This is the first post in maybe a series about things I have learned in my career as a person with incurable, chronic illness. I’ve had more doctors appointments, insurance debacles, and prescription drugs than most people my age, and I’ve learned a thing or two. And whether if you’re chronically ill or not, these tips can help you! For some reason, healthcare wasn’t designed to be user-friendly, and even the healthiest person will need medical help eventually.
So without further ado, here’s Pro Tip#1:
Never Take The Last Appointment of the Day
I am not a morning person, so I always try to schedule my appointments later in the day if possible. And I get it, maybe you work during the day and the easiest thing is to take that 4:45 appointment rather than try to get a day off to go to the doctor. It’s not always possible to avoid that time slot. But if there is ANY WAY you can get even the second to last appointment rather than the last, it is worth the trouble!
I’ve had a lot of doctors in my time. A lot of them sucked. But some of them I really liked! And this was true even for the ones I really felt cared about my situation. If you’re the last appointment of the day, your doctor will be going through the motions. Charts will be skimmed, explanations will be short, and google will be recommended in place of any kind of actual consultation. Good doctors will at least stay polite, but many doctors will be downright rude about any kind of hold ups.
And I understand. Doctors are people, too. They’ve been at this all day. They have family at home. Or pets. Or video games. Or a bed ready for napping in. And especially now, with the world in a health crisis, Doctors are overworked and at high risk as essential workers. This tip doesn’t really apply to any doctor working on COVID-19 right now, they’re basically at war. But other doctors, specialists who are keeping their office open and keeping regular appointments? Yeah. They are still very brave and still at high risk right now, but they are also guilty of glossing over that last appointment of the day.
So DON’T DO IT. Even if it’s just a checkup or whatever, you don’t want to waste the money on an appointment with a doctor who won’t give you their full attention. Set yourself (and your dollars) up for success and get an appointment earlier in the day.