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Old 11-09-2012, 09:20 PM
 
126 posts, read 337,132 times
Reputation: 200

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I had a doctors appointment today that I wasn't too happy with. Should I look elsewhere for care?

Here's the backstory...

I've been without health insurance for years, due to not having a full-time job that offered it. Thankfully I stayed relatively healthy, with just a few minor problems that didn't require immediate care. I found a job early this summer that offered health insurance and made an appointment to see a doctor for a long, overdue physical. I was told to bring any previous medical records and arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork. I've been through this routine before, so I knew the deal. I arrived as scheduled and the receptionist was very nice and professional, but the rest of the visit was not. I never received the typical slew of documents you have to fill out about your health history, and the intake nurse seemed less than enthusiastic about doing her job.

She took me to the exam room and told me to get on the scale for a weigh in. Keep in mind I'm wearing boats, a thick jacket, and book bag. Where most nurses will tell you to remove these items, she did no such thing. Needless to say, my weight was off by a few pounds. In the exam room she asked me for my height (again, my previous experience with visits is that they take your height themselves, usually while you are on the scale).

Next she took my temperature. You know that little plastic cap they put on the thermometer for hygiene purposes? Well, when she opened the trash to punch it in the garbage, she missed and the cap fell on the floor. She left it there. I was like "really?"

Then my doctor came in. She was nice, but I didn't get the sense that she was listening to me. Every time I told her about a symptom I was experiencing, she googled it! I kid you not. She googled every single symptom on the computer in the exam room. At one point I told her about some digestive issues I was experiencing, and guess what she did? She went on the Activia yoghurt website and looked up the benefits it's supposed to have for digestive issues. She literally read the company's claims verbatim from the site and advised me to give it a try. I was astonished.

At the end of the exam, I asked her if she could give me a prescription for an asthma inhaler (my old one had expired). She laughed and said, "Are there any other conditions you haven't told me about yet?" I thought to myself, 'Isn't this something you should've asked me beforehand? Previous conditions, family history, etc.?

I ended up leaving the visit with an inhaler prescription (the only good thing from the visit), a referral for a dermatologist and gynecologist, and an open appointment to have blood drawn for lab work (I can go anytime I want). But I don't know if I want to continue further with this doctor, or this practice. I left the visit feeling just as clueless as I did when I went in. Seriously, I had a much better experience when I went to a free clinic nearly a year ago. That doctor literally went through my entire health history from start to finish and I didn't even have to pay a co-pay.

So what do you guys think? Should I just drop this practice and look elsewhere for a better doctor, or should I keep going and hope that the other two doctors she referred me to are more involved than she was?
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,485 posts, read 26,089,700 times
Reputation: 26435
Yes, you need a real doctor.

Was she a physician or a "physician extender" of some type?
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
1,246 posts, read 1,713,106 times
Reputation: 2486
I would find a new doctor. That is ridiculous!
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:01 PM
 
126 posts, read 337,132 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
Yes, you need a real doctor.

Was she a physician or a "physician extender" of some type?
Nope, she was an actual real doctor. She was in my preferred network.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,485 posts, read 26,089,700 times
Reputation: 26435
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretSender6000 View Post
Nope, she was an actual real doctor. She was in my preferred network.
How long has she been in practice?

I would let your insurance company know about your experience, too.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:27 PM
 
126 posts, read 337,132 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
How long has she been in practice?

I would let your insurance company know about your experience, too.
She's been in practice since 1999. She has good reviews from other patients, so I'm not sure what happened.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:39 PM
 
Location: southern born and southern bred
12,480 posts, read 14,367,991 times
Reputation: 19530
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretSender6000 View Post
She's been in practice since 1999. She has good reviews from other patients, so I'm not sure what happened.

just curious---are you certain she was googling symptoms and not just using the computer system as required by some offices now?
My doctor's office just changed to EPIC and they are all just learning the system. So for now,at least, he spent the better part of my last visit at the computer screen.

Bottom line is you MUST be comfortable with and respect your doctor. Better to make up your mind early on before you get too pulled in.
There has been many a time I saw a doctor only once and just knew we weren't gonna click.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:13 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,613,675 times
Reputation: 20198
The overall experience described sounds less than impressive. Mine isn't as bad, but it's in the same category of "muh" as the OP's. That's why I only use my primary doctor as a diagnosis machine and prescription/referral dispenser.

However, the google thing makes me wonder - my doctor uses a google search engine too but it directs her to very specific medical texts. It is a customized google engine specifically for the medical profession. It is still "powered by Google" but rather than filtering out spam, it -only- includes the certain texts that the doctor wants included (such as government medical websites, harvard.edu medical website, drug encyclopedia, etc. etc.)

So while I -still- think the OP should get another doctor, I wouldn't discount the google thing at first glance. It might be just a really and truly efficient method of looking up what the Doctor already knows, to check spelling for prescriptions, or proper dosages, or look for illnesses that match certain lists of symptoms, etc. etc.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:02 AM
 
126 posts, read 337,132 times
Reputation: 200
She was actually on google looking up the symptoms. This was a tiny exam room. Her desk was at the foot of the exam table. I know that the internet is playing an increasing role in everyday life, and that's why I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt when she did it the first time. The problem is I use google all the time for self diagnosis, but I was hoping to get more definite answers when I went to do the doctor. Also, it seemed I had more information about my symptoms than she did (information I got from google, by the way), because she would stop talking for a few seconds to read what was on the screen. Again, she was a nice doctor and everything, but I do agree that I should probably be comfortable with the person giving me care. It's not like it's easy going in there and talking about this stuff in the first place
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:09 AM
 
14,695 posts, read 18,758,669 times
Reputation: 20214
I think you were way too picky in your criticism of the nurse's actions -- but, if the doctor really googled all your symptoms (which, to be honest, I find difficult to believe), you should find a new one.
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