Doctor, doctor, give me the news... Oh wait, you're gone.
I started coming down with a sore throat on Wednesday morning, and by yesterday, it was paired with some pretty nasty sinus problems. Not having a primary doctor in the area yet (I know, I know), I called one of those doc-in-a-box walk-in clinics.
I told the receptionist that I didn't have a whole lot of time that I could take off work, and asked how busy they were. She said "Oh, there's only one person in the waiting room -- come on down and we'll get you right in to see the doctor."
Down to Pelham I drove. It's a bit of a trip from my office, but Hillary had been there before so I figured they had our paperwork on file already.
As I walked in, there were four people waiting. Okay, understandable. People do tend to walk into walk-in clinics. After filling out some paperwork (none of which they could retrieve from my wife's account), I waited about twenty minutes to get called into the back. Hooray, I'll be back to work before lunch!
Into the exam room I went. And waited. And waited. After twenty minutes, I was lamenting the fact that I hadn't brought a book with me. After the forty-five minutes, I decided that maybe I hadn't made the best choice in medical care. Another half-hour went by, and I was getting ready to walk out.
Finally, the doctor breezed in. He didn't introduce himself, or even say hello. He asked what the problem was.
"Uh, sore throat and--"
"Open your mouth."
He poked weakly at the glands on my neck. "Any colored mucus coming out of your nose?"
"A nurse will be in here to collect a blood sample."
"Er, okay, but I was wondering if you could tell me..."
And he was gone. An hour and twenty minutes of waiting to get a half-assed exam and blood work done. Not to mention that he didn't even tell me what he thought the problem might be (here's a hint, Doctor House: I think I have a strep infection).
Really disgusted with this place, I turned down the blood work, assuming that they just wanted to do as much as possible that they could charge me for (seriously, I have NEVER had blood taken in the ten or so times I've visited a clinic for a sore throat). I probably would have let them if the doctor had spent more than ninety seconds in the room with me, or given me any earthly (or, hell, unearthly) reason for ordering blood work.
On the way out, I bitched at the front desk for lying to me about the wait time, and the fact that the doctor was an asshole (not in those words -- I was polite at first). The desk personnel obviously didn't give three flying shits in a V-formation, so I just said "Whatever, I'm done with this place." and walked out.
I called the corporate office for this place (which is Birmingham-based) and told them everything that had happened. I doubt it will do any good, but I've seen dozens of doctors over the years, and I've never had one who could so rudely give me a non-diagnosis in under two minutes. Maybe at least a little bit of oversight will trickle down from this.
So now I've got another appointment with a different clinic (fortunately, much closer home) later today. I've only talked to the front desk and billing people on the phone, but they've already been five times more helpful than the place I went yesterday.
Lesson for the day: Find a good family doctor, and for the love of Cthulhu don't go anywhere else.