DIAL 1 TO LOCATE A DOCTOR (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE)

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Rusty Strait | Hemet, CA

I’ve had a number of requests to investigate the telephone system for connecting with a doctor (if you have an HMO). I went into this blindly, wondering what on earth were they talking about. Just pick up the phone and connect to the doctor’s office. Right? Not so fast. Before you get an HMO or Medicare or other types of medical insurance, you might want to take a college course in “One moment please, I’ll connect you.”

I can hear hundreds or maybe thousands falling off their bar stools with hilarious hee haws and it has nothing to do with the swill in your glass.

I made a call to my own primary care physician. “Just a sec, I’ll connect you.” What I got was an anonymous voice who insisted on collecting everything about my health, short of the date I was conceived. After being advised to hold on a sec, I received a 20-minute concert in music from the other side of hell. Finally, I was disconnected.

I called back, brave and stupid soul that I am and went through the same routine. Eventually, another voice came over (not my doctor). I explained that my doctor had ordered some lab work and there were some questions at the lab because they had not received the order. I was then given a number to call since it was my duty to notify the lab I was coming.

I had no idea that I was now part of the medical staff. When I called the lab, they restated that the order was not proper. Back to the doctor’s office, where I was told quite emphatically advised that the lab didn’t know what they were talking about and that the order was proper. And so it went until someone with their head above waist level gave me a date to come in.

I was also given the name of a specialist I needed to see—the same routine. I would have to make my appointment. A zillion questions about my medical history from birth almost to the hereafter, which I was beginning to think I might be visiting while still on the phone. Appointments would be several weeks down the line because “COVID has interrupted everything and we are short of help.”

I talked to several of my friends and their response was more or less, “Don’t go there.” They’d had it up to their ears with it.

It would help if you had a nurse or intern in the family. I’d appreciate hearing from anyone with similar hang-ups whether it be in the medical field or other. I’m sure “just a sec, I’ll connect you” covers more than a doctor’s office. Just sayin’

rustystrait@gmail.com

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