This morning I called my orthopedist for an appointment. My new knee has suddenly begun to swell, the other knee is about to give out altogether and my right hip is making me limp. I’m crumbling as we speak.
“I’d like to schedule an appointment to address a few issues,” I begin.
“Well exactly what, ONE thing do you want to speak to the doctor about?” the receptionist asks me.
“There are three things,” I tell her, “and they’re all connected. You know just like that song, ‘the thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone, the knee bone’s connected to the shin bone . . .”
She remains unmoved. Perhaps, she’s too young to remember the song? Nope. She’s following her script.
“You need to pick just ONE thing to see the doctor about,” she huffs, “That’s how we plan how long an appointment should take.”
“Are you kidding me?” I query. “So if I break two toes on my foot, he’ll only look at ONE of them? That makes NO sense.”
“I can only book ONE at a time,” she repeats. “How about just seeing him concerning the swelling in your new knee,” she says, obviously trying to make my choice easier and get me off the phone.
“Fine,” I say, “Book it.”
I hang up, redial the doctor and get another receptionist.
“I’d like to schedule an appointment for my right hip,” I say. “I’ll be bringing it in all by itself.” She doesn’t get the joke and books me at a different time on a different day.
Yes, I dial a third time and book a third appointment. I’m stunned to go through this bizarre hoop but what other option do I have? As I’m placed on hold, it occurs to me that three appointments bring in much more money than one. Back in the day, the family doctor could take out your tonsils, your babies and even act as your therapist. Now they’re so specialized it takes a team of them to cover all of your body parts. Go ahead. Add up all your doctors and you might discover that you have enough to field the offense for a football team.
We don’t just have an opioid crisis in America. We have a crisis of conscience. When I see my doctor tomorrow, he’s not only going to get a piece of my mind, he’s going to get all three of my body parts as well. Why? Because THEY’RE ALL CONNECTED!!!
RidicuLOUS!! Good luck!
You nailed it Helen! Institutions, including medical providers, have gotten unbelievably un-user friendly and dysfunctional. No wonder medical costs are out of control. And soon we won’t be able to speak with a human any longer, only a robot. Brave new world is in the making and almost here.
I think to a certain extent the insurance companies cause this dysfunction also. I have experienced this with Dr appointments and find it really frustrating. What a waste of time and money!
Sorry to hear of your troubles.I am currently recovering from a hip replacement myself. I wish you best of luck, but whatever you do, do not have more than one procedure done at once. That sounds like an obvious statement, and I know people have have done so and seriously regretted it.
And a speedy recovery to you young lady!!
Oh my. And it is absolutely not the person on the phone. It is the office policy that comes from the doctor. Give him the piece of your mind
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I always thought that it should be like bringing your vehicle into the dealership for service — have it all checked out and serviced at the same time — tires rotated, oil changed, headlight replaced……
If I had tried this they would have scheduled me on 3 separate days, weeks or months apart.
Well that’s exactly what they did: one in August and 2 on separate days in September.