I got a hug from my doctor this week. Seeing he’s a guy about my age it was kind of weird. I don’t usually hug guys. Also seeing as I’ve reached that age that certain male “tests” are necessary, well, that made it even weirder. I had one of those tests at my physical Monday. I keep telling him my dentist’s office just did that one, but he still doesn’t buy it.
I’ve been with him about 18 years. He’s seen me through my nearly morbidly obese years without lecture, lots of surgeries, and of course diabetes and my concurring of it. Is he a “great” doctor? I never really had to label him, but he’s always been available (or someone in his place) within a week if I needed him, get test results within 24 hours of any visit, and would usually just tell me to e-mail him forms if I needed a referral to a specialist. I tried not to abuse his time, and he didn’t abuse mine. A very harmonious relationship. Almost as long as my second marriage.
I know over the past few months I haven’t exactly “stayed on the wagon” with diet and exercise – I’m in one of life’s little “transition” stages – but everything checked out just fine. I got my blood test results Tuesday night and was mildly shocked by everything being, on average, very good, not to mention an A1c of 4.7 and his comment of “there is no evidence of diabetes”.
The reason for the hug was this was to be my last visit with him. He is part of a larger medical group that recently underwent some “administrative changes” that would severely compromise his ability to provide what he sees as quality care. He wasn’t shy about telling me of his 12-hour work days with an inflated workload of things he as a general practitioner just shouldn’t be required to handle. Nor how it was affecting home life. He just felt he was no longer practicing his “care” but corporate’s care. I understood completely and congratulated him on finding a dignified way out. Not quite old enough to retire, he will be going into another care field (mainly Hospice) and filling in where needed.
He went over his corporate allotted time with me (sorry to all the patients after me), but what would they do, fire him? These administrative changes have affected many physicians in our area, and many of them have, or are, moving out from under the corporate umbrella to form their own practice groups or switch fields altogether. It has caused media hype, several lost medical contracts with local “health care giants” here, and so far, at least one lawsuit.
Just felt like sharing this because, well, we often speak poorly of health care providers. My doctor was (and still is) a great provider, and I’d even say a friend. Doctors are people too, and sometimes when they treat us, it’s not always by their rules.
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