Now that I’m old, I can’t visit my pediatrician for physicals and check-ups anymore. I’ve been putting off getting a grown-up primary care physician for a while, but now that I’m officially too old for a pediatrician to be allowed to treat me, I had to go out and get a family practice doctor.
FINDING THE DOCTOR
My pediatrician did refer me to a doctor, but it was a male physician and I’m not really comfortable having a man do my physicals right now. So my dad and I went through our insurance company to find a doctor. I told my dad my only criteria was “female”, but then he wanted to find a Chinese doctor. I don’t need a doctor who speaks Mandarin… since I can communicate more effectively in English. Would I be more comfortable with a Chinese doctor? Maybe, if only because all of my physicians have been Chinese, so that’s what I’m used to. Anyway, we found one, I made an appointment last week, and I was just glad that I could see her so short notice.
There were a lot of ominous signs before going:
- My GPS wasn’t working, so I had to try to remember the directions. Luckily, it wasn’t very far, so I managed to get there.
- The suit number was listed wrong, so I thought it didn’t exist in the building… but it did!
- When I got my call for a conformation, I’m pretty sure it was the doctor. Why didn’t she have a receptionist?
It’s a small office, because she has… 3? That’s kind of confusing, but okay. Small office, and she said it’s new, so I guess that’s why she has no employees?
While I’m there, she’s weighing another patient. “Oh, you definitely gained some weight. I guess you ate too much over the holidays, huh?”
My big problem with my physician is this: She’s extremely proud of her accomplishments and spent most of my check-up talking about them.
Also, a quick note: Yes, she is Chinese, so most of this conversation was in Mandarin.
“Are you very active?””
“Unfortunately, not really. You know, lots of school work.”
“Hm, well I had a lot of school work and I still stayed active. Look, I climbed the tallest peak in Africa. Do you know which mountain is the tallest peak in Africa?”
“… Mount Kilimanjaro.”
“Yes. I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. That’s a photo.”
“It’s a very nice photo.”
“Yes, and I took this one on the African safari.”
“Wow, you took it yourself? That’s really nice.” (Me trying to humor her.)
“Yes, and I took this one of the peak.”
“Yes, you should be more active. Okay, here’s your date of birth so that makes you…….?”
“Oh, okay so you’ve graduated college?”
“Um… no I’m a senior.”
“You’re graduating in May? Did you start school late? Because you came here from China?”
“Um, no, I was born here. I actually started school relatively early? Most people graduate when they’re 22.”
“Really? Because my daughter had already graduated when she was 21. Oh that’s right, she graduated a year early.”
“So what’s your major?”
“Oh, being a psychologist is kind of hard though, right? It’s stressful?” (Says the doctor.)
“Well, yeah, I don’t want to be a psychologist, I’m pre-med.”
“Ahh, good. Being a doctor is good. My daughter doesn’t want to be a doctor. You should go to Hopkins, I teach there.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty… intense over there. I also teach some of the University of Maryland interns. It’s really busy because you know, I’m am MD and a PhD, but I don’t research anymore because well, I have 2 daughters. And I did my post-doc at Harvard, so I didn’t want my daughters to have time with me. You know all that research is wasted now.”
“Well, not wasted. I have a LOT of publications.”
“Okay, last question, are you sexually active?”
Let me tell you something.
I have never been happier about someone asking me if I have sex in my life. It meant the end of my physical and I could get the heck out of there.
Needless to say, I will not be listing her as my primary care physician. No thanks. I don’t need my doctor humble-bragging during appointments.
You know it’s bad when it makes my first appointment with my last pediatrician look good. On that appointment, I was referred to a cardiologist, a radiologist, and had a breast cancer scare. (Spoiler alert: It was a sparkly thing on my cami.)
She wouldn’t even let me take proper deep breaths. What the heck.