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The New Doctor.

Dr. CTIt took me a while to find a primary care physician out here.  (Mostly because I had previously never left RI and was naively convinced that doctors didn’t practice outside of the borders of my fine, tiny former state.  Oh, and laziness.)

I made a few phone calls to area physicians.

Ring.  “Hello, you’ve reached the offices of [doctor].  Our offices are closed.  Our business hours are from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, closed on Wednesdays.” 

Open six hours a day?  Only four days a week?  No way.  Picked another one.

Ring.   “Yeah?  What?”

I hung up. 

Ring..  “Hello, Dr. Pompous’s office.”

“Yes, I’d like to see if Dr. Pompous is taking new patients.”

Barely concealed laugh.  “You’ll need a referral.  Dr. Pompous doesn’t bother with patients without referrals.”

I made a face.  Then hung up promptly.  Stupid fools.  No way to treat a patient, potential or otherwise.  What was with these people? 

I closed my eyes, ran my finger down the list.

Ring.  “Hello?  You’ve reached Dr. CT’s office.  How can I help you?”

“Is the doctor taking new patients?”

“Yes.  Would you like to come in to meet her?”

Meet her?

“Yes.  Can I make an appointment for a physical, too?  Or do I have to meet her first?”

I heard a muffled sound, as though the receptionist was leaning in and covering the phone a bit.

“Sure.  I have to be honest with you – I’ve never had a patient not want Dr. CT.”

Sold.  I made the appointment and visited with my new doctor last week. 

Dr. CT sat me in her big, comfy office and talked about my health.  She put her cell phone in her drawer and told the receptionists to hold her calls.   

We talked about the big issues:  diabetes, fitness, blood pressure, pregnancy (no, I’m not), and my overall health goals.  She reviewed my last A1c and told me she wanted to have me under 7%.  I laughed and told her I would also like to be under 7%.  We talked about steps towards that goal.  I watched as she made notes that read, “Type 1 – 20 years.  Good health.  Big sense of humor.  Lives with boyfriend.”  We talked about stress.  About anxiety.  And we touched base briefly about the new Rocky movie. 

I felt like she listened.  Really listened.

They also hooked me up to an EKG machine, which I had never experienced before.  “You’ve been diabetic for 20 years and, even though you are in very good physical condition, we want to make sure there aren’t any unseen issues.” 

Appreciating her thorough perspective, I nodded.  “So what do I have to do?”

I have never felt more like Frankenstein’s monster in my life.  Exposed almost entirely, my doctor and one of her assistants covered me in those sticky tabs and connected the wires.  My mind started to race.

“I’m wearing a pump.  Will it short out?”

“There’s underwire in my bra.  Will I be electrocuted?”

“I feel like Frankenstein’s monster.”

She laughed at the last one, and said, “Well, it’s all over now.  See?  It was that painless.  Everything looks perfect.  And now you can stop feeling like Frankenstein’s monster.”

“Can I rip off the tabs and roar?”

She laughed again.  “Sure.”

She hummed haunted theme music as she switched off the EKG machine.  I sat up, slowly, and ripped the tabs from my body, letting loose with a quiet, but fierce monster roar.

“I can assure you – that has never happened in my office before."  She paused.  "But I wish it had."

I’m pretty sure this doctor is a keeper.

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Comments

I'm glad you found a great doctor. I still don't see a family doctor, just my endocrinologist. I suppose I should find one...Thanks for your insights; I read your blog everyday!

so glad you got a good doctor. they're very rare

1. You rock. Thank you for not growing up.

2. I haven't been for a physical in about 15 years. I've never even spoken to my so-called "primary care physician"'s office.

True, good doctors are hard to come by. Perhaps patients with a great sense of humor are also few and far between.

A really nice story. I read your posts for the first time, but now I add you to my blogroll.

I'm so glad you found a great new doc. Seriously, they are hard to come by. Great post, btw. I had to giggle when you called the "yeah? what?" doctor. Interesting way to answer a phone ....

When I had to find a new endo in NYC earlier this year, I also found the mannerisms of those initialing answering the phone to be a deciding factor...

Yeah, she sounds awesome!
I hate EKGs. Mine always come back abnormal...the doctor's explanations : 1)things run backwards in you 2) your energy is centered in the middle of your chest.

Um...yeah.

Hope all is well...hugs
- L

Ahhhh! Happy Belated Birthday, SparkleMotion!!! I missed the boat entirely this year. Blast!

Kerri

Thanks for the good laugh. I could almost see the arcing thunderbolts as you stepped from the table.

Were your arms and legs locked straight a la Frankenstein?

Sounds like a great doctor.

I don't so much envy your beautiful smile, your terrific job, or your handsome boyfriend.

I don't envy your personal connection with Larry Bird, your cats with super powers, or your award winning blog.

This, though, has me green with envy!!! I wonder if Dr. CT has a sister named Dr. VA!

How very awesome is all that?

I think putting the cell phone in a drawer and holding all calls is very telling all by itself.

Sounds great!

I am so glad you truly found an endo that you love! I absolutely love mine and it is truly the first doctor that I have ever had that I don't dread going to see! So, I know how much you can appreciate a great doctor. Good for you!

Green.
Green with envy, I am.

Awesome story, too, Ms. Fronk-en-steen.

I can tell you this: My last primary care physician was a moron. She never even looked me in the eye, I don't think. And she would take more phone calls and interruptions that seemed humanly possible. I didn't like her. This new Dr. CT seems right up my alley.

But no one can replace my endocrinologist up at Joslin. Even though I'm cutting back to seeing her only once a year, I'm a Joslin girl, through and through. :)

Do you still see Dr. R there, Kerri?

Your new primary seems like a great doctor. I found a great one, too, luckily, after seeing a couple of real morons.

I want to move to your state! Maybe it and RI have a monopoly on good docs?

Julia - I was kicked out of pediatrics when I was 24. "24 of pregnant," Dr. R used to say to me. I held out, damn it! Now I see Florence Brown. She's excellent. And apparently in high demand, as Dr. R. pulled strings to get me in there. (Man, I miss Dr. R, though. She is one of the very best. I always pop in to say hi to her when I go to Boston.)

I need to find a Doc like that although Dr. F-Bomb is pretty entertaining.

Thanks for the laugh!

I am finding it hard to believe that this story isn't made up- unfortunately most doctors anywhere either have poor interpersonal skills or are saddled with a "poor" office staff.
But thanks for bringing me hope anyways.

Sweet!

She sounds really great.

Though, I must admit, I like the sound of Dr. F-Bomb too...

Tom - Unfortunately, most doctors don't pay attention to their patients. It's a sad truth. My last doctor was a dingbat.

Fortunately, this doctor is for real. And the story is real.

Enjoy the hope.

Yay for good doctors! I have yet to find a PCP that fits my needs. The nurse practitioner at the local family practice is the best I've seen (for the girlie stuff), but I didn't like one of the other docs much. The internist I was seeing when diagnosed with pre-diabetes then severe depression then hypothyroidism then type 2 diabetes was awful, though.

Glad you found a doc you like :)

I had an ekg for the first time a few months back. Weird stuff, I'll agree.

Hello I read your story about dr.ct and wanted to know if you can share with me the name of the doctor? I am Desperately trying to find a new doctor for my parents that have diabetes. I help take care of them and feel that their primary doctor is over medicating them and feel that the dr. isn't listiening to them during visits. thank you Betty

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