Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Then I can't help you!

In any job I have ever had,customer service has always been a number one priority.
So,imagine my shock and surprise when I had an appointment last week at a new dermatology practice where customer service is non-existent.

When I got to the front desk,the receptionist didn't acknowledge me for quite some time. She wasn't doing anything except avoiding eye contact with me. I stood in front of her,willing her to look up at me. Eventually she did. She gave me some forms to fill out and then I sat and waited to be called.

About 15 minutes later,I was called in to the exam room. The person who escorted me in could not have been a nurse since she didn't know anything medical! As I listed my medications for her, she looked like a deer in the headlights. She didn't know how to pronounce or spell any of my meds even though I was saying them for her. "I take 500mg of Metformin in the morning and 1000mg at night," I said.
The confused girl looked up in horror and asked,"Metta what?"

She reluctantly wrote down my meds and then told me to get ready for the doctor.
Now for this next part,you have to use the voice of Mrs. Howell from Gilligan's Island and the voice of Kitty Montgomery,the mother-in-law on Dharma and Greg.
Dr.H came in and she was the most condescending and snobby woman I have ever met.

Dr.H: Why have you come here today?

Me: My doctor said I had a lot of freckles and I needed a yearly mole check. I also
have eczema and some other skin issues.

Dr.H glared at me and said nothing so I guessed she wanted more details.

Me: I have had eczema for 43 years (I pointed to the light patchy spot on both of
my arms)and they turn beet red when I am stressed.

Dr.H glared at my light spots and said nothing. I waited for a response. When I didn't get one, I looked up at her. Finally she said in her snotty voice,

"Is it there now?"

Me: Uhm....not the red blotches but you can see where they are.

Dr.H: Then I can't help you!

I sighed. She could definitely see the light patches. Gee,sorry I'm not a basket case and my arms aren't inflamed today.........I decided to address problem number two.

Me: Every morning,my face is very dry so I have to put some type of moisturizer on
it. No matter what I use,there are bright red lines going down each side of my
mouth. It looks like I put red lipstick down the side.

Dr.H: Well is it there now?

I purposely didn't use make-up so that she would see this problem. I looked in the mirror but the lines weren't there.

Me: I don't see them're not there.

Dr.H: Then I can't help you!

Me: This is the most frustrating exam I had ever had!

Long glare from Dr.H.........I sighed.

Me: Well what can I do about the eczema?

Dr.H: You keep saying eczema.....eczema.....eczema is dry skin. Use any type of moisturizer and you won't have eczema!

Was she kidding me??????? When the blotches come,moisturizer inflames my skin and makes it more itchy and irritated. My fingers and hands are a dry,itchy mess. Moisturizer will make them worse.

Dr.H: I guess I will check your moles.

After her search she looked disappointed.

Dr.H: There is nothing wrong with you. Is there something you are
concerned about?

Me: There is this mole on my shoulder that has become raised in the past year.

Dr.H: Well, you become older,they fill with fat. It's not a problem unless
you want something removed.

Me: Do I need it removed?

Dr.H: No.

I told her I didn't have any more questions. She told me to get dressed.
Once I was dressed,I sat and waited for her to return. After a few minutes I figured she wasn't coming back and maybe I should just check out. As I walked down the hall,I saw her sitting in a little room writing in a chart. I asked,"Do I just check out?" She looked at me as if I just threw up on her designer shoes and said,"No. You go back in the room and you wait for me!"

I went back to the room and waited. A few minutes later,the incompetent non-medical girl came in. She gave me a sample of some moisturizer and told me to make an appointment for one year. I said I'd call. Ya right!!!!! If my skin were falling off and Dr.H was the only one who could cure me,I'd be skinless!!

After I told Rich and Lillianna this story, I decided to make this my catch phrase.
"Is it there now?.......Then I can't help you!" I have to use the snobby obnoxious voice to make it work. Lillianna just laughs.

I can laugh as I look back on it but it was really pathetic. To deny that my eczema is itchy and causes problems was ridiculous. She doesn't know me or my situation.

Have you ever had an encounter with an incompetent doctor? How did you handle it?

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