07 June 2024

I Think This Will Work. I HOPE This Will Work.

You may or may not remember that not that long ago, the doctor that I had been seeing for about 10 years decided to become part of MDVIP.

I did some research based on the information she gave to me, and there was no way I could afford it. And to be honest, it bothers me on principle. I get it from her standpoint, because it supposedly gives doctors more control over their patient loads, and their time, along with being able to know their patients better, and lots of other stuff. My doctor has a young child, so I could appreciate that she wanted to feel more in control of her life and her schedule. 

And there are plenty of things that are pluses for the patient too, but it's yet another example of people who can afford things having access to better care than most people in the country. I don't blame those who can afford it for signing up, but like I said, even if I could afford it, I would not be likely to enroll, because that kind of thing just goes against what I think it should be.

But that is another topic altogether. For this post, I wanted to talk about how hard it is to find another doctor that you feel in sync with after so many years. Sadly in this area, a lot of doctors, nurse practitioners, etc. have had to stop taking new patients because they are already overloaded. So that's the first thing. 

Also in this area, because there are so many teaching hospitals, there are tons of residents who are building their skills and experience. Which is actually a plus, because you can feel that you are not just helping them learn, but they are generally very thorough because they are learning and don't want to miss anything. The only problem there is that in 2-3 years, they move on and you are starting over again.

So when my doctor left for MDVIP, I first thought I would just "sign up" with another one in that practice who was taking new patients. The problem was, that doctor and I did not click at all. He was an old-school type, and not interested in answering questions, because the only important thing to know was that he was in charge.

I finally found another doctor somewhere else. She is/was lovely. Very personable, willing to discuss things and answer questions, and spent time explaining things to me. But except for my annual checkups, I never go to see her; instead, it was always a different nurse practitioner, some wonderful, some not so much, but it seemed that there was no real continuity. And when you have my medical background, continuity means you can save at least 20 minutes each time you meet a new healthcare provider because you don't have to do the Litany of Medical Issues.

So a kind of perfect storm of things happened recently. You may recall that I had a respiratory infection, and the particular nurse practitioner that I saw the day they had me go to the office was less than helpful, and seemed to think that I was just looking for drugs.  About a week prior to that happening, I got an e-mail from my original doctor's practice saying that four new nurse practitioners had joined the practice and were accepting new patients. 

Now, excepting the old-school guy in the practice (who I think has since retired), anytime I had to see someone else there (which was infrequent), they were clearly of the same overall philosophy and vibe as my doctor. And I have no problem seeing a nurse practitioner, if there can be continuity - meaning no repetition of the Litany each visit. So I made an appointment to "sign up" with one of the new people, and had an appointment scheduled for yesterday. I was a bit nervous as to how things would go.

Well. It was such a good experience! The nurse practitioner who is now my "doctor of record" was just wonderful. She was so kind, so personable, and extremely proactive and ready to discuss things. I was thinking on my way home that I had the same initial feeling after my first visit with her as I had years ago after my first visit with my original doctor. 

So, I'm feeling that I may be in a pretty good place again. I hope so. 

Now, if I could just get The Tim to sign up with someone there. His doctor he had seen for three years was one of the residents who has since moved on. He was "assigned" to another resident who was already booked for 1 1/2 years as far as appointments were concerned. So he didn't make an appointment, and now has not been to the doctor for going on three years. This concerns me. He is overall very healthy, but he's not getting younger, and he had a couple of issues before that need to be watched. Every time I bring it up, he says, "I'm OK don't worry about it." And I know if I bug him too much, he'll dig in and it will be worse. I considered making an appointment for him, but he would likely cancel it. So I have to think on that some more.

Hopefully before too long, both of us will be set. But in the meantime, I'm kind of relieved, feeling that I might have that part of my medical care resolved.


We have no real plans for the weekend. Sunday is the Odunde Festival, so it's not worth trying to leave the neighborhood and then try to get back into it later. I'm guessing that a lot will depend on the weather. If it's a decent day on Saturday, I'm planning to try and fit in a nice long walk. Regardless, I have plenty to keep me busy at home, so it's not a problem. The Phillies are playing the Mets in London, so I'll probably watch those games to see what happens (Go Phils!). 

I hope your weekend is a good one, I'll see you next week.


Wanderingcatstudio said...

i feel you so much on the Dr thing. Before we moved, I had a FABULOUS doctor (who also had an NP on his team and she was fabulous too - never an issue getting in to see one or the other).
Then we moved. It took over a year to get a new Dr. We got lucky when one started practicing in the next town over. He seems good. He listens. He's fairly young (my guess is mid-30s) and seems to be on top of new things. My issue is trying to get an appt. Non-urgent issues are fine - usually they are booked a month or so out (not a problem). But I called last month because Dave is having chronic pain in his tailbone.. and I have a persistent cough from the last cold/flu I had. They aren't urgent-urgent...we could wait a month or so for an appt if necessary. But the dr's staff seems to think they are. And they have a policy with "urgent" things that you have to call before 10 am and they will book you an appt for that day. If you call after 10 am - you have to call back the next day. But here's the thing - you aren't guaranteed you will get an appt that day even if you call before 10 am... so you have to keep calling every morning until they have an opening. WTF? What if you have a job that doesn't allow you time in the morning to call - or you can't just pick up and leave to go to an appointment that day. It's the weirdest thing.
I know I probably shouldn't complain - I have a Dr. He's decent. And I don't have to pay out of pocket to see him. But the way they schedule is REALLY inconvenient. I really miss my old Dr.

Anyway - that's enough of my rant! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

KSD said...

Finding doctors is such a slog. I'm very glad you've found a good fit.

Araignee said...

I hate to say it but I can't stand seeing any doctor on a regular basis anymore. They are always so condescending. If I've got something wrong I find going to Urgent Care works best. In and out, no lectures, no leaving feeling like you're the worst person the planet. I'm lucky that so far I have no medical conditions that require me seeing anyone on a regular basis for medications. I hope it stays that way.

Kim in Oregon said...

The state of healthcare is such a mess, isn't it? I'm glad you found someone who you think you can work with. I have had the same issue, trying to find someone after my preferred provider moved on. I like dealing with nurse practitioners too. Fingers crossed this goes ok!

Kym said...

Oh, it is such a challenge to find and then settle in with a new primary care doctor! I had a doctor I really liked for over 10 years (Tom went to him, too), and we were thrilled that he was about a decade younger than us and would be around as we grew older. Great guy. Loved him. But. . . the medical profession wore him out. As soon as he paid off his student loans . . . HE LEFT the entire profession! While I support his need for life balance and mental health preservation, it sure left us in a bind. Now, we're dealing with a new doctor, who is very new and very young -- which is, as you point out, not all bad. We're getting used to each other. But. . . what. a. challenge.

It sounds like you've found a great solution, Bridget. I think Nurse Practitioners tend to be wonderful listeners. XO

Dee said...

Steve and I are in the beginning plans of moving and the one thing that really hits me hard is finding a new doctor and dentist. The rest I'm fine with. But, sheesh! Doctors are HARD!

WendyKnits said...

I am so lucky in having doctors I like. My primary care doc is lovely and earnest and seems really concerned about my health. And he gives me a fist bump when pleased! I've also had good luck with a nurse practitioner in another practice I go to (and my doctor there is wonderful). My sister in law, who lives 75 miles south me me, reports terrible issues with finding doctors for her and for my brother who is very ill. She is on a constant search for competent caring physicians and seems to be having similar issues to you.

Nance said...

I'm really glad you found a good fit at last. I had the same problem for the longest time with a gyno. It was like a revolving door; I'd find one and then for one reason or another, she'd either move on or leave practice. It's hard to find a doctor that you can build trust and rapport with. The Tim Quotient is a tough one. Why are men so terrible about doctors in general?

karen said...

I found my doctor when I went to urgent care and he was just joining the practice, newly graduated. It is so hard to get in to any doctor around here as a new patient (4+month wait time). He is very knowledgeable seems to not be leaving for greener pastures - every time I see him I ask him if he is leaving...lol.