Call me old fashioned, but I remember when I could call my doctor, go his office, the receptionist/nurse called me by name when I entered the door, and in a few minutes I could see the friendly face of my doctor.
Today it is more like going to a total stranger designated by my insurance company or the government’s decision-making services to help us, the poor and ignorant public. Doc has very little time to spend so my problem becomes guess-work and I am diagnosed according to national averages as it takes less time.
I had a good friend who told me one time that “If you can do something about it, do it. If you can’t do anything about it, forget it!” Going there with a problem makes it hard to “forget about it.”
This morning I called the phone number on the doctor’s business card and heard this. “You have reached —————-, if this is an emergency hang up immediately and call 911. If this is not an emergency, stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.”
You wait. Then another message, which you are dying to hear. (Or you feel like you are dying after waiting an eternity in agony.)
“If this is an emergency, call 911. If you are calling for a prescription press 1, if you are calling to set or change an appointment, press 2. If you are (blah, blah, blah,) press whatever number fits.” You press “2.”
Finally they answer again after four or five rings.
“All lines are presently busy taking care of other callers. Please hold for the next available person.”
Finally you get someone to whom you give your name who responds with asking for your date of birth as though you are the only person in the world with that date of birth.
Maybe if we got rid of the “time saving” automation system that has to cost a lot of bucks, and let the girl behind the reception counter, answer the doctor’s phone, the world of medicine would be a better place.
I just had another thought though, could this be a ploy to cause high blood pressure and so we could arrange for more doctor’s visits? Come on now…that couldn’t be, or could it?