Bedside Manner: What’s Up Doc?

A recent trip to a doctor I hadn’t seen before has left me asking, “What’s up Doc?”  And not in a funny, cartoonish way.

After filling out page after page of paperwork, and being taken back to a little examining room, the doctor came in.  The problem was with my knee.  She looked at it briefly, not moving or touching it, and declared I had been bitten by an insect.  She was called out of the room, but explained that she had been waiting for this call and would have to excuse herself.  Not a big deal.  If I were on the other side and my situation was urgent, I would hope the doctor would give me priority. 

But then the wait took longer than I expected.  And longer still.  And a little longer.  I was starting to get peeved.  I was on break from work, so time was literally money.  She finally returned, but she stood in the doorway with the door open, handed me a prescription for antibiotics and proceeded to walk away.  Our entire visit couldn’t have been more than three minutes.

“I have something else I wanted to ask you,” I blurted out, before she could get away.  She took a couple of steps back, but still stood in the doorway.  I showed her my hand where a couple of dry eczema patches refused to calm down.  I told her I’d dealt with it all my life, but this needed something to make it go away. 

“It never goes away,” she said.  “Just use some over the counter hydrocortisone cream.”  And she began to make her getaway again.

“I’ve been doing that and it’s not helping.  That’s why I’m talking to you about it.  I need something stronger.”  I was really losing my patience, and obviously she wanted to be finished with me.  She said she would have the nurse bring a prescription.  God forbid she would have to spend more than four minutes with me addressing my concerns. 

I’ve never had an exchange with a Doctor quite like that before, but I’ve heard stories.  I want to write it off as an isolated incident, but I have my doubts.  I probably should have told the Doctor how I felt, if not right then, then in a letter or email, but I didn’t.  Instead, I took my prescriptions and my swollen knee and limped out of there, never to return.  And I won’t recommend their practice either.

Within 3 days, I was in another doctor’s office with a knee much more swollen and painful, but that’s another story . . .



Filed under healthcare, me, rants & raves

4 responses to “Bedside Manner: What’s Up Doc?

  1. I’ve had similar experiences with a few doctors. Patient is wearing a watch so clearly doctor doesn’t need to provide the time of day. You can use rate my doctor to spread word, or find a well-rated one.

    • Thank you – I’ll have to check out this site!! What’s unfortunate is this doctor was conveniently located near my office and someone I work with takes her children there (but I think they see a different doctor in the practice). It’ll be good to have another source to refer to!

  2. While I think my personal doctor is great… I can’t say as much about the practice she works at. I’ve found nurses/doctors will only deal with 1 thing at a time and God forbid you have more than 1 issue to contend with.

    • I know what you mean. I think I was really pushing it with my 2nd issue. 🙂 I wonder if it’s considered bad form to bring up more than one thing? Surely we aren’t the only one’s doing it, are we? Should we limit ourselves to one issue per visit? I’ll have to ask my friend who’s a doctor on the east coast and see what she says.

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