Thursday, September 18, 2008

Going to the Doctor

I hate going to the Doctor. It's not the needles, poking, or probing that bother me. It's the flagrant disregard for my time and the underlying assumption that the doctor's time is more valuable than mine.

I'm never late. It's not in me to be anything other than right on time, if not a few minutes early. If it looks like I might be even a minute or two later than expected, I'll call ahead so whoever might be waiting for me knows. It's just common courtesy.

So I arrive a few minutes before my scheduled appointment and sign in with the receptionist. Her only interest in me is whether or not I have insurance. I had a procedure done the last time I went to the doctor and learned that she was also interested in collecting my deductible.

On most visits several pharmaceutical representatives get in to see the doctor before I do. Fifteen to 20 minutes later (and on occasion, as much as 45 minutes later), the nurse calls me back to the examination room. By this time I'm always well on my way to crotchety. I suspect I have abnormally low blood pressure because it's always normal when she checks it.

By now it's at least 60 minutes later than my scheduled appointment and once again, I'm waiting for the doctor. Only now I'm half naked in a room with no magazines that is cold enough to store meat. I can hear the doctor right outside the door. He's discussing something about UFOs from Mars (I'm not making this up--it really happened) with the nurses and pharmaceutical reps. This discussion goes on for about fifteen minutes.

Finally he finally pops in for my appointment, he launches in to a long description of his most recent vacation. He can't tell I'm about ready to blow a fuse, which makes me wonder a bit about his observational skills. You should know that my doctor looks like Randy on "My Name is Earl." That makes it easier for me to ignore anything he might say about my weight. He tells me my lab work came back fine, pokes me a few times, and then tells me to come back in six months.

Even with the vacation update, his time with me rarely exceeds five minutes. My time investment for the same appointment? Something close to two hours. Just another reason they call me...

The Crotchety Old Man

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