Saturday, November 22, 2008

Seeing the doctor

I will never look at another doctor visit the same again.  From here on out all doctor visits will be looked at under my "is it good enough for medical school" microscope.  I had to get my final Hep B shot (the school requires it, and besides, I fear Hep B more than Autism so I would have gone for it anyways).  I have not been to the doctor since starting medical school so I immediately started to observe everything.  The way the counter worked (two ladies calling on a single file line), the rules that were posted (no cell phones, extra charge for after hours care, no narcotics after hours), how many doctors they had (11), how many waiting rooms they had (3), etc.  

First of all, I will never attempt to provide reading material in the waiting room.  If you are my patient, entertain yourself.  It agitates me more looking at 50 magazines that all suck then staring at a wall.  One decent magazine would be nice, but instead I get Highlights that already had the Mad Libs done.  So I will not bother to spend money paying for magazines that will not get read by my patients or better yet ones that will agitate them further.  They will bring a book next time.  And there will be a cell phone fee if I have to wait outside a room because you are on the phone.

I also paid attention to how the nurse handled talking with me as well as how the doctor spoke.  Is he using OLDCARTS, or OPPQRSTA, or winging it?  Is he going to pull at my social history a little bit or just give me the shot and be done with it.  For the first time I actually sat in the "interview" chair.  I usually like to sit on the tissue paper, helps me feel sanitary, but this time I went for the textbook doctor visit.  The nurse gave me the shot and then had me wait for the doctor.  I thought about just leaving.  What I came for was done, and there was no need to talk to the doctor, and besides, how stoked would he be to find out that he could go kick back in his office for a few minutes because he didn't have to waist his time talking to me?  Well I stayed, and looked at the dermatome cheat sheet he had on his wall and studied.  Naturally, since he needed a cheat sheet, I figured he must have graduated from Drexel!  HAH!  I realize that it just makes it easier, so I cut him a break.  Chances are I will soon forget them myself anyway.  Then it occurred to me, why am I learning it now if I am allowed to have a cheat sheet on the wall one day?  Better yet, if I have access to wikipedia to diagnose, I am set.  Wikipedia has taught me 99% of the immunology I know.  Well, the patient/doctor interaction went well.  He asked me a few questions and then we talked about medical school a little bit.  He told me about his friend that died from getting Hep B in medical school from a needle stick.  Can't wait for those to start happening.  Then he told me to wait a sec and he would be right back.  For some reason, I got excited.  I thought, "this is it, the day they teach me the doctor handshake or the secret to doing well in medical school or something only doctors know."  I was disappointed when the nurse came by explaining that the doc didn't know I already got my shot and had wanted me to wait to get it.  She didn't tell him that she did that so I ended up waiting an extra 10 minutes.  I would have missed 10 points for a move like that.  I guess I will have to wait until graduation to learn the handshake.  Until then, I will just flash the Harley wave every time I pass a doc in the hallway.  (Couldn't find the clip I wanted, so just deal with it.)

1 comment:

  1. My school required us to be Hep B immune with verified antibody titers before starting medical school. A few folks don't seroconvert and never gain immunity (at least one of my classmates included). Scary stuff, since Hep B is the most easily transmitted (via needle stick, anyway) bloodborne pathogen of the HIV/HBV/HCV triad. Plus, you're absolutely right that Hep B sucks a**.

    Still reeling a bit from my recent contaminated needle stick, but hopeful I can step away with little more than extra gratitude for good health & a solid lesson learned. I'm grateful for my Hep B immunity in the event of future needle sticks!