Thursday, January 20, 2011

Old-School Doctors vs. New-School Doctors

Welcome to my office...this won't hurt a bit;) ;)

I had to visit the doctor today.

Isn’t it unfortunate when your doctor can’t be there and you have to see a doctor you’ve never met?

Don’t you just feel uncomfortable when you know you’re sick, you know you need to see a doctor, but your own cannot be there for the appointment and… they have nothing else open on the schedule this week.

Logically, as many of us have experienced, you take the appointment with the new doctor and cross your fingers.

At the appointment, you are expecting to go through the whole spiel about yourself to a complete stranger while they poke around and suggest things for you that are completely off the wall because they don’t know you or your history.

Well today, I was met with a complete surprise.

The new doctor who saw me was wonderful! And he was not new at all! He was an older doctor and reminded me of the old school doctors I used to have.

You know the ones from a long time ago? Long before these new drive-thru doctors that pull you in and push you out quicker than you can order a value meal.

Old school doctors would sit down with you and listen patiently to what you had to say. They would actually read your chart and the symptoms the nurse collected, rather than just flip the top page up and down a few time and say, ‘uh-huh. I seeee’, without ever looking at you.

Today, I really dreaded meeting with a new doctor, but in the end I felt good about it! And when I mentioned it to the nurse on the way out she nonchalantly said how I ‘have the right to switch doctors’.

Switch doctors!?! I could do that!?

I could switch my doctor from a chatty, busy, inattentive, half-listening one to a sweet, patient one who is communicative and concerned???


The nurse said that all I had to do when I called next time was to make an appointment with the new doctor.

That made my day.

Though there was a catch. (Isn’t there always?)

The catch was the passing statement she made on her way out the door.

She said, ‘..He’s nice, but, when he’s running behind, he’s running behind…’

Hmmm. ‘But, what does that mean?’, I asked.
She repeated her statement then shut the door.

Well, I guess at the doctor’s office, you get what you pay for…except you pay for it with time.

I don’t think I’d mind sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room for an extra fill-in-the-blank-amount of time for the sweet, old, patient, communicative doctor to give the person before me, the same wonderful bedside manner I am looking forward to when it’s my turn….

He was on schedule today…the circumstances were perfect.

I will let you know if he’s worth the wait when I go next time… If he diagnoses things correctly because he’s paying attention, I’m going to bet he will be.



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