Physician, Heal Thyself
McMedicine is here
My family doctor, Dr. J. quit his practice abruptly. Chased out by some corporate predatory hooligans who thought they knew better how to handle his patients than he did. They also redecorated his office. Gone are the plants, cozy furniture and framed art in the waiting room. All replaced by the anonymous corporate “style” we’re all so familiar with: chrome accented, stark and cold. As in 65 degrees, AC full blast. My doc grabbed whatever severance package they offered and bailed. He went back to the office the same day to pick up some stuff and to look up my number in order to call me personally. He found that he had been locked out of the computer system. His prescription pad gone, prescribing privileges yanked. His decade long presence snuffed out. The office is full-on Spanish speaking now. The staff’s English is poor. The front office is rude and way more inefficient than my doc’s old assistant (she is in her 70’s) used to be. All the gals in the front office do is adjust their makeup and yak away in Spanish
So far, my quest for a new doctor has yielded the following results:
1) a telehealth nurse practitioner, pleasant enough but beyond refilling my Crestor script unable to do anything more, such as order tests and follow up.
2) another telehealth nurse practitioner with a few more privileges. She canceled the appointment a few minutes after I made it. I have rescheduled but don’t expect much from our upcoming ZOOM call
3) a REAL live, face-to-face doctor. A woman in her mid-40’s. I was in her office for no more than 10 minutes. The first thing she did was admonish me for not wearing my mask properly (my previous doc did not give a flying duck about masks) She then proceeded to tell me she was “worried about me” - not by anything I said, just looking at my med list and the fact my BP was slightly elevated. Her demeanor exemplified the typical hierarchical bullshit structure: I will talk and you will listen. She made it clear SHE was going to steer the conversation and lecture me about what’s good for me. I stood up with a “thanks but no, thanks” and left the room. OK, I didn’t say “thanks but no thanks”. What I said was: “Thank you for your time but this is not a good match for me. Nice meeting you, good luck!” I ripped my mask off before I stepped out the door
It’s possible that this lady is a fine doctor. But the barrier of impersonal, corporate attitudes - there long before Covid - has now reached extraordinary levels.
I’ve been very lucky my whole life. I’ve been surrounded by friends who are physicians. My best friend is a cardiologist, his brother a gynecologist (not much use for me 🤣 - but fine to write a script on the weekend when needed). Another good friend is an allergist and yet another (now retired) used to be my family physician before Dr. J. I am on a first name basis with all of them. They look at me while I speak- their eyes are not glued to a computer screen. If a drug works for me, they prescribe it based on my need, not in accordance with their Merck manual. Looks like my luck has now run out and I need to join the end of the line like everyone else. Wish me well in corporate hell