Hospital Bottom Lines and the Docs and Patients Caught in the Middle
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Love in the Third Degree.
In what seems to be yet another example of being delayed in some small way that saved me a bigger inconvenience later, I was startled to read a doctor’s notice in the local paper tonight. I was saved from any inconvenience but a lot of other people just had a major disruption in their lives—most of all, their doctor.
I really like the family doctor the girls and I have been seeing since June of 2005. I’d already moved my records there and started seeing him when I found out that his “temporary” office wasn’t temporary before moving into another local office but temporary before the office in Freeport, 20 miles away was completed. His temporary office was next door to the previous clinic we frequented, 2 miles from home and impossible not to drive past. So as much as we’ve liked him, it’s inconvenient as all get-out to travel 20 miles in the opposite direction of work and school.
Last time we got sick, two months ago, we ended up going to the closest immediate care center and waiting to see a physician’s assistant who gave us exactly what we needed within the hour. I just didn’t feel like driving 40 miles.
But I told Shannon that I was tempted to go back to the clinic we used to go to, the one where I always got the receptionist who didn’t have an appointment time for a mom but if my ex called her 10 minutes later, she could work a dad in right away. Grrrrr. The temptation was out of sheer convenience and I’d heard the current doctor was nice enough but I just despised the office help. At the last minute, I decided to take my chances on getting the immediate care docs to work us in rather than search for a new doctor for the second time in 2 years.
Good thing. Or else we would be looking for the third time in 2 years. I couldn’t believe the ad the doc took out in the paper but I’m glad she did. Her patients deserved better, and from the sound of it, so did she.
“Due to an unanticipated decision by [specific] Medical Center Administration, this office is being permanently closed upon commencement of my maternity leave on April 13.
“For the record, I had no say in this decision and am not happy to be leaving this practice or my patients. I have truly enjoyed providing medical care to you and your families and wish all of you long, happy, healthy lives. I hope that maybe one day I can be your physician again.”
Geez. Sounds like she didn’t get much notice either.