The Doctor Hunt Continues

December 1, 2006 @ 7:51 am | Filed under:

Don’t these people know they stand to make a lot of money off my family? Clearly no one in San Diego’s medical field is reading this blog. Humph.

(I must interrupt my own self to tell one of my MOST FAVORITE KID STORIES EVER. Rose was around three years old, and something, I no longer remember what, had disgruntled her. “Hmph,” she remarked to the general public. No one responded. This was not to be borne. In a loud and steely tone she asserted: “ME SAY HMPH!!”)

Okay. Doctors. That office I talked to last week never called me back. I gave them a week, then called a second time. It was like starting over: got a different person on the phone, had to explain the whole thing again, kid is going to need ear molds in a month or two, audiologist has two-month wait for new appointments, won’t schedule appt without scrip from doctor. New Voice said the same thing last week’s Voice said: “I’ll have a nurse call you back.”

Okey-doke. Time to try someone else. I go to our PPO’s website and pull up the list of local docs in the network. Big city, long list! I arrange it by proximity to our house and start dialing my way down the list. The following transcripts are not made up. After the second call, I started taking notes.

Medical office number one: Automated message. “You have reached the office of Dr. So-and-So. Our regular office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911. Beeep!”

Check the clock: it’s 11:20 a.m.

Medical office number two: Recorded message. “If you need to reach a priest, press 1.”

Huh? Hang up, check number, dial again.

“If you need to reach a priest, press 1.”

All righty then.

Medical office number three: “Beep, boop, beeep! We’re sorry, you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you think you have reached this number in error, please hang up and try again.”

Hang up, check number, dial again.

“Beep, boop, beeep! We’re sorry…”

Mutter, mutter, grumble.

If this keeps up, I WILL need to call a priest. To make an appointment for Confession. These rassafrassin doctors’ offices are generating some mighty uncharitable thoughts.

Medical office number four: “You have reached the offices of the Thus-and-such Medical Group. Our office is closed for lunch between twelve and one p.m. Please do not leave a message on the voice mail. If this is a life- or limb-threatening emergency, please hang up the phone and dial 911.”

Me say hmph.

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11 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Beth says:

    Wow. That is awful. I would be beside myself. You have my sympathies and I wish you the best of luck.

  2. Carol says:

    I hate getting through those front office people and their machines! I love my kids’ pediatrician, but everytime I have to deal with those “office people”, I swear I am finding someone else. So far, I haven’t found anyone better though. The thing that ticks me off the most is that they have their answering service take calls between noon and 2 pm daily, even though they are taking appointments after 1:00. Grrrrr.

    Best of luck to you!!

  3. Andrea says:

    My personal experience with the medical community–and the relative need is analogous to yours, I think–is to go for the teaching doctors. Target a specific medical school or teaching hospital and then cross-reference by proximity and by which doctors affiliated with the hospital are in your plan.

    Then, attempt first contact. If you’re unsuccessful, ask your wonderful doctor back in VA for a letter of introduction (maybe faxed, by name, to the office manager of the practice) briefly outlining your children’s needs, any unusual history.

    I hate searching out doctors! Best of luck with your hunt.

  4. Mary Beth P says:

    If these offices are that hard to reach, just to inquire, how much frustration are you going to encounter when one of your kids is sick? Best of luck with your search. I love my pediatrician’s office here in Maine. They don’t make housecalls, but they are open 365 DAYS A YEAR! They also have 2 call times a day where you can speak directly to a physician! I feel VERY blessed to have found them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    When I lived in SoCal it seemed a lot of people were going for medical service in TJ. I’m getting a little scared for you, Lissa. Best of luck.

  6. Maria says:

    Humph! is right!

  7. Loni says:

    Oh I understand the doctor dilema’s, esp. now with having a cardiologist, pediatrician, OB, and family doctor. The doctor’s can be great, but the office personnel can be very grueling. I’ve had it too numerous times when the answering machine says the closing time is 4:30 and it’s 4:15 and they are already not answering. We have already gone in without an appt. to make an appt. That seems to make them listen! Good luck!

  8. Anne V. says:

    Hmmmmmm…can wonderful Dr. H.(I think it was H.)call/fax in your script to audio to at least get you an appointment? Then when you do find a person/doctor in SCal who will listen and call you back you can have them deal with further issues? I am sure Dr. H. would understand and do it for you–if it can be done. Just hoping you can get in the door for that hearing test…it seems this new mold process may take awhile this time 🙂

  9. Mama Squirrel says:

    Yes, we are all humphing along with you.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I am laughing at the excellent use of “rassafrassin.”

    One of my old professors takes her kids to one of the Dr. Sears in San Clemente. It’s not a terrible commute from San Diego (depending on what the traffic on the 5 looks like). And it’s a Dr. Sears! So IF he’s in your PPO network and IF you don’t mind the drive (two big ifs) maybe that would work.