Thursday, May 3, 2012

My GI Visit

After being shuffled from one physician referral to another which had a stench of scheme polluting around it, I decided to call up a friend who's in nursing school and will be graduating next month! :) He's going to be a great nurse! I read my medical record to him and based on my symptoms, he recommended I see a GI specialist and a gynecologist. I had my GI appointment yesterday and am scheduled to see a primary care physician and gynecologist next week. This experience has made me medically responsible, so I guess that's one good thing that came out of it.

I'm proud of the research I did to find this GI specialist. I spoke with a French friend of mine who said her doctor in France recommended a doctor from Cedars-Sinai. Since then I've observed a correlation that the best rated and most prominent physicians have completed their residency at Cedars-Sinai. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I found him on yelp, but a patient of his was referred to him by someone from a medical board. Combined with the consistently positive review, it made me optimistic and secure enough to schedule an appointment with him.

Another GI specialist who's office is further away had much higher reviews detailing that he didn't require patients to come in, which reduced cost of co-payment and recommended probiotics as an effective treatment. A physician can profit by prescribing medications and various procedures instead. So I must admit I was drawn to that physician, but intuitively I felt like it wasn't the best decision. I rationalized it as a result of distance, which is a valid point. After all I want to create a life closer to live where I live, and I want it be easy to travel there in the event that a complication is revealed.

My hesitation was confirmed after a brief conversation with the office staff. The woman was professional as far as efficiently and competently scheduling my appointment, and while I can't say she was irrefutably rude, I've worked at call centers and am aware of how to execute politically correct rudeness. I recognized it and it's never a good sign when someone exercises that kind of behavior. I've perceptive to tone and her response was a red flag. She said they didn't have an appointment until next month but said it in a way that made it seem like is it worth the trouble of scheduling you? I asked what times they had available and she was rather snippy as if reminding me of something I already knew which I didn't cuz it was my first call that she won't know until she registers me since I'm a new patient. It's as though she's already been stressed or has difficulty executing procedures unless it occurs in a specific order to her satisfaction. That didn't sit well with me. I chose to schedule the appointment just in case cuz I can always cancel later, but I'd hate to be unable to schedule one at a later time. Oh and it's also noteworthy that this GI specialist was only in the office twice a week.

Food for thought: No matter how highly rated any physician is, if they aren't in the office regularly enough, selecting that person to be your physician isn't the wisest choice. You want your physician to be accessible. If they aren't even in the office full time, how can you expect to reach him or her in an emergency? These are things to consider. Don't forget about the office staff, too. You have to communicate with them

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