July 30, 2015

Kiss My Ass

My gastroenterologist retired in May. I knew this day was coming, but was hoping it never would. I mean, you establish a rapport with someone you see at least once a year and you wanna keep it alive, you know?  Plus, it's hard to find good doctors these days, at least ones who know what they're doing and who will give you the time of day. So anyway, yeah, that 20-year relationship went pffft.

I got recommendations/referrals from my main GP prior to the sad event, and the good Gastro also sent a letter with the names of four folks to try. Interestingly enough, two folks were on both lists.

I did some research on all the newbies in an effort to find the best fit for me.

But you know what?

Just as in online dating, what you read online ain't gonna necessarily match up to what you get in person. It's a crapshoot. In this case, literally.

So I decided to make appointments with three people. They're all part of the same practice group.

A couple of months ago when I called to make the appointments, Nasal-Lady on the phone gave me some shite. She didn't want me making three appointments with people. She said, "You can make appointments with all three but you'll need to cancel the two you don't end up seeing."


"Once you see a doctor, you're establishing care with that person," she continued.

This convo happened a couple months ago so I don't recall my exact response, but it was basically something like, "What do you mean? I'm just meeting the person for a consult. What if we don't get along or establish rapport? Could I switch doctors then?"

"Yes...if there's a serious or extreme case, you could do that."

So basically, they don't want to do a lot of paperwork is what it sounds like to me. I mean what the fuck. This is still America, right? I have insurance. I have choices. Why should I stay with one doctor (who maybe gives me the willies or I don't find competent) just because they say that I've "established care"?!?

I asked my bro and a few other folks and they agreed that that was ridiculous and unheard of.

I am wondering if this practice group is some kind of cult, wherein the more patient files a particular doctor has, the quicker he can reach Level 7 or whatever.

My appointments are at the end of August and September.  I decided that I needed to cancel one of them because I had heard good things about the other two, but nothing about the third guy (who was mentioned in the Gastro letter).

I called to cancel that appointment today.

First of all, the number on the webpage for him was wrong. Either that or I pressed the wrong menu button. (Doubtful, but then again I do have a raging sinus headache and am slightly doped up. Read: less inhibited.)

The nice lady said she'd transfer me to the GI Department.  I wondered if another nice person would answer.

My wondering ended when Nasal-Lady asked for my birth date to confirm stuff.

Here's the convo that ensued:

"Which doctor would you like to cancel your appointment with?"

"Dr. Blahbiddyblah."

"Okay, and it looks like you have two more on the books, one on August 31 and one on the 28th."

"That's the 28th of September, right?"

"Yes, with Dr. Snogglepuss."

"Okay, thanks, I will call back to cancel that one if I need to."

"After you see Dr. Ladypants on the 31st, we would cancel it anyway because you've established care. Once a file is opened with a doctor, you've established care."

"But it's just a consult, I thought I could get a second opinion. What if I want to get a second opinion, couldn't I do that?"

"Yes but..."

"Okay, thank you."

She mumbled something, maybe it was "okay" or whatever, it was brief, and I hung up.


I may just end up seeing an entirely new, non-recommended person in an entirely different group because what the hell. What if I see a doctor and I can't understand what they're saying due to my bad ears or their bad accent? What if I think the doctor comes off as a rapist? What if they don't know any more than what I already know?

I SHOULD GET TO SEE WHICHEVER DOCTOR I WANT WHENEVER I WANT BECAUSE IN MY BOOK...establishing care is just that. Care. Not just, hey I doctor shopped and you're my first date so I have to stick with you cos you're the first one with availability.

I could say more but I have work to do. I'll say this, though...man, I miss the good old days.


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