Health-CARE: Really?

Recently I was punished for being healthy.  I really like my physician but the journey to my appointment was horrible.  It took three months to schedule my yearly physical.  I had a few medical episodes in the previous year and I just wanted to know that all is well.

When I show up at my internist’s clinic, I am asked by a woman, I think, on the other side of an opaque window to sign my name .  No greeting, no welcome Mr. Anderson, NADA.  Finally they call my last name, “ANDERSON”, I walk over and more papers are shoved under the window.  Still no greeting and no eye contact.  I fill out the paperwork that I swear I have filled out at least ten times before.  I am given paperwork to take to the doctor’s office down the hall.

When I arrive at the physician’s office, I am standing in front of the receptionist.  Without looking up she grabs my paperwork and signals with an abrupt hand gesture, thumb  pointing to the waiting room.  NO GREETING, NO EYE CONTACT, NOTHING but the gesture.  I ask her, “what does this mean?”, I repeated the thumb gesture.  I was hoping for a realization that her behavior as a HEALTHCARE provider was completely inappropriate.  Further, to my surprise, without looking up, she said “it means go sit over there until we call your name”.

Finally a nurse calls me in to see my doctor, my doctor, who remembers my name, asks about my family, my mother-in-law and work.  We spent a glorious 10-15 minutes together, she ordered a few tests and she was off.  Don’t get me wrong, I like my doctor, however, I ask myself if it is worth it, is there a better team of health care providers out there that would treat me with respect?

I pay a high premium for an insurance that allows me to go pretty much anywhere.  I strive to take the responsibility to live a “healthy” life.  Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or coffee.  I eat healthy food, I attempt to exercise multiple days a week.  I keep my self limber with Pilates and Gyrotonic.  I play and rest well.  I work hard to have a “healthy” relationship with my family, friends and colleagues.

My CFO tells me his physician and staff are amazing and definitely an exception to the rule.  I would have to drive an extra 30 minutes to see him, but considering it was a 90 minute experience to see my doctor for 10 minutes, maybe it is not such a bad proposition.

I am a physical therapist and run a private practice in Miami Florida and immediately I made an assessment of my team and I want to make sure that the experience I had, never happens to my clients.

Positive or negative experiences, I would love to hear yours.

Here’s to HEALTH

Dr. Brent


4 responses to “Health-CARE: Really?

  1. Wow that was truly a sad experience. I wonder if you cc’d the Doctor, whom you do like, the experience you had so that she could forward it to her “team”. As a business owner I am always grateful when “negative” feedback is leaked back to me either through staff or the clients themselves. I always imagine if one person had the courage to complain imagine how many others thought the same thing but said nothing. How much business is lost in the cracks? Doctor’s offices are notorious I think because there is little repeat business. You come for your annual and that’s it until the next year. Unlike Physical Therapy and Pilates we see our clients frequently and it is in our best interest to provide as personal an experience as possible.

    It really is a shame because I am also certain that if the receptionist who handled you had been more cordial it would enhance her own work experience and surely she would have greater job satisfaction as a bonus!

  2. Does this mean that you support the health-care reform? As a medical professional do you feel that everyone should have a right to health-care?

    • Hi Derrick,
      Actually I am not in favor of the current Health Care plan that was presented and signed recently by President Obama. I think it is a tragedy to go backwards into managed health care. I was really looking for a plan that promoted healthy living as a nation and not a “sick care” policy.
      Brent Anderson PhD, PT

  3. Hi, Brent,
    As you know, we do have socialized health care here in France (gasp!) When I go to my doctor, I enter, and I sit in the waiting room until the doctor calls me in. Has two types of consultations. One where he opens his waiting room, and you come in and wait to be taken in turn. He has a different set of hours where you can make an appointment. So, if you have your annual physical, you can make an appointment for that, and be pretty sure you won’t be kept waiting for longer than 10 minutes. If you wake up with some kind of rash you want checked, you can go in and wait your turn. When I call for my appointment, I speak directly with my doctor, and I can even ask him if he thinks I should come in. When I go into his office, the desk and examining table are side-by-side; there is no nurse or physician’s assistant. I give him my “Carte Vitale”, or national health care card, which he plugs into his portal. I then write him a check for 30€. 14€ of that will be reimbursed electronically by national health care within 48 hours. The remaining balance will be reimbursed by my supplemental health insurance a few days later.

    Want to hear about my daughter’s appendicitis?

    Best wishes, and hope you’ll be in France again soon.

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