By Bill Coady
Throughout my life, I have been a very lucky man. My lovely wife works in the health care field and she has always been able to use some of that inside information to determine which doctor would be best for our family. Over the years we have had a number of wonderful doctors.
And now, we actually have the best doctor ever. It is not my purpose to to advertise for him, and frankly I am keep the name to myself for reasons that will soon become apparent. Suffice it to say, that not only is he an excellent physician, but is also the most personable guy I have ever met with a stethoscope around his neck. He is probably the only doctor I have worked with that it seems like it would be nice to have a cup of coffee with. I trust him completely.
But unfortunately, I can’t see him when I am sick! It seems that whenever I need to make an appointment with him, the next available on is just about always in two weeks time. Which is fine for monitoring a chronic condition, but worthless when I am acutely ill in some way.
The clinic where he works always makes sure that I can see someone today or tomorrow, but it is almost never him. On the one hand, it is nice I can be seen, but the message this sends is one that most doctors and patients should object to.
It says that your doctor is a commodity. Anyone with “MD” after his or her name is as good as any other. Which on one level is certainly true. But on the level of reality it is just plain wrong. I really do think my doctor is best and I value the fact that he knows me and my family pretty well. Especially when I am sick.
This kind of thing happens both at the clinic level and the more global level. New insurance plan, new doctors. Interchangeable parts it would seem. We all know in our gut that is wrong and that we want our doctor to take care of us. I know I do.