I presented myself for my annual physical this morning. This year was less routine than the past eight because my beloved primary care doctor got fed up and quit medicine last year (sad but true). This would be my first visit with my new doctor-long awaited first visit, since she had canceled and rescheduled the appointment twice.
I was called at 10am for my 9:30am appointment, for which I had arrived at 9:25am. The medical assistant that came for me did not make eye contact with me. She did not tell me what my weight, height, heart rate, or blood pressure was, other than to comment on how, “Gee, it’s always high when you’re here,” more to herself than to me. She spent all of her time staring at the laptop that she was typing the ‘secret data’ into.
The doctor, whom I’d never met, entered the office talking. She also didn’t take the time to introduce herself to me. She did take quite a bit of time interrogating me as to what my reasons were for declining many of the screening tests that she was offering but that I wasn’t interested in having. She explained that she wouldn’t consider me to be ‘screened’ for things. She spent a good many minutes trying to scare me into getting a whooping cough booster shot (“Whooping cough kills babies! Whooping cough doesn’t kill adults but it will make you wish you were dead!”).
Finally, she explained how I’d be getting a survey in the mail from them that would ask me if she had discussed all of these topics with me. Yada. Yada. Duly noted. Still not getting a whooping cough booster shot.
No one told me their name, except the EKG tech. This occurred as an afterthought when she was halfway through conducting the test and realized she had not introduced herself. She knocked the drape off of me and it fell onto the germy floor. She reached down, picked it up, and put it back on my legs. She also didn’t ‘save’ the test results to my chart (which I knew before she came in to tell me; I heard the staff discussing it with her for several minutes before she came back to say: “You’re gonna kill me, but they asked me to ask you to do the EKG again”).
That is actually when I left.