Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Doctor Who?

I posted a few weeks ago about a preparing for a doctor's visit. I went. I will not be returning. Let's examine why.

First, the doctor's office called the day before my appointment to inform me that they only accepted cash for co payments. I went anyway. No, it's not ideal, but I figured, what the hell. Note to the doctor's staff: if you are going to request that I give cash to you, please be prepared to give change to me.

I presented the girl at the window with a twenty dollar bill to cover my $15 copay. She looked at me as if she didn't know what to do with it. She asked if I had anything smaller.

I hate that question. If I had something smaller, wouldn't I be using it? Why would I want to stuff my wallet with more paper money, much less oily bills that have been in your hygienically questionable keeping?

When I told her I didn't have anything smaller, she wrote "This patient owed $5" and told me they'd have change after my examination. I went in and got examined.

The doctor invited me back to her office for a post examination chat. As I'm sitting there, I notice there are business cards for a mortgage broker on her desk. With her name on them. So now it's apparent that not only can this person check me for fibroids, but she can apparently get me into a three bedroom on a golf course as well.

My husband told me to stop being so snotty. He suggested that perhaps she did a lot of pro bono work. Maybe she needed the additional income. Maybe she had huge student loans. I explained that I don't begrudge her having a second income stream. I just don't think people want to see their gynecologist writing up loan paperwork. I mean, what's next: a visit to the doctor, followed by an Amway presentation?

Eventually, the office staff found $5 at a nearby business and I was on my way. I reported my experience to the friend who'd recommended the doctor, who realized that perhaps it had been a bit of a while since she'd actually been there. She'd recommended the doctor to three people, all of whom had experiences leading to the conclusion that we would not return.

One woman went in because she'd been having heavier than normal periods. The good doctor said she didn't know what was causing them, but she could perform a hysterectomy if the woman wanted. That is equal to suggesting that someone sell their car because they have a flat tire. "I don't know if you ran over something or what, but I can give you a ride to Carmax if you want." What the hell?

And yes. I had to wonder if she would be beeped during such a surgical procedure, because one of her real estate clients had found a house. How does one plan one's day within two such varying careers? Or does she find a way to merge them?

I personally would not want to undergo surgery underneath a knife wielding doctor who would have interest in selling my house should anything ever happen to me. In this kind of market, your health care provider and realtor most emphatically need to be separate people. Imagine the conversation:

"I'm sorry, Mr. X. I did everything I could, but we lost your wife."
"Oh my God!"
"Yes, I know. So. Will you be staying in the condo?"

Needless to say, there are four DC area women now looking for a new gynecologist. Our wish list is short. We want someone with good bedside manners, a decent looking office, perhaps a credit card machine.

And sans the second career in real estate.

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