Have you noticed that the ranks of medical generalists is going the way of the dinosaur? I keep getting referred off for what I consider inconsequential things. I was at the eye doc this summer. Typically when I go, they check the health of the eyeball, do a refraction (for prescription lenses) and dilate for a better look at the retina. This year I got the health check of the eyeball (healthy) but my eye doc doesn’t do refractions. That’s another doc which means another appointment at another time with another co-pay. I opted to wait out another year and just to the refraction doc. Other than dry eye (which they can’t seem to help) I don’t have any eye issues.
I visited my breast cancer surgeon for an annual checkup and mammogram. They changed the protocol so I had to get a chest x-ray. They saw scar tissue from my original radiation 18 years ago so they ordered a CAT scan. At the end of the day, I was fine. My primary care shrugged and said tests without symptoms usually show stuff that doesn’t impact anything. Worse yet, they want the scan done again in six months to ensure there is no change. The scar tissue has been there for 18 years and it hasn’t changed.
My ob-gyn monitored my bone health and prescribed a medication for decades. I was switched to an injection instead of a pill and that had to be given by an endocrinologist. Yet another doc to see twice a year.
The same is true of dermatologists. Each has their specialties so everything has more visits, takes longer and costs more.
I understand that specialists are necessary. They are focused on their specialty so they can give you the best treatment. If I had a serious issue I would certainly want someone well versed in the specialty. If nothing is wrong, I hate to make extra trips (and incur extra charges).
I’m allergic to doctor visits. It’s on a long list of things that I don’t like to do which includes haircuts, dental cleanings and buying underwear. I much prefer having a nice latte with a good friend (or by myself) to most anything these days. I’m becoming a curmudgeon. Just like my mom! She would consider me lucky. Back in her day they would plop you in the hospital “for observation.” They rarely do that anymore. Progress.