Friday, February 19, 2010

Excuse Me, Is This Scrubs?

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.

1 comment:

Janelle said...

I used to get that SAME treatment at the regular doctor. No kidding - every time I came in for any ailment, they had no idea who I was or that I had ever been in there before at all. It's absolutely ridiculous! I'll find out later this year if my OBGYN is the same way, but I'm thinking I'll be okay there since last year she did major surgery on me and saw me for multiple complications before and afterwards. If she can forget everything that I had to endure, she must be clinically insane! lol (Yes, it was that bad.)

Like you, I don't understand why they make you fill out ALL that paperwork if they never ever read it, or why they carry around laptops if they don't read any of the history that the laptops are designed to put at their fingertips. Urgh!!! If only they actually spent the amount of time with you that you find billed to you!!