Two years ago, I found a dermatologist who did all the right things (i.e., took time with me, explained what was going on, had her staff follow-up, etc). She was on staff at Georgetown University and she was listed as a top doctor by Washingtonian Magazine. A month ago, I called for another appointment and was told she had left her private practice to join with other doctors in a new multi-doctor practice. As a student of business, I understood the economics of that, and was on my way to learning about the ramifications of that decision.
Upon arriving for my visit at her new office/practice, the first thing I noticed was the antiseptic appearance of the waiting room, but again I understand the economics, and the important thing is the doctor’s care and caring.
As I waited, I saw a notice on the TV screen that if I waited more than 15 minutes, then I should notify the attendant. Not wanting to be a nudge, I waited for 30 minutes before notifying the front desk attendant. After doing some checking, she let me know that the doctor was running late… DUH!!
FROM MIFFED TO DISTURBED….. Okay, I understand that things happen to cause a doctor to run behind, but after waiting over an hour before being taken into the exam room, I was a little miffed. Then as Paul Harvey would say came “the rest of the story”. Apparently, the records from her private practice did not transfer to the new practice, therefore, I was expected to begin again and provide my entire medical history including the procedures that she had previously performed on me. Now I’ve moved from miffed to disturbed.
FROM DISTURBED TO UPSET…. After voicing my displeasure to the nurse, I provided my medical history. Then came an intern to ask all the same questions that the nurse had just asked and recorded on the chart that she was looking at! This was followed by her request to examine me. I asked if the doctor was going to do the same exam, and she said yes. At this point, my emotional elevator moved up from disturbed to upset.
STALLING TACTICS…. It was clear that the nurse and intern were record keeping, learning, and stalling. It was clear that no one cared about me or appreciated that my time is valuable too. Okay, my billing rate may not be as high, but I figured that calculating the driving time, parking fee, and my average hourly consulting rate, this visit was costing me $300.
EXIT STAGE LEFT… It was clear that somewhere along the line, the economics of her medical practice became more important than patient care. I sincerely hope this is not a bellwether of Obamacare.
Life goes on.