Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Doctor Appointment? Don't Wait Too Long!

Here I am, at work and sick with a cold.

Even though I only have a minor cold, it is quite a persistent bug that does not seem to go away. So, I want to go to see a doctor. I donít want to go to an emergency room or an urgent care clinic, since I donít think what I have is that serious.

So, I called my primary doctor who is a very nice older gentlemen and a great general practitioner. The doctorís secretary gave me an appointment for 3 days from now, since they have no openings sooner.

Thatís right. I am sick, but I wonít see a doctor for 3 days. I may be much better by that time and cancel my appointment. Maybe that is what the medical insurance companies are hoping for. What if I do not realize that I have a really serious illness that needs to be treated right away? Well, I would still have to wait 3 days to see my primary doctor; or if my symptoms get much worse, I would go to an emergency room or an urgent care clinic. Either way, my medical condition would be much worse than it is now, and my illness would be more difficult and possibly more expensive to treat.

I understand receiving a distance appointment for a routine medical examination and immunization shots but not if the patient is sick. I know I could go to the doctorís office and patiently wait for an opening; such as if another patient fails to show up or is late, but there is no guarantee that I would see the doctor. Therefore, I would have to wait in the doctorís lobby while sick and hope to be seen, instead of staying home where I can better take care of myself and not spread my illness to other sick patients.

No matter what, if I am sick enough to want a doctor, then I want to see that doctor today.

So, I advise everyone to stop tolerating appointments that are greater than one business day away if we are sick. Instead, call our medical insurance companies, complain quite vocally, immediately change our primary care physician, and make another appointment with another doctor. You can always change your primary care doctor back again if you want to.

However, medical insurance companies will only improve if they understand that their doctors are overbooked, and these health insurance companies need to provide their clients with more doctors that are more available.

by Phil for Humanity
on 09/17/2007

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