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.

2 comments:

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