Saturday, April 23, 2011

Goodbye Dr. Peggy

We are a family of five. A healthy family of five. Yet we spend an obscene amount on healthcare because Dave and I are both self-employed. I've been thinking about switching to Kaiser for a long time. I like a lot of what Kaiser is about: operational efficiency, preventative services, easy-to-obtain same-day appointments or somewhat urgent care appointments.

Yet I stalled mostly because The Pinks have been with the same pediatrician since they were old enough to know they had a pediatrician. And she is a wonderful woman, a compassionate and skilled physician.

Things such as Thing 2's unexpected encounter with the icicle are a significant out-of-pocket expense for us; using the Kaiser model it wouldn't be a big deal at all.

And so I pulled the trigger.

Experience 1:
I needed my eyes checked. The exam lasted 15 minutes -- 45 minutes less than the last visit I had to an optometrist. However, my prescription was updated and I can see again.

Experience 2:
Eldest Daughter needed a well visit. Parking was a nightmare. But the pediatrician herself was nice enough and again, the visit was quite brief as compared to a well check with Dr. Peggy.

Experience 3:
Thing 2 injured her finger at school playing ga ga. I called Kaiser and by phone, a sympathetic RN helped me examine Thing 2's hand. She then told me what to buy at the pharmacy and saved me a trip to urgent care. I really liked that! However, Thing 2's finger did not heal as fast as the RN thought it should. And that led us to Experience 4.

Experience 4:
Hello Minor Injury Clinic, the model of efficiency. A same-day doctor's appointment, a quick trip to x-ray two floors down and a return trip to the doctor's office for the diagnosis. Except that the doctor skipped delivering the diagnosis as he tried to push us out the door to the cast room. I stopped him and said, "I must have missed the diagnosis. Can you review the x ray with me?" He did stop and show me the bone chip, a fracture. And then came the splint. While we were having the splint put on, Thing 1 mentioned that her allergies were still bothering her. What the heck, we went upstairs to pediatrics and saw the first doctor who could work her in.

Experience 5:
And I liked this guy better than the pediatrician I'd selected for our kids. But he's a he! And the shes want a she. Ugh.

This is an adjustment.

I did not realize how much of a relationship I had with our long-time doctors until we switched. I've often wondered how much they really knew me, knew us. I don't have that same expectation with Kaiser. How much does that matter to me? I'm not sure yet. Me being me, I penned lovely farewell notes to each of our former doctors, ensuring they'd at least remember us if it turns we go that route again. Stay tuned.


Postcards From The Hedge said...

wow. Have been thinking the same thing - we are living parallel lives (at different altitudes) I pay over a thousand dollars a month for health insurance for One person? It's nuts...except for the Murphy's law thing, and the huge write-downs. So Kaiser here I come.

Amy said...

Assuming they take us... We start Kaiser 5/1