My mother has been telling me for years that medical care has gotten very impersonal. I’m a believer.
Yesterday, it was time for an annual exam (ladies, you know where I’m going here). The automated voice who called to remind me of my appointment asked that I arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork. And wouldn’t you know, it was the same paperwork that I’ve filled out at this office for the past 7 years? I must have written my address six times on the series of forms. Wouldn’t it be more efficient for them to print out my vital information and have a checkbox that says “Has anything changed?” But no, we start from scratch each and every time.
My doctor walks in carrying a laptop. Very high tech. Now let me tell you, I love my doctor. I truly do. But it was obvious that she hadn’t bothered to scroll through my information on her laptop. Our conversation was something like this
Doc: So…are you seeing anyone special?
Me: Just my husband.
Doc: You’re married? When did THAT happen?
Me: Oh, almost four years ago. (If anyone read the paperwork, they could see that I mark “married” and that I use my husband’s insurance. They could also see his social security number which I have to call and ask him for each year. Because each year we do fresh paperwork, you know.)
Doc: You know, I suppose I could let you skip this exam every other year since you’ve never had any problems.
Me: We had this same talk last year and then it turned out I had a problem. I had a biopsy, remember?
Doc: You did? How did that turn out?
Me: Well, it wasn’t fatal.
Grrr…..Why exactly do they carry those laptops around again? At the end of the visit, I asked if she could order a cholesterol screening for me.
Doc: I can but you know you’re still young and in good health. It’s totally up to you. You’re low risk.
Me: Um, my dad had a heart attack and quintuple bypass surgery? (Again, something I’ve been writing on the paperwork for almost four years now under Family History)
Doc: Really? You should get it checked.
So this is medical care in America these days? I know doctors are busy but how long could it possibly take to at least read through the crap you’re making me fill out? Or how about just scanning my history? I laughed it off because if I seriously sat down and thought about it, I’d probably be sad and disgusted.
4 years ago