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Medical Professional Or Used Car Salesman

Updated on April 2, 2007

When Did So-Called Medical Professionals Become Used Car Salesmen? - Don't Get Me Started!

Recently I joined the ranks of those that need glasses. Although I'm quick to follow that up with the fact that I only need them to drive at night, something I truly don't understand (how my eyes can only need help at night) but apparently my optometrist knows all about it and convinced me getting glasses was the right thing. Now I was not surprised to find that when it came time to order the glasses, I was passed off to a salesperson and boy did they sell up the wazoo (I ended up with a pair of Armani glasses that have every possible coating on them except being simonized). I'm not surprised that when you get passed off to the sales person that they sell you but what I am surprised about is all the selling that goes on in the office when you're actually with the doctor, dentist and yes, even optometrist. When did so-called medical professionals become used car salesmen? - Don't Get Me Started!

I noticed this about six months ago when I had to go to the dentist. The dentist that I had gone to for a couple of years had suddenly moved but sold his practice to a new dentist. Being the lazy person that I am, I decided since my files were there that I would just go to the new dentist that was in my old dentist's office. Immediately I could tell that things were different, they actually called twice to make sure I was coming in. I couldn't tell if this was them being really efficient or less than efficient (not knowing one of the other people in the office had called me so they called again). I arrived at the office and when I checked in it immediately hit me that the shelves that used to be filled with the color coded files was now about less than a third full. Hmmm...were they just cleaning up or did no one transfer over to the new dentist but me? As my teeth were being cleaned by someone who looked about seventeen, he told me about some plaque reducing toothbrush that was really "awesome" and the next thing I knew, he had brought it up to me, telling me that it would really help my plaque and that he would give me a coupon for $10 off, if I bought one today at the front desk when I checked out. I thanked him and told him I would think about it. Next up was the dentist who was also very young looking. After checking that my teeth had been cleaned properly, he started probing around. Now normally I would think that this was just routine but when he started trying to replace some filings that we mercury based and telling me that there was another filling that he thought was about to break apart (what was he psychic?) it dawned on me that much like his dental hygienist, he was really just trying to sell me so that he could make some money. Those more than half empty shelves were telling the whole story and before long it was all about getting one of my teeth pulled, an implant and finally, "So to get the whole process rolling I'll need $1,700.00 up front." What did he need to pay the rent? I left dazed but knowing that I would never go back there. (Although I need to get my files as I don't know how much longer he'll be in business if he selling techniques don't improve.) The thing is I thought about the $100 toothbrush and the implant seriously because I was brought up in a world where if the doctor or dentist said you needed it, then you needed it. Who would ever think that it was just a ploy to get more money out of you? I'd like to think that I'm paranoid but I know that I'm not.

My doctor is the one person who doesn't seem to try to sell me anything, in fact all he's really interested in is how my results on Propecia (the hair loss drug) is doing compared to his progress. He knows that when he's going to put me on something, I want to walk out of there with a hand full of samples and he gladly obliges when he can. I remember once he was all excited because he found some samples of Xanax that dissolves under your tongue. He brought them in to me like he had found the Holy Grail and kept reminding me that he doesn't get these often so never to expect to get them again. "What else do you have back there?" I inquired. "After all I'm a Jew remember and I don't want to pay for anything that I don't have to if I can help it!" I managed to score a few antihistamines and a six day supply of Ambien!

But back to the optometrist, this was a busy office and they were apologetic that their super laser eye machine was down. (I think they were really upset because it was an extra $35 that my insurance didn't cover that they could get in their pocket if I had the test done). Supposedly it's a whole three dimensional examination of your eye, your retina and whether or not the whole system is working but since the machine wasn't working, I didn't have it done. When it came time to get the glasses themselves, they first told me about my insurance, "Hmmm, your coverage is very good." The saleswoman said as she moved me over to the side of the office with only designer frames. When I tried to go over to the non-designer ones she wrinkled her nose, tried to convince me that most were close outs with no warranty and back again we went to the Armani's, the D&G's and the Calvin Klein's. Upon selecting the frame we sat down and she told me all about the different coatings for the lenses that I simply had to have to ensure the best seeing possible. Well right there they have you. I mean, you're there to get glasses, what, you DON'T want to see the best humanly possible? So no matter what frame I chose or the great coverage I had by my insurance, the glasses all ended up being about the same out of pocket - a small fortune. But I paid it and as I was leaving, I suddenly felt as though I had been through buying my Mini Cooper all over again, the only thing that was different was that I didn't have to wait for them to go back to the finance manager because they took my American Express Gold card. When did so-called medical professionals become used car salesmen? - Don't Get Me Started!

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    • profile image

      Allerious 5 years ago

      "Perhaps universal healthcare will eliminate all this."

      Dream on.

    • profile image

      no you stfu 6 years ago

      i agree

    • profile image

      Rob 8 years ago

      When it comes to medicine, it should not be about sales. Dentists are notorious about this. Perhaps universal healthcare will eliminate all this.

    • profile image

      stfu 10 years ago

      everyone is a sales person. you are trying to sell you concept right now.

      you shouldn't stereotype the concept of sales to justify your stupidity

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Haha....I had Lasik done in the late 90s so thank God I'm off the optometrists' radar for now. But I know what you mean about dentists. First, I get an EMAIL, CALLS (note the plural) and a CARD in the mail to make quintiply sure that I'll actually show up (even though they make it painfully clear that they'll charge me in full if I don't cancel weeks in advance). Next, I'm constantly being upsold on bleaching and the complete replacement of every filling in my mouth every time I'm there. And despite having pretty good mouth health, they've moved me to the "every 4 months" cleaning plan--hey, they just increased their revenue 50%.

      I'm lazy as hell when it comes to transferring files & x-rays, but I think I'm going to do it. I'd rather spend more on my personal trainer.