you think it's an examination room: A scale, blood pressure cuff, cotton balls. They'll check my height and weight, temp and blood pressure (which needless to say is always highest at 1:25 when she takes it for my 1:00 appointment and the doctor has to do it again anyway) But it's not the examination room. It's kind of another waiting room of sorts. I'm definitely getting closer to the examination room but I'm still waiting. At least I've graduated from the dugout to the on-deck circle.
Finally I get the privilege of moving up the ranks to the examination room where while I wait in my paper dress and socks ensemble I get to listen, for the next 15 minutes, to the other doors in the hallway opening and a familiar male voice saying: "Hi. I'm Dr. Green".
At this particular given 1 pm appointment, I was put in a room that had a skeleton on a stand in it. When the doctor finally appeared circa 2:05, I asked him: "Who's this? The first patient of the day?"
So now, at last, we arrive at the doctors themselves. I have a simple, very short list of criteria for them. They must let me ask questions and they must not answer me like I'm an imbecile. I hate that after you've waited and waited for them and they finally show up, they're so busy running from room to room, they don't take time to listen to your concerns. They rush in, glance at you, talk quickly and run out again. I'm the fricken pinwheel in their scavenger hunt: They've seen me so they can mark me off and move on to the next item on their list.
I had one fertility doctor who was so arrogant he talked over me. I handled it. Although, I admit, if you're lying on a table and a doctor is examining you in such a way that you're basically his hand puppet, it may not be the best time to start off a sentence with: "If I could just get a word in edgewise here..."
To see Part 1 of "Simple Rules to Picking a Doctor" (including doctors with one phone line and no call waiting and doctors with evil assistants)- Come over to Lori Shandle-Fox's blog, Laughing IS Conceivable at: laughingisconceivable.com