I went to the primary care doctor’s office for my annual physical.
I see a PCP, a woman, who is in her late 30s. She’s competent, engaging, and most importantly from my point of view, not an alarmist. Mellow about everything.
Anyhoo, I’m sitting there in the examination room with her and she’s looking at a computer screen, reviewing which doctors I see for annual check-ups. Which I do because I’m a dutiful adult patient who does what she’s told to do.
[Also because I’m a doctor’s daughter. And let me tell ‘ya, if as a child you listen to enough detailed dinnertime conversations about people who are icky sick because they didn’t go to their doctors for a regular check-up, then as an adult you make those time-consuming appointments with your doctors for your annual check-ups.]
Again, anyhoo, getting to what I want to tell you…
So my doc looks on her computer screen and confirms with me that I’m seeing a certain dermatologist. Let’s call him Dr. Face. She asks me which one of his associates I see when I go for my annual skin care check. I tell her I see him.
She stops what she’s doing, turns to me and says: “You see him?”
I say: “Yes.”
She says: “I go to that practice and I never get to see him. He’s the best, I wanna see Dr. Face, too.”
I say: “Yes, he’s good.”
She says: “But Dr. Face doesn’t do your procedures, right? Some other med assistant or doc does them?”
I say: “No, he does them.”
She says: “Well, how does that happen? Why does he work on you and not me?”
Then she says: “How’d you find him?”
I say: “You referred me.”
There is a long pause while she looks at my chart on the screen and I say nothing.
Then she says, more like a girlfriend than my doctor: “Well darn, I gotta refer myself. I’m jealous. I can’t believe you get to see Dr. Face and I don’t.”
At which point, even though this was kind of funny, I didn’t smile at my good fortune, instead I made murmuring sounds of sympathy for my doctor’s sad realization that she wasn’t getting the best healthcare that she wanted.
Because doctor is a nice woman, who I am sorry to report, doesn’t seem to have the right connections to get in with Dr. Face.