Customer Service, Medical-Style
Kevin Salwen on Health & Wellness
I quit my doctor this week. It's not that I don't like him -- in fact, he's wonderful -- it's that I can't stand everything that surrounds him. In the past 2 months, I've endured 45+ minute waits at the office, an inability to schedule an appointment for a hip problem I've had, a series of 'would you like to see his physician's assistant instead?' questions, and a 5-day callback after I left a message saying I was hurting.
Fortunately, none of this was life or death. But when I went there Wednesday afternoon and waited for more than an hour, I finally threw in the towel. I didn't yell at anyone or make a scene, I calmly walked to the receptionist's desk and told her I was leaving and didn't need another appointment. And I began looking for another doctor.
Yes, I know I'm late to the discovery that the medical community is a mess. I know the insurance process has screwed everything up. I know I'm not the first person to lament the loss of personal care. But here's what I'm wondering: Hasn't anyone figured this out? Is it no longer possible to get good medical care in a civilized environment in which the relationship doesn't feel like an auto-service shop? Any tips out there?
Sign me, Fed Up in Atlanta