Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't rush me Doc!

Earlier in the week, I went to the doctors for my annual check-up... and while I wasn't exactly looking forward to the visit, I was more disappointment with the interaction with my doctor as opposed to the actual physical exam.

First off... why is it that General Practitioners (GPs) are referred to as 'Family Doctors' yet, PC, E, and I all see a different 'family' doc. I mean, isn't the point of a having a family doctor to keep medical histories under the care and supervision of one physician who can draw linkages between parents and children?

I can see how PC and I might not have the same doctor, but surely you would think one of these family doctors would take on our newest family member?

Nope... none of them had room. I guess we were lucky to find an available family doctor for E. PC and I had never met the man before October, but he actually is a fairly nice guy, and a very cut and dry type of doc. He either knows about it or doesn't, and doesn't try to lead you on about a medical issue that he hasn't had much experience with. When he doesn't know... he makes you a referral to someone who does... and I like that very much.

In the case of my family doctor, I saw her on Monday for my annual check-up. My first one post-pregnancy... and let me tell you (WARNING boys... earmuffs), it was such a breeze compared with previous invasive annual check ups! Once you've had the pleasure of a difficult vaginal birth, the upside is that you don't even blink at a little pap test!

Anyways... getting back on track here... its been over a year since I last saw my doc, and while she is a perfectly nice lady, I always leave her office frustrated. For one thing... I sit in her waiting room for close to an hour before I am even seated in her office, and then wait another 20 in the office before she saunters in to say hi (like she remembers me, which I know she doesn't).

As she quickly scans my chart while asking me how I am doing, she says 'oh... you had a baby didn't you?'... and then asks how was the everything, to which I say 'not bad', and she says 'good'.

'Good'... that's it? Perhaps I am the type of patient that needs a bit of prying to open up (which if you know me well, ask and I shall divulge), but she didn't even follow up with a 'not bad? were there any complications?' - she just went with 'good' and was perfectly happy to move onto to the next item on her 'How to get a patient out of my office in under 5 minutes' checklist.

I cut her off into her second question about my weight and blood-pressure to tell her about the delivery and post-natal care, and then she asks in the driest sense of humour 'So.. does this baby have a name?' (ya... we went with 'Triple D' Ding-Dong-Doctor, after you!).

She is already batting a thousand with me... tells me I am at a perfect time to do some blood work, yada yada yada, as she fills out a form for the lab. Then she tells me 'well, that takes care of the paper work, now time for the exam'.

Whoa lady - back up the truck. That does not take care of the paper work. I actually want a prescription for massage therapy... which means get out your pad and write me one, and how bout asking ME if I have any questions for you, seeing how its been a year since I was last here AND I had a baby in that time.

I was furious... she looked annoyed when I asked her to renew the prescription for massage therapy, and then I just start spouting off at the mouth with my other questions while I whip out my 'LIST OF THINGS TO ASK THE DOCTOR' starting with number 1, ending at number 9.

I think to myself, why do you book me for 15 minutes, if you only have 5 to actually see me? She looked very annoyed at me as I asked question after question.

I get that we have a shortage of doctors, and that I am lucky to even have a doctor, but in all seriousness I may as well of called TeleHealth and asked my questions, as I would have gotten a more detailed responded than 'yes, no, not sure, check online'.

I understand that I am not an ill patient, I am probably a pretty run of the mill routine patient. But, if I am actually booking an appointment for my annual appointment (which many people try to avoid), please take the time to give me some easy medical attention, or pond me off on a nurse who could answer the easy questions, and leave the difficult ones to you in your 5 minute race against the appointment clock.

Wow - that's feels good the get that off my chest.

Anyone else have a good/bad experience with a family doctor...? I know there are MANY good doctors out there, and don't get me wrong, mine is good, but I think my point is that she could be A LOT better, with minimal effort.

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