Thursday, December 29, 2011

...the case of the Disappearing Medical Specialist...
I have overactive ears. I won't go into excruciating detail; let's just call it "that annoying wax buildup". For a couple of weeks earlier this year, I could hear almost nothing out of my right ear. Everything that sounded stereophonic sounded monophonic. But finally, I was given relief by the Ear Doctor who used something like a miniature vacuum cleaner to muck out my ears. As I left, I arranged for another appointment in Six Months. Ear maintenance. So last week, as I headed off to the doctors offices, I assumed that he'd scoop out what little that was in my ears, you know, like a sort-of 10,000-mile checkup, that kind of thing.
I was on time for my appointment, and waited for another half-an-hour before my name was called. The nurse took me back to where the ear-scooping was done. And I waited there for another quarter-hour until the doctor finally was ready to see me. He must have been waay behind in his scheduling and used me to make up the difference. He looked into each ear, pronounced his verdict ("Nothing is in there") and left, just like that. He didn't spend two minutes with me. He was out the door while I was trying to figure out "What Just Happened Here?" I thot he was gonna clean out whatever was in there, in best checkup fashion. Instead, he zipped off like Speedy Gonzales, which was a novel site, since he's either a Japanese or Chinese-American person. "Which way did he go, which way did he go?"
So, for the two minutes he spent with me, he probably got paid close to a hundred dollars for my visit; $10 coming from my Social Security co-pay. I'd complain to him about this, but he'd probably zip so fast around the office that I wouldn't be able to nail him down. Is this an issue, or am I a Fool? When you take your car into Les Schwab, they don't just touch your tires and come back and say, "You're Done"! And, they rotate tires Free Of Charge. What's my conclusion here? That it's a good thing Doctors don't work at Tire Stores, otherwise, they'd charge a hundred dollars for a tire rotation. I realize Doctors have overhead, and must insure themselves to the hilt, and besides, the young ones are still trying to pay back College Loans; I understand that.
I don't know if this is a valid indictment of the medical system, or if I have a reason to gripe here. I just hope that when this doctor dines on a thick juicy steak for dinner, that he remembers me, for I contributed a portion of that steak. Or "pork". Or whatever you wanna call it. But I left the doctor's office with a gnawing feeling in my gut. Two minutes in which the Doctor got close to a hundred bucks. That's quite an hourly wage. So why do I feel like I got a medical wedgie here? I got no real explanation, just "Nothing In There!" and, whoosh, he was gone. But then again, my main doctor is just busy, busy, busy all the time. I'm sure he feels like he's running a medical clearing-house sometimes. 15 minutes for an appointment is a long time for him.

I suppose I should be grateful that I've found doctors that accept Social Security. At the same time, I really do feel as if I was taken advantage of. Once again, Everything I Know Is Wrong. Sure feels like it, anyway.


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