Take A Number and Wait: Shuffling Through the System

After discussing at length with DH the decision about whether to go forward with IVF, I called Dr. C’s office this afternoon to schedule the consult. It’s set for July 8,. Two whole weeks. I’m leery.

For background, here’s the deal: The practice Dr. C is part of has five offices in my area; only one of those locations is a reasonable distance from me. The physicians in the group rotate between all five offices, so Dr. C is not dedicated daily to the location I go to. When I call the practice, it takes them awhile to actually answer the phone, and the person who answers could be in any one of the five offices. This means for me that the receptionist never knows who I am, so I have to go through explaining my name, DOB, doctor’s name, and location each time. Not a huge deal, but inconvenient after the fifth or sixth time in two weeks. Then I get put on hold. Scheduling the consult consisted of a back and forth game between me and unknown receptionist because of the upcoming holiday, figuring out the right location Dr. C would be at, the time of day DH and I could be there because of our work schedules, etc. I straight up asked her if scheduling appointments and reaching a person was always going to be this difficult. I don’t think I won her over on that one. I can’t help it, I’m just a blunt person!

I also asked about the status of my blood work request while I had the receptionist on the phone. Yesterday I had faxed in a request for a copy of my blood work that had been drawn over a week ago. She informed me that it could take “a few weeks” for them to mail/email the results to me! Weeks?!  I don’t usually go with big group medical practices for this very reason—I am just one patient out of many, many patients being shuffled through the system. I already feel like a number. To his credit, at Dr. B’s office they answered the phone promptly and always knew who their patients were. Scheduling was quick and it was easy to be seen. Patient records could be accessed via an online patient portal. Dr. C’s office has no such patient portal (which is really a surprise for a group its size). I wish I could have those things from Dr. B’s office, but minus Dr. B, and replaced with Dr. C.  So, basically, it’s hurry up and wait for now.

For these reasons, I’m going to give this a chance, but I’m totally cautious and wary about if this is going to work out. I want it to work out of course; none of us put ourselves through all this for fun. But I just get this initial nagging feeling like it might not. Like I said, I’ve always had negative experiences with large group practices and typically avoid them. I really don’t try to be a difficult patient (I know it might not seem like it, but, truly! I’m not!), but I do expect a certain something from my doctor’s office. I absolutely get that I’m not the only patient they see; I understand all that. I just don’t want to get lost in the mix.

drinaminute

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Author: Marixsa

Navigating the infertility waters and encouraging other mamas-in-waiting along the way.

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