The doctor will *cough, hack* see you now...

I’m instituting a new rule in my life: I will no longer go to doctors’ offices where the people wearing the uniforms don’t look at least moderately healthy. They don’t all have to be triathletes; I know “healthy” comes in all shapes and sizes. But I shouldn’t have to worry about whether I might need to perform CPR on my own doctor as I watch him huff and puff his way down the hall.

I tried a new family practice a couple weeks ago because I need to find someone local who can monitor my thyroid. (As an aside, why does it seem like the ailment I’ve had for almost 3 years is suddenly trendy? Every time I turn around I meet another woman who’s having her thyroid checked.) I picked a doctor after perusing several MD bios online and finding one who seemed competent, and close.

His personality was mildly annoying (dude, when I say I just moved here and really like the area, you don’t need to spend 10 minutes telling me how much better Philly is....), but what really got me was his midsection. It was large. Like, shirt buttons-stretching-fabric large. And I find that sort of hypocritical. I mean, I know doctors are busy and they work long hours and there’s a lot of stress and strain involved in the business of having other people’s lives in your hands. It’s not like I expect my doctors to look like Michael Phelps or Brad Pitt (Wait...). But if they’re going to stand there and ask me how much caffeine I consume and whether I exercise regularly, they better look like they could answer those questions in a positive way themselves.

And the nurse, well, she was even worse. She was skinny, but that sort of hard livin’ skinny, with horribly stained or missing teeth. Missing.

Today when I had to return for follow-up bloodwork I saw the culprit of her horrendous mouth and leathery appearance. As we were pulling out of the parking lot she was exiting the office on her lunch break, already puffing away on a cigarette.

Watching a health care professional smoke a cigarette is insulting. It made me feel like an idiot for giving these people my time, my medical history, my blood and, most of all, for putting my health in their hands. Because becoming a nurse or doctor takes thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of schoolin’, and if after all that you’re still too stupid to apply what you’ve learned on yourself, well then all the summa cum laudes in the world couldn’t make me trust you with my own physical well-being.

Maybe those doctor rating Web sites should include more important information than medical association affiliations. “Dr. John Doe graduated at the bottom of his class from Barely Accredited University, and completed his residency at East Nowhere Medical Center. But at age 55 he still runs a 7-minute mile, is a lifelong non-smoker, practices yoga four times a week and sponsors the local farmer’s market to encourage the consumption of organic, locally grown produce.”

Sign me up, Dr. Doe.

I’m just sayin’.


RyderMakes3 said...

Wow I can sure relate to this post! In fact, I just switched Ryder's pedi for those very two reasons. The dr didn't seem to care about her own health, how could she give me advice on my son's? And I was so sick of seeing the dr's nurse smoking as we went in the building, and the entire room filling with the smell of second hand smoke as soon as she walked through the door. You are so right, and those in the health care industry should be setting a higher example when it comes to health. Sign us up for Dr. Doe as well, please! =)

Anonymous said...

Completely agree! Your blog entries are certainly striking a chord w me, Robyn!

Side note - I was diagnosed w/ a thyroid disorder about 6 mos. after Liam was born. It was scary. I felt like I was going to die - seriously. Everything is under control now, tho. Hope you are well.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm As I agree with a lot of what you are saying here I also must reflect on the real world and how I am surprised at this blog....... because have you ever looked at some of the most ingenious people of our past, present and future? They do not practice or even understand, I think in some of what they preach and are not what we would consider stellar or "normal" or even a picture of there own success. However ring much to the table in our world. Example I feel Like I am successful to a degree, yet I can't spell a word and I have awful grammar (thank god for computers or that slob that invented it and should not have bed head when he gets to work.....). How odd is it some of the most influential people in our lives are just plain .....hmmmmm unexplainable!

Robyn said...

Tina - The ol' thyroid's doing screwy things on me, but I think it might actually be regulating itself back to normal, from the "abnormal" it's been for the past few years. Weird, but cool. Glad you're better!

Anon. - Thanks for thinking out loud about this, but I'm not sure what you mean when you say you're "surprised at this blog"?