Please Define World Class

June 16, 2009 by admncc

My wife says I’m injury-prone.  That debatable, but I’ll tell you one thing – whenever sports’ injuries have sidelined me, I’ve trusted my care to the same orthopedic surgeon for years.

Unfortunately, the above-mentioned doctor moved his office.  He is now 45 minutes away.  I mentioned that so you’d better understand my below-dilemma.

I hurt my bicep playing softball (summer recreation league).  I figured it was either a pulled or torn muscle, so I’d need to see an orthopedic surgeon.  With my above-doctor out of the picture, I started looking for a new doctor.

I called my insurance company, several local hospitals and asked around.  Everyone came back with the same answer – a doctor we’ll call Dr. X.  In one case, a woman even said, “He’s world class.”

Anyway, I decided to call Dr. X.  However, he was out of town conducting a training class, so they couldn’t get me on his schedule for a week and a half.  I wasn’t happy, but I waited.  Around this time, a buddy told me that Dr. X was a great doctor, but that every time he visited there, he ended up waiting several hours or ended up having to see the doctor’s physician assistant instead of the doctor.  Admittedly, I started to get nervous.

At my first appointment, I ended up waiting almost two hours to see Dr. X.  And in the end, I couldn’t even see him directly.  As soon as the door to my room opened, in came the physician’s assistant.  My impression became that the doctor only saw major injuries.  Anyway, my x-ray was negative, so an MRI was ordered.

I went to get the MRI and they asked me where the pain was.  I said, “Bicep.”  The employee looked at me like I had three heads.  She said, “Sir, they ordered a shoulder MRI, not one of the bicep.”  As I started to feel my blood pressure rising, she told me that they’d scan as far down the bicep as possible.  What could I say but, “OK.”

I had previously been told to call Dr. X’s office immediately after my MRI, to schedule a follow-up appointment to have the results read.  I called and was told he was now on vacation for two weeks.  I asked if I could see one of his colleagues and was told, “That’s not our policy.”  They told me I could see his physician’s assistant again, which I had no choice but to agree to.  I didn’t want to wait (in pain) for two weeks to find out the verdict.

This morning I arrived for my follow-up appointment, only to wait for an hour and a half in the lobby.  Apparently, the MRI results were never faxed over to Dr. X.  The nurse came out and said, “It’s going to be a while.”  So I sat there and enjoyed hearing the other patients complain of the same.

Luckily, my bicep was fine.  But I wondered when this world class doctor actually sees patients.  From what I have been told and now experienced, he is always training others, in training himself, on vacation or passing patients off to his physician’s assistant.  But yet people continue to refer him.  I just don’t understand that…

On another note, this, along with the proposed Government run health care, really makes me nervous.  And I’m not getting all political, NeoConDon.  LOL.  I’m just saying that you already have to wait to see a doctor these days.  And the insurance companies continue to lower their reimbursement levels.  Do you think my cautionary MRI would have been approved by some call-center-pencil-pusher?  Probably not…  That’s what really scares me…

All Posts / Business / General Moaning / Medicine / Sports Healthcare / Healthcare Reform / Injuries / Medicine / MRI / Orthopedic Surgeons / Sports / Sports Injuries /


  1. Yeah. We have problems but government run health care does scare me. Look at Canada.

    Find another doctor. Complain. That’s about all you can do.

  2. Cleveland Blogger says:

    Interesting post. Reforming Geek is right; are our hands tied in this situation? Let’s hope you just hit this doctor up during a busy spurt.

  3. Dan says:

    I think it is fair to expect quality and timely healthcare services.
    Nobody likes to wait.

    I think it is you sports guys who drive up our heathcare premiums though. Always in the ER and such.

  4. NeoConDon says:

    My gut tells me that your cautionary MRI is an example of a doc trying to get some extra cash. Pediatricians do it all the time. You have to be on your toes when you go there because they like to run tests everytime the kid has a sneeze to rule out all kinds of things.

    I don’t think implementing socialist healthcare can be stopped as long as our politicians are destroying our economy and our employment market. If the conservatives are able to take enough house seats in 2010 to be able to at least offer amendments and have a seat at the table, the damage done might be able to be overturned. But with all of the lies coming out of the left and the refusal of the media to cover the other side of the debate, the ignorant will continue to graze where they’re told…even if the grass is poison.

  5. Timmy says:

    I think cautionary tests likely have to do with sky high malpractice lawsuits rather than doctors looking to make an extra buck. Doctors pay through the nose as it is for insurance that will cover them against someone coming back and saying that they mistreated or misdiagnosed a patient.

    You even wrote a blog a while back about wanting to confront a doctor for an issue that happened in your childhood. Wouldn’t you rather wait for an MRI than have them miss something again? They have to run those tests because if they don’t they are leaving themselves open to a much bigger problem.

    I would be more concerned that they ordered the shoulder test instead of the arm itself. I would probably find a different doctor for that reason alone, not to mention the ridiculous wait times that you were subjected to.

    After reading your post it became apparent that there is a large elephant in the room…

    You think that your visit at the doctor’s office was slow today….wait until the gov’t gets ahold of it. Think of your worst experience at the DMV, then multiply by 1000.

    The gov’t can kindly stay the hell away from my health care needs.
    It is a slippery slope that I want nothing to do with.

  6. Leo Nevoli says:

    First off CC, you are having issues with the new doctor, have you considered that the amount of time it takes you to drive to the doctor you like, might be less time you spend in the new guy’s office. I would go to the one you like, the extra drive is worth the hassle.

    To me the “World Class” Doctor is so popular that everyone wants to see him, and wants him to appear at some place so they can get more people to show up. His associates are probable always going to see you, so I would honestly just go to the one you had before, and avoid the hassle. This new guy is making money not being in the office taking care of you, but you will be billed his rate even if his associate takes a look at you.

  7. NeoConDon says:

    Good point on the malpractice idea Timmy. That makes a lot of sense.

    In addition to longer wait times for more expensive lower quality service, gov’t run health care would grant the gov’t access to every aspect of your life.

    I think the real argument must start with constitutionality. Where in our constitution is congress granted the authority to go into the health care business? No where. That should end this discussion.

  8. Tristan says:

    Don, you’re forgetting that these vultures call the Constitution a “living, breathing document”–can’t be easy to breathe under all that glass…

    Health insurance is horrible. I got a notice the other day that a list of procedures were not relevant due to the patient’s age, therefore they refuse to cover them. Also, they claim an “in network” doctor used an “out of network” lab, so the refuse to cover that as well.

    Once government takes hold, I’d guess any ounce of humanity that might exist currently will be wiped away. Instead of “it’s our policy,” the excuse will be “it’s the law.”

  9. The Constant Complainer says:

    Reforming Geek, you are right on. I guess I better find another doctor. I thought it would make for an interesting discussion though. LOL.

  10. The Constant Complainer says:

    Leo Nevoli, you are correct too. I should just drive to the other doctor. Your comment made sense, but I’m living in hindsight now obviously. But you’re right – it would be worth my time overall.

    Tristan, I don’t agree with age brackets either.

  11. NeoConDon says:

    There are still lots of options….a person could purchase a catastrophic and emergency policy, and then set up a health savings account/flexible spending account…they’re excellent products, and non taxable. My family needs one because we usually go beyond our yearly limit with the kids, and it comes in handy. You’d also be amazed how negotiable doctors are when you tell them you’re paying cash at the time of the visit…typically you’re given the insurance company price without having to pay the premium.

    With consumer diligence, individuals can successfully find high quality health care they can afford. Everytime the gov’t gets involved is when it gets expensive.

  12. Zig says:

    NCD, what is this, “think the real argument must start with constitutionality. Where in our constitution is congress granted the authority to go into the health care business? No where. That should end this discussion.” Are you for real?

    That is the argument I hear from all the right leaning/challenged assholes… What about “The Pursuit of happiness,” talked about in the preamble of the Constitution? How can one pursue happiness if they have a broken leg, a crushed cranium or even an overactive bladder? All these examples, in varying degrees, require a doctor’s attention to solve and treat! Nowhere in the Constitution does it say one can’t go have sex with goats, but that’s a law! Don’t use that simplistic, Constitution, argument with me.

    Just because the specific language isn’t IN the document doesn’t mean SQUAT! I assume the founding fathers thought it was implied that the Government would provide Health Care “For Every Citizen” when they were trying to build a “more perfect union!”

  13. Timmy says:

    I wouldn’t have sex with a goat because its baaaaaaaaaaad! 🙂

  14. NeoConDon says:

    Sorry Zig…”The pursuit of happiness” is not in the constitution…You can assume all you want, but the Congress of the United States Government is not designed to operate on assumed powers…it is designed to operate on expressed powers.

    Gov’t run heath “care” is a direct violation of the constitution, and a massive infringment on the rights of the citizens. The discussion ends there.

  15. William Gatherer says:

    I myself had a Dr. and I use the term loosely put a left hand splint on my right hand… (Busted it up playing football, and he made it worse).

    World class, or world traveler.. He may have been the best, but now he is difficult and non approachable. I might take the person coming into the profession… certainly looking for more experimental treatment, room for error,but approachable counts for something too.

    As for G Run Health care, I am not for it due to the lack of choice, but I am for it for those who can not afford it. I see this could go on for a while

  16. I can’t understand why he continues to get referrals either. Does the person who referred you still use him as their doctor?

  17. Laura says:

    Hey CC…stuff like that happens to me all the time! I tried to go see my primary last year and she was on maternity leave for 6 months! 6 months?? I called again this week to see her and she is on maternity leave AGAIN for 6 months! I’m all for women having children…but why did I spend all that time getting comfortable with her and she’s NEVER available? Oh…and not to mention the time I had a lump inside my neck and they ordered a CAT scan for my head. When I asked them how they could possibly see a lump in my neck by scanning my head…the radiologist said “oh…it’s in your neck? This CAT scan only covers your head.” No shit sherlock! So I said forget it and ended up being billed for a CAT scan I never had. Good grief…

  18. NeoConDon says:

    I thought this was an interesting poll. It suggests that a small percentage of people are interested in the gov’t doing an overhaul of the healthcare system than in 1993. It seems that this information is starting to mirror congressional and Obama administraiton approval ratings.

  19. Mike says:

    Im sorry to hear that, maybe the 45 minute drive would have been worth it

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