I was sorry to see that Dermatology Diary has gone dormant. It’s a site I visited every now and again, because the short musings of an experienced old Abilene doctor are interesting and enlightening.
The stuff about nurse practitioners was particularly cogent. I went to a dermatology doctor that had those, and I’m never going to do that again. They don’t act like real doctors — they don’t look you over and ask you questions, and then figure out what’s wrong. No, you’re supposed to come up with symptoms, and heaven help you if there’s more than the magic insurance number of three. Never mind that all the “conditions” you could name might all be one condition! Don’t even consider the fact that a lot of people nervously or unknowingly save the worst for last! No, if it’s more than three, they don’t want to know.
Also, if you go to see a specialist doctor and pay specialist doctor prices, but only see a nurse practitioner, they ought to lop at least 50-75% off your bill. Heck, you could have just stayed home and searched around on the Web.
The scariest bit was after they sent somebody in to do minor surgery on my yucky bit of skin. I thought she was a doctor, but it turned out afterwards she was another nurse practitioner! Holy crud! Oh, yeah, and they never were real sure what it was, but they still sent me a bill.
I did some research on the Internet that _was_ better than that.
The sad thing is that, when you’re sick or scared that you are, you’re not in the best position to object, or even think of objecting. You do what they tell you to do, trusting that they’ll make you feel better, and then you find yourself at the desk paying and wrangling with the insurance, and then they let you go out the door thankful to be done with the insurance… and suddenly you realize you didn’t get what you wanted and needed, but it’s too late.
Which is why you should take someone with you. Preferably someone who asks obnoxious questions, like “When do we see the real doctor?” 🙂