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Primary Care Physicians are NOT all Alike

Updated on October 17, 2012

Doctors all differ in how they communicate

I switched primary care doctors because we relocated an hour north. I switched for convenience of driving for both the kids and I. I asked friends for recommendations and I looked online at the United Healthcare website. After what I thought was careful searching.

To me, it is like a blind date. It could be a great match for patient and doctor, or a horrible match. Unfortunately, once you sign on and pay for a wellness visit, with one doctor, you are stuck. Insurance will only pay for one visit. You have 30 days from the date of service to file a complaint regarding a switch. The only way to switch from a doctor is to write and complain and explain to the insurance company your dilemmna. In addition, you have to notify the first doctor's office of your switch. The first doctor has to be "willing" to write off the visit and reverse the charges.( not all doctor's will comply). This can take a a month. In the mean time when you go visit another doctor for the same wellness check-up, you will have to foot the 2nd bill while the first doctor's billing department reverses the charges. It can be a real hassle. But I was a so unhappy with the new doctor. I had a lack of trust. The office was not organized. I The staff did not communicate well. The doctor misdiagnosed something.

The website describes in words their education and training, but no where is there a picture of the doctor. There should a a video clip of each doctor speaking about his strength and anything that makes him personable so that we can determine if we even like them before wasting our time and co-pays. We all buy and do business with people we like. Why is the service of a doctor any different?

What I hate about choosing a doctor is not ever having met them. How am I suppose to know if i like them? A picture paints a thousand words. Insurance will only cover one wellness-checkup for a year. We are denied any human access to even become familiar with a doctor we have never met. This is where a video clip is valuable.

One doctor most recently spent literally 5 minutes with me. I went in with one concern and 5 minutes later after examination, she said,"I don't know what it is; you need to see a surgeon.

My response was, "WHAT?" Now, that was alarming! I received no explanation of possibilities. She quickly dismissed me and then went to find the surgeon, whom I have never met. He was the type of surgeon that did removal of cysts and things.She made no attempt to explained who the surgeon was. I could not even pronounce the surgeon's name. The primary care doctor instructed me to go down the hall and into another waiting room.

I enter the 2nd waiting room and there is no receptionist. This was at 10:40am. Then 10 minutes goes by and a person who could be a nurse doing desk duty, asks me to fill out 3 health history forms. I asked the nurse,"How much longer must i wait?" She says, "Only few minutes.I t really was another 20 minutes. By 12: 00pm, I am excorted to the patient room and asked to sit and wait AGAIN. Another 15 minutes goes by, now it is about 12:30pm.

At this point I am furious with my Primary care doctor:

1. I sat and wasted an hour plus.

2.I have no idea why I have to see a surgeon

3.There was no diagnosis and the surgeon was not guaranteed to actually see my problem, but just discuss and chat, which means forcing me to make another appointment and another co-pay.

4.I received no introduction to a the stranger,"The Surgeon"

5. He specializes in cutting and removing...

If you knew me, you would know, I am against any surgeries. I told the nurse that this 2nd visit was a waste of time. I was leaving. Doctors do a very poor job of explaining to patients anything.

I do not like being rushed through like cattle, dismissed and left waiting.

Patients should be allowed to comment

We rank and vote for all kinds of services we receive," Why must we exclude doctors?" This is my opinion." If patients were allowed to rate and rank their physicians online, it might change the way doctors treat us for our visits. Insurance companies could see for themselves what patients really think. And why not? There needs to be more transparency about how we are serviced as patients. I am speaking of quality of service.

Many of us pay quite a bit for our health insurance. It makes me angry that we are treated like cattle. When it comes to being sick, I rarely go to the the doctor, but when I go, I expect good patient service. I also expect the doctor to spend at least 20 minutes asking me the appropriate questions. If patients are asked to sit and wait 30 minutes beyond the scheduled appointment, a doctor who spends 10 minutes can't possibly know what your ailments are.

We should be allowed to vote on why we like or dislike our doctors and if we would recommend the doctor or do business with him/ her again. Doctors who who have poor rankings should be made aware. There is always room for improvement.

Doctors are not Gods, they are people

Doctors do not know everything. They are trained and educated about how to treat most things. Many are not as good as they think. It takes years of seeing hundreds of patients to have knowledge. Many make guesstimates based of theory. It is impossible to know all and everything.

What they should all know is how to communicate with a patient so that a patient understands what may is happening. To just usher a patient to meet a surgeon for questioning sends red flags and alarms to the patient. In my case, it put me on a defense for lack of information. Now I want to search for a new Primary Care Doctor. But The doctor office will never know why I left their practice. This is why something health insurance carriers should put on their website an area for comments.

Comments that IMPROVE service:

1. Were you seen at the scheduled time?

2. Were you satisfied with the level of service?

3. Did the doctor explain things thoroughly?

4. Was the staff courteous?

5. How can we improve our service?

6. Are you a new patient?

7. Would you recommend your doctor ? if not why?


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    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      Oh do I know what you mean about primary care physicians. I had a doctor for many years he left town I had to find a new primary care doctor. The new one, every time I saw him he got after me about something. He said I had to many other doctors, heart, breast surgeon and Neurologist for neuropathy in my feet. I couldn't help the extra doctors I was sent to them, they weren't my idea. Finally I said that's it, I got a new primary care doctor. The minute I met the new one I didn't like him but kept seeing him. Then one day he actually talked to me and took his time. Oh good maybe he's not so bad. A few days later I get a letter saying this guy is leaving town. Now I have no primary doctor again!!

      You hub is right on.


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