Friday, July 9, 2010

Reviewing Doctor Offices

I just finished reading a review of a local restaurant and it got me to thinking.  Why don't they write reviews in the paper about doctors' offices?  Wouldn't that improve our health care and make waiting rooms a lot nicer?  Here's an example.

I visited the office of Dr. Squeeze and Smooch in a lovely area north of town.  Parking accommodations were unique as they only offer parallel parking or parking at meters that tended to devour my change.  Once however, I manage to get parked, the office entrance was only a few feet away and the walkway was beautifully decorated with large planters and a fountain that made you feel relaxed and serene before the poking and prodding began.

The front office receptionist was friendly although her eye contact was minimal as she requested my insurance card and asked me to complete the short novel also known as my "medical history form".  She offered me a pen but I declined as I prefer to use pens that have only been touched by my own hands.

The form was hard to read in places and the questions were often worded poorly. I also found several misspelled words and more grammatical errors than I could count.  I felt like I wanted to take a nap halfway through the thing and wondered why they couldn't condense this 10 page albatross into something short and sweet.

The office lighting was not the usual fluorescent but was low and soft and I noticed CFL bulbs under the lampshades.  Although this lighting made one feel cozy and at ease it also made it impossible to read the poor quality medical history form.  I had to resort to pulling a flashlight from my bag to read and decipher most of the print.

When I returned the form the office receptionist I had originally met was replaced by a snarly older man who looked over my form and told me (not asked) to take a seat.  I asked how long might it be before I saw the doctor and was told "he will get with you when he gets with you".

I took a seat near a table lamp and reviewed the selection of magazines which was sparse and not inviting--There were several copies of Hunter's Guide, National Geographic, and only two very old People and Ladies Home Journal Magazines.    I resorted to watching the flat screen television which was showing old Dr. Phil episodes although the volume was so low so I had to make up the dialogue.  It was either a show about hairy men or problems with teens who dress like vampires.  I wasn't sure.

The furniture and waiting room was designed in "Early Office" and to say it was boring is an understatement.  I noticed several tears in the fabric on the chairs and a couple of wads of gum were visible under the table holding the poor selection of magazines.  The color on the walls was off white with pictures that had to have been ripped off the walls of a nearby Motel 6.

Finally, a medical person (who knows if she is a nurse of just graduated from an online medical technician course), called my name....(this review will continue in next week's column).

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