Thursday, August 13, 2009

Take Some Vitamins with Irony and I'll See You in the Morning

I'm one of those people bursting with health, knock wood. When I go for my yearly exam with my regular doctor, he tells me how he wishes he had my numbers. So it isn't often I find myself sitting in a waiting room. But it's summer, and I needed something minor done that would take literally five minutes, so I made an appointment two weeks ago for 10 AM this morning. The doctor's secretary called me yesterday to remind me to be on time, so I assumed they were a model of efficiency and that I'd be home in no time. Turns out what I really needed was to have my head examined.

No fewer than 15 people were seated in the office when I entered, at 10 AM on a Thursday. I went to the window to sign in, and I noticed that almost everyone who had signed in before me had written down the exact same appointment time as me. I was the only one who took it literally and showed up on time, not an hour early. It took two hours and fifteen minutes to get in to see the doctor. No joke.

When I got in, the doc gave me some chit chat about Obama care, telling me I should never support it, because I had good insurance already and I'd never be able to actually see a doctor because the lines would be around the block. I started looking for Ashton Kutcher to see if I was being punk'd. But no. She was serious. If irony was a crime, she'd have gotten the death penalty.

She spoke to me for about three minutes about Obama care. I figured that if she spent that much time on each patient before me, I'd waited an additional 45 minutes while this doctor did her level best to scare the bejesus out of her patients. My actual treatment took less time than the spiel.

In the future, when people tell me that doctors are professionals but teachers are not, I'll relate this story to them. Imagine what would happen to a teacher who scheduled 150 parents for the same time slot on Parent Teacher Conference night and then babbled on about what an a-hole Joel Klein is? There'd be riots, I tell you.

Why we put up with this from doctors, I don't know. But I'm proud to be a professional. A teacher.


Anonymous said...

It's surprising that a Doctor would spend their time doing that!

Just read an interesting take on an alternate health plan, supplying the nation with Vitamin E!

Pissedoffteacher said...

I walked out on a doctor that made me wait that long more than once.

Doesn't sound like a doctor I would ever want to use.

NYC Educator said...

I also walked out on a doctor after waiting two and a half hours a few months ago. Had the doctor showed up and had the audacity to lecture me, I'd have found another doctor for sure.

The notion that you should be satisfied while 46 million Americans are uninsured, and many more millions will go bankrupt, with insurance, due to catastrophic medical emergency (and I know a woman who went hundreds of thousands in debt with GHI) is ignorant and self serving. These are hardly qualities I'd seek in a medical care professional.

Unknown said...

Your lucky you don't live in Massachusetts where we have health care reform. You would be glad to wait a couple of hours in the doctors office seeing that the appointment to get that far took several months.

NYC Educator said...

Sounds like an awful place. I'd rather live in single-payer Canada where a recent ER visit took us 90 minutes, with no appointment at all.