November 21, 2013

Wherein The Word "Amazing" Is Applied to a Description of Medical Care

(I hereby swear I will stop talking about my face tomorrow. Really.)

The war against whatever it is that took root on my face has claimed another victim. My primary care doctor.

Yesterday afternoon, on the way home from Monkeytown, I decided to seek a second opinion for this damn face thing. After visiting my primary care doctor twice and being told to make an appointment with a dermatologist so busy I had to make an appointment for early 2018, I swung by this new walk-in place close to home.

It was amazing.

I was greeted nicely. A very perky woman took all my information and promised me I'd be called back by a nurse in less than five minutes. (My inner medically experienced monologue said something like yeah, right.) I was only halfway through my current round of Candy Crush before I was ushered out of the waiting room. My vitals were taken by an incredibly friendly nurse and I was shown to a room. (This is the point at which my inner monologue thought this was some kind of scam and that I'd either be forced to buy a timeshare for medical treatment or wake up in an ice-bath with a missing kidney.) Less than five minutes later the doctor came by, introduced himself, and promptly diagnosed me with fuckedupfaceitis (I can't remember the real term). I was asked if I wanted my prescription filled there, I said sure, and 30 seconds later the doctor returned with said prescription. I was told to have a wonderful day by no less than three people and was back in my car, headed home, after only a half hour. Yeah, thirty minutes.

Like I said, it was amazing.

I realized several things during this:

- We accept substandard patient experiences and we don't have to. This place was quick, friendly, and incredibly professional. It took almost every kind of insurance, was no more expensive than traditional doctor's offices and was far more pleasant. That's what we should expect. It shouldn't be the exception.

- It's okay to cheat on your doctor. Sometimes they don't have all the answers even when those answers may be obvious. They're human.

- Hunches are sometimes correct. I knew my initial diagnosis wasn't right. It didn't feel right. It's worth listening to yourself...unless yourself is telling you to put on a clown suit and hunt mailmen.

Posted by Chris at November 21, 2013 6:50 AM | TrackBack

Right?! I don't go to my primary care doc anymore AT ALL. I go to MedExpress. (I don't think they're nationwide, but they're slowly popping up everywhere.) The people are so nice, the service is fast, you can fill most prescriptions there (which came in SO HANDY this past Friday night when I was there and needed a script ASAP). I still go to specialists when I need to, but otherwise? MedExpress is a much better business model for the healthcare industry and that has a direct customer service impact on us, the consumers.

Hooray for clearing up your face-thing!

Posted by: Erin at November 21, 2013 9:39 AM

I changed primary care physicians two years ago when I became disgusted with the one I had been seeing - it was so worth it! And yes, I've gone to the urgent care clinic here in town for a few things after hours and they are amazing - they call me back the next day even to make sure I'm doing okay.

Posted by: Heather at November 21, 2013 10:00 AM

OMG! Where is this place?!? (I work in Monkeytown too and have a useless doctor.)

Posted by: Tracy at November 21, 2013 2:51 PM

Did tou go to a minute clinic? A take care clinic? A walk in at the drugstore and a PA will throw the book of meds at you in 60 minutes or else it's free clinic? I LOVE those places. A veteran of the lunch hour sinus wars....I finally convinced my ma to go try out her Medicare benefits there. Seriously awesome. If modern medicine is going to hell in a handbasket, these little lifeboats are swimming upstream. Hope it works for fuckedupfaceitis!

Posted by: rebecca c at November 21, 2013 3:04 PM

I'm genuinely curious how you define "substandard patient experiences." Unless I hear differently from you, I'll just assume (and very much hope) that was hyperbole and not a real complaint about medical care in the US, particularly health care that people like you and I have access to. Real, true "substandard patient experiences" are horrid and, frankly, difficult for me to see joked about.

Posted by: RzDrms at November 21, 2013 6:22 PM

Sorry I am so behind in my blog reading. As you know I got such poor care after my cancer facial surgery at a well known and well respected Medical Center here in New Hampshire. I knew what was being done to me was not right. I'm so glad I went to Boston (way far away from me, but worth it) and not only did I find a great doctor, but I got fantastic care! Glad you are on the mend, my friend!

Posted by: Maribeth at November 24, 2013 8:22 AM

Yay for speedy treatment! We had a Patient First place open near us... We still go to our regular internist for most things, but we've gone to Patient First and been seen, had a chest xray, had a pnemonia diagnosis and received prescriptions and been on our way in about 45 minutes.

Posted by: Sue R at November 25, 2013 10:47 AM

It sounds like you had a wonderful experience at the new office!
You are right- ask questions!
As a nurse now in pediatric homecare with a prior work history in surgical rehab and long-term care I've had patients and family members second-guess me on all manner of care protocol and they apologize for asking but I am so glad when they do. I would much rather have a mistake prevented than make one and potentially hurt someone.

Posted by: Karen at December 2, 2013 9:52 PM
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