A couple caveats to this post:
– This is in no way commentary on the new health care laws. It’s more me venting because I prefer personal relationships, especially when it comes to my healthcare.
– This is also in no way a criticism of physician assistants (PA’s) or Nurse Practitioners (NP’s). Often, I request to see them and I’ve always had great experiences.
– The conversation below has been truncated to remove irrelevant/personal details.
– For this post, I’ll nickname my doctor Dr. House. It’s not too far off from his real name, and he does remind me a lot of the TV Dr. House; he’s brilliant, but isn’t known for being very personable.
Phone call to Dr. Houses’ office
Me: Hi. I’m still sick. I’ve been in there twice and seen (male PA). It’s not getting better.
Nurse: (expresses empathy…she is so sweet…we discuss whether or not I need to come in…I really don’t want to)
Me: Oh, also, I’m having an allergic reaction to (my medicine). I was told I should let you know right away if that happened.
Nurse: In that case, you need to come in.
Me: Dang, I hate paying my $25 copay, but ok. Can I see Dr. House? I haven’t seen him in a long time.
Nurse: Well, we can ask, but, for him, you can usually only get to see him if it’s an appointment that’s one or two weeks out. That’s why we are here (the nurse is the nurse for the PA), so you can see someone right away.
Me: I understand that and I love you all very much. It’s just that, he’s my doctor and I’ve only ever met him once, and that was a year ago. I’d like to know who he is and I’d like him to know who I am if he’s going to be my primary physician.
Nurse: I’m going to transfer you up front, you can ask.
(scheduler and I exchange pleasantries)
Scheduler: I understand you need an appointment?
Me: Yes, but I’d like to see Dr. House.
Scheduler: He is really busy and the nurse said you need to be seen right away.
Me: I understand that and I know that the reaction I’m having is dangerous, but I’ve had it for the past two months, not knowing what it was, and I’m still ok, so I’d rather wait a few more days and see him. I really want to see my doctor.
Scheduler: (long pause). Can you come in at 7:20 a.m. tomorrow? He gets here at 7:30 a.m. We will make you his first patient of the day.
Me: Yes, thank you very much.
By the way, I’m fine, but it was nice to see Dr. House and he gave me a new treatment plan for my illness and the reaction. And, he was very personable. Perhaps he’s a morning person.