A few years ago, I embarked on a difficult journey of finding a family Doctor. I didn’t want just any Dr, even though I had a terrible ear ache that my son kept insisting would blow up my head. In spite of the fact that I probably should have seen ANY doctor immediately, I needed to make sure he was the “One”, the perfect One. I wanted it all, the perfect family physician, the one who would sit me down, explain everything right down to the very minute detail; the one that would have the perfect balance of knowledge, bed-side manner, with a perfectly behaved staff, and of course happen to be Jewish.
Ah, to find that perfect, nice, Jewish and preferably young doctor. The one that my Grandmother would speak of -oh-so-highly! The one that would drop all is important patients and meetings, just to answer yet another one of my stupid phone calls, for the third time that day. A doctor that made house calls, like they did when I was little, trudging through four feet of Russian winter’s snow, just to get to their sick patient.
So, I set out to find the Perfect Doc that ever practiced medicine in OC. This was before you looked up credentials online, and Googled everything; all I had was a list of preferred doctors from my insurance company. I went to work calling one after another, starting of course with all the Jewish sounding names, asking about their credentials, malpractice lawsuits, etc… There were your typical Goldmans, Goldblooms, Kramers, Kaufmans, Steinbergs and so on. Finally I thought I found the perfect doctor, and he was accepting new patients, which as we all know is another dilemma when searching for a physician.
I thought this was going to be a match made in heaven. I envisioned going there, and him easing all my worries with the famous ‘Seinfeld’ line: “What? That? Get out of here. Its nothing, absolutely nothing!” Boy, was I wrong…
When I got to the office, I felt something was a little off as I looked around the tiny waiting room. I saw adults and children waiting, which was a little odd, but thought, no big deal, stay positive. What I saw next should’ve been a clue to start running back to my car. The same doctor that claims to be a family Practice Physician also does laser hair removal, laser wrinkle removal, and family and marriage therapy!!! See, I thought things like that only existed in the former Soviet Union, where you get three-in-one package deal, to save the government money. Your dentist could also remove that mole that’s been growing on your forehead…
I really had no idea that things like that actually existed in the U.S. I should have known better, and ran as fast as my legs allowed. But by then, I had already paid my co-pay…
And so it began as a strange and at times a bit amusing visit to a doctor’s office. I must have waited for at least twenty minutes in the waiting room, before getting called into another, yet smaller waiting room. The nurse was a bit too perky for me. With my ear bright red, and a shooting pain that was getting worse by the minute, I really didn’t care for her perkiness.
As Ms. Perky was leaving the room, she mentioned that the Nurse Practitioner would be right in. Wait, what? You mean I’m not seeing the Doctor? But, I made an appointment with the DOCTOR! She proceeded to explain to me that the Dr. and his NP are a team, and a darn good one at that. If the Nurse Practitioner isn’t sure about something, she will get the doctor. And this is the way it works in their office. Like that’s suppose to make me feel better. I started to protest, but realized there was no point. My ear was starting to feel like it was going to explode, and I just wanted to see anyone that had some sort of medical training.
Not much longer after that, about an hour later the nurse practitioner finally came in. She poked at me, looked in my ear, and asked strange questions that absolutely had no relation to the pain in my ear. How many kids do you have, how old are they? After much thought, she concluded that she couldn’t figure out if I had an ear infection or not. Therefore, she insisted on shooting freezing cold water down my ear canal, which would allow her to see better. Maybe its just me, but would a normal and rational person shoot anything down ones’ ear, especially when it is inflamed?
I decided that this was a little too much for me to handle, and without trying to put her medical expertise down, asked to see the Doctor. Of course, he was busy with another patient, so Ms. Perky suggested we do other tests. The next test was some electronic device that when stuck into your ear canal, supposedly tests the pressure and waves of your ear. I prayed that she would just give up and give me antibiotics. I said as much to her, but she insisted that I wait to see the doctor.
So another 45-minutes later, my perfect Jewish doctor finally came in. Disappointment is an understatement. He was chewing gum, talking to the receptionist, who followed him in, arguing with Ms. Perky, and at the same time poking and pushing on my ear. Let me tell you, that felt wonderful, probably as wonderful as someone sticking a needle in your eye. But, what do I know, I am no doctor!
I know that at this point, it sounds like a lot of made up material, but I assure you that it’s all true. After all that, they finally decided that to be on the safe side, I should get some ear drops and oral antibiotics. When I quietly mentioned that I have an allergy to that particular antibiotic, they decided that I don’t need any antibiotics after all… Go figure.
Would you believe that all this only cost me two-hundred bucks?
So much for my perfect, Jewish doctor. Next on the list, Dr. Hassini.