Can I just vent a little?

You see these kids? These kids get little to no medical. When they do, they don’t complain.  But, wow, this week was a whole lot of “What? What? What? WHAT? WHAAAAAT?” with my patients.  I love my patients.  Don’t get me wrong.  But, wow.  Some of the new ones under the Affordable Care Act think I am a concierge. I had a few come in this week with a “sore throat” and then added , “Oh and I have had a hip pain for six years I need you to look at and a spot on my back that’s been there a while and since I’m here, can I ask you about my neck?”  In order to keep our doors open, we are allotted a measly fifteen minutes with each patient.  Fifteen ticks of the clock to greet, ask questions, lay hands on our patient, and then formulate an agreeable plan, write the plan, scripts, and explain things.  Fif-teen minutes.  It’s barely enough time for a sinus infection.  Yet under the new insurance rules, we are expected to wear capes and rush our patients through like we’re on the high speed Accela.  I don’t like it one bit.

I spent 12-14 hours per day at work this week.  I don’t get overtime.  I don’t get comp time.  I don’t get a thank you from anyone.  What I do get is to walk into a fully booked schedule day after day and wonder how long it will be before I make a mistake because the train is moving awfully fast some days.  I want the best for my patients.

If you are patient at any practice, remember that if you make an appointment for an earache, please don’t say, “and by the way” or “could you also look at” because you know we will and that means the train will slow down for the next patient.  If all of  you do it, the train won’t hit the end of the tracks until hours after our dinners have chilled and our kids have gone to bed.  And these kids in the photo?  They still won’t get a single drop of care.  That’s the inequity of care in the world.  And it sucks.