I've often wondered why we don't try to find a new doctor. Though I really quite like and respect Dr. K, she lives in the furthest corner of the city from us since moving her clinic a few years ago to start a new family medicine teaching practice.
Our doctor is very well reputed in the province (which is why we stay as patients) and heads up an innovative program that enables us to get timely appointments. The cost to us of these benefits is that we need to put up with the fact that she is teaching a group of resident doctors, and that these residents are the first (and sometimes only) doctors to see us.
I went for my annual physical yesterday afternoon. I hate these things at the best of times. But I've also had to get used to the fact that the residents on duty usually forget to introduce themselves, ask the same questions over and over (because they forget that they just asked me that two minutes ago), have the bedside manner of a flea, and take copious notes under the guise of "needing to update the file" (like that's changed so much in the past twelve months!). I've learned to plan my time carefully on these days, because appointments with a resident can take well over an hour/person to complete (yesterday it took 2.75 hours - yes, almost three hours - to get through a basic physical for both Matthew and me!). I'm even used to the resident disappearing from the exam room several times during each visit in order to consult with our doctor about some thing or another.
But really...how much is one expected to take?
During yesterday's physical, in the midst of enduring the famous pap test (I told him it would be easier with the narrow speculum but oh no...he had to learn that for himself and then confirm, with surprise, that I was right - huh), and after putting up with several of his frustrated attempts to get the thing done, I heard him mutter to the nurse beside him: "how does this thing work anyway?" Yeah, that's a real confidence booster, let me tell you. They then proceeded to confer for a couple of minutes, asking me occasionally how I was "doing up there" - not really understanding, I suppose, that there can be no appropriate response to that question when they are having a conversation down there while looking right at my down there.
It's no wonder that I've come to dread my annual visit. Really, I'm all for the education of our doctors and am even willing to sacrifice in order to accomplish this end, but how much is one expected to do to further the cause?!
PS. I can't believe I just wrote about that!