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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Musing on prevailing


When I was very little I took it for granted nothing would change, the doctor would always be the doctor, the dentist always the dentist. Becoming an adult meant establishing those relationships all over.  My very first “adult” doctor was my husband’s family doctor, Dr. Borland.  One of his very first cases was the amputation of my husband’s great grandfather’s leg, and he was pleased as punch to end his career delivering his fifth generation of Noragon’s.

After he retired it was catch as catch can. I’ve always found a shake down period required with a long term doctor. Don’t brush me off, take time to answer my questions, believe me when I tell you a member of staff is rude, and so on. I didn’t get on with Dr. Killian, who replaced Dr. Borland, but he was a good doctor for the children. My oldest daughter still sees the doctor who bought Dr. Killian’s practice.

I concluded a doctor or dentist is, after all, a business proposition.  My criteria were ability to come to a mutual understanding and being my age or younger. I was tired of them retiring on me. This actually has worked out quite well, except I look at my primary care physician, with whom I have gone to battle on more than one issue, and think, “My God, she’s reached retirement age. I don’t want to do this all over again!”

This whole train of thought commenced this morning, in the dentist’s office for my twice annual cleaning of the teeth. When the dentist dropped by to check the hygienist’s work she told me the filling between my two front teeth needed replaced.

My mind flashed back to that filling, the last one my parents paid for. I was twenty one, at Dr. Benson’s office in the Rockefeller Building in downtown Cleveland. The pain of the Novocain injection was so incredible that when the filling fell out a few years later I would not let my dentist replace it. I was in my thirties, and the dentist assured me that no Novocain would be involved, the teeth had not deteriorated, the filling merely needed replaced. It was done.

I told Dr. Kate (see how young they are now!) the history of that filling being placed when I was twenty one, losing it, going without, and ten years later finally having it replaced. “I wasn’t even born then,” she remarked, before snapping back to attention and telling me no Novocain would be required this time, either.

Contrasting Dr. Kate with my primary care physician’s age was disheartening this morning. Dr. J definitely  was middle aged when I started seeing her twenty years ago. I feel that certified letter coming on, telling me she has retired. I wonder if the next PCP will look over her shoulder when I call her Dr. Real Last Name.




28 comments:

  1. I never thought about his eventual retirement when I chose a PCP the same age as me.

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  2. My Broker of 20+ years retired. When I started with him I asked him, "Why do you give me so much attention, I have such a dinky account?" He told me "just remember if you ever become a big account." I never became more than a medium account, but I always appreciated that. He retired and they assigned me to a young pup who knows less about the market than I do, so I am looking for someone else...hate it.

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  3. Good idea to think about getting a doctor fresh out of med school,especially if the patient is middle age :)

    betty

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  4. I sure enjoyed and identified with this post. My "new" GP is a real gem that I found 20 years ago. He has always looked about 12 years old to me, but he must be older because he has 4 kids. My criterion for selecting him was the same as I followed for finding a new dentist, small hands.

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  5. I know what you mean about having to change doctors and dentists. It is disconcerting to look into the face of a child who is going to decide on your medical treatment.

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  6. All too familiar.
    I have a young(ish) dentist - who is wonderful.
    My neurologist should have retired. He is tired and it shows.
    My general practioner (your primary care physician I think) did retire. I haven't yet found one who I am comfortable with.

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  7. Familiar here as well. I find it incredibly anxiety-producing to be breaking in new medical/dental practitioners at my age. Ugh. I guess it's better than having none to break in ... but still - the anxiety!

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  8. My dentist of 30 years is planning his retirement, much to my dismay. But I have to say I wouldn't want a dentist with a shaky hand or failing eyesight. My optician retired a few years ago and I'm still looking for one I can trust.

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  9. When your dentist is your 65 year old brother, you want him to finally have a break from work after all these years and customers in pain. But where else do you find such a dedicated and loving 2thDoc? Although we don't need a lawyer very often, chosing one who is younger than retirement age is also something to consider. And as I write this, I realize that our plumber and airco man are both ready to put away their tools. Oh, gosh! Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  10. I hate "breaking in" a new doctor or dentist too, which is why I now travel two bus rides to my previous suburb if I need to see either one. They're both in the same Medical Centre; it has everything - doctors, dentists pathology clinic, radiology, physiotherapist, podiatrist and an attached chemist where you can fill your prescriptions. If I needed a doctor more often I'd probably search for a closer one.

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  11. Hari OM
    I don't have either of these items. When one does go along to a med centre then, doctors pay extra attention with a view to 'winning' you as a customer. Well, that was the case in OZ... here in UK one is supposed to 'sign on' with a doctor. Two years in, have still to be bothered doing that. Don't discuss dentists. YAM xx

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  12. My primary Doctor is 78 and looks well. He told me that he will never retire. However, he could not promise me that he won't die before me.

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  13. Oh I so know this dance; I hates it, I does!

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  14. The hubs doctor retired and advised no one. When he tried to call to make an appointment he was perplexed to find the number disconnected.

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  15. I was never comfortable with our doctor in California, he was too hyper and made me hyper. We had a list of doctors to chose from when we moved here to Georgia and I picked one thinking if we didn't like him we'd try someone else on the list. We've been more than pleased, a real southern gentleman, takes his time, listens and offer low cost alternatives for various things. We've been with him 12 years and home he'll last as long as we do.

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  16. Good to see that everyone has to play doctor musical chairs. We have a bunch of young doctors at our clinic, so I am set for a few more years.
    Novocain...bad memories for me as well.

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  17. When I moved back here I was recommended to a young husband and wife doctor team. They were both excellent, ran the surgery just like the old days, from their house. Nothing was too much trouble. Then one left to teach at the local medical school. Then the other wanted to do something else and they put the practice up for sale. Suddenly I had the doctor from hell. The doctor who bought the practice had moved from one practice to another, unpopular and hated by many. She found this one to buy, ran it along her lines, rude and unfriendly, and because it was hers complaining was useless and one soon gave up. I found out the other day that she is retiring, a nurse at the practice whispered to me. I said out loud how pleased I was.

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  18. I think we are very lucky with our Medical Centre here where all six doctors are charming and helpful. There are three men and three women and we can always see a doctor on the day we ring, although not always the one we really want to see - for that we may have to wait until there is a suitable appointment. But we live in an ageing population so that is fair enough. We also habe a super dispensary staff - all medicines can be ordered on line two days in advance of them being required and they are there ready for collection on time.

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  19. I've reached the age where they all look like teenagers to me. I had to take my daughter to the ER last night and the physician there looked to me to be about 15. It took everything I had to listen to him and take him seriously. I kept wanting to make Doogie Howser jokes.

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  20. Yes, I'll never get used to the fact that my GYN in named Jennifer.
    On the flip side of your problem, my GYN before Dr. Jennifer was terrific, old enough that I trusted her, but unfortunately young enough that after only a year in practice, she quit to have a baby and never returned.

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  21. I have good dentists here. They have a boatload of dentists in this practice, and every single one is good. I cannot find a doctor I like. They blow me off and won't listen to me. The last one I saw had absolutely no sense of humor. He insisted on talking to me about my faith. If I want to talk about my faith, I'll go to a pastor or counselor. I won't go back to this guy. I don't know where to go next. I'm grateful for the Affordable Care Act because if I had to be hospitalized it would make a huge difference. I'm grateful for my annual physical, but why can't we talk about my concerns? They just shut me down.

    Love,
    Janie

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  22. A trainee doctor was present when Joe was born, he was very young & wide eyed. It was rather sweet. That was 19 years ago x

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  23. having grown up with a father in the medical community (a pathologist) I have little patience and respect for the doctor as god. my doctor must take time to listen to me, answer my questions, and treat me like an intelligent human being especially since I prefer alternative forms of health care to the general practice of pill pushing. pills don't cure, they just manage symptoms. so I went through a lot of doctors for me and the kids before I found one I really liked. in fact I didn't even take ourselves to MDs for many years unless I knew we needed antibiotics. anyway, my GP quit his private practice a year an a half ago to go work at an urgent care clinic. so right now I am trying my sister's doc. she's equally as picky as I am. so far so good.

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  24. My doctor is my sons age she should outlast me.
    Merle............

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  25. That's why I haven't been to the doctor in years. Mine retired and I don't want to chose another one who will probably just soon retire. I know that sounds stupid. But that is how I am!!

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  26. My dentist was a student at the high school where I was vice principal. He was a good student and he seems to be a good dentist.

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  27. Moving around the country many times I have met many good doctors. A few not so good but overall I am pleased with our medical community here in the U.S. The one thing I would say is do a lot of research on what the community tells you. -- barbara

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  28. My new insurance chose the primary care doctor I am allowed to visit. I have given up on developing an actual relationship with a doctor or nurse practitioner.

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