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…