On Doctor’s Orders

When I first was hired in my district I was required to take a physical.  The district picked up the tab and sent me to a doctor.  I was new to the area and figured if my employer sent me to this guy, he must be all right.

All new teachers (it seems) find out that children carry germs and spend their first year teaching sick.  So it was with me.  I recall I came down with a nasty case of something.  The doctor I had adopted put me on something.  It made me violently ill.  I returned the following day.

I am not one, and certainly back then far less so than today, who goes to the doctor often.  If I am in the office, it can be assumed I am ill.  So there I was sick, bothered by the medicine I was prescribed, and out of work.  This doctor sat behind his desk eating (a doughnut or something) with crumbs all over him.  It bothered me enough to ask my colleagues to recommend another doctor.  They did so.

This other doctor was part of a larger practice.  I never did get to see him as I was assigned a different doctor at the firm.  Over the course of several years I went in a few times.  Each time I was kept waiting at least an hour.  The issue that broke the proverbial camel’s back was another time I was very ill.  I just wanted the antibiotics prescribed and for me to get back into bed.  I was kept waiting.  At an hour and a half I went to the nurse’s window and asked if tomorrow would be a better day to see the doctor.  I received some sort of snippy remark.  A little while later I was escorted to a room and after another wait, my doctor came in.  He went right at me stating that sometimes they get backed up, etc., etc.

I did not argue.  I got the last word as I sought another doctor.  By this time I had met my wife and she suggested I use her family doctor.  He sounded fine so I signed up.  Whenever you see a doctor for the first time there is a pile of paperwork to be completed.  I recall one form asked why I had left my previous doctor.  I wrote that I tired of waiting to see someone after having an appointment.

The paperwork done and me on time for this initial visit, I waited to see my doctor.  I waited.  And waited.  Eventually I was taken in and soon enough the doctor appeared.  We chatted a bit.  He asked me why I had left the previous doctor and I explained.  He looked at his watch and then confirmed that they were running behind that day.  He apologized.

I have been a patient ever since.  The wait is usually minimal and the good doctor prescribes any medicine that my be needed.  Again, I rarely go to see him.  I really only need a GP to use to get referrals for my ear specialist.  Again, my doctor serves that purpose well.

Well, until recently.  We received a letter not too long ago telling us that the state of New Jersey had pulled his license.  Sigh . . .

I can’t say I am terribly surprised.  I’ll just leave it at that.  Nevertheless, I seem to be once again in the market for a doctor.

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