Since becoming a rare disease patient, I have formed relationships with doctors that go beyond just seeing them once a year. My hematologist Dr. Ahn is my lifesaver, I view him as a guardian angel. I also have an amazing OB/GYN, Tara Solomon. Dr. Solomon was the first one to discover how low my platelets were, and she also went above and beyond to help me in every way possible after being diagnosed. Without these two amazing people, I might be dead.
So now with law school approaching in the fall and life starting to take it’s toll on my overall zen, I decided to find an Internal Medicine doctor. Let me start off by saying that this is so frustrating, I don’t know how people spend their days researching doctors. My insurance company’s website lacked any valuable information so I was constantly flipping between their site and Google just to check out each doctor. I’m surprised at the lack of information available for patients when trying to find a healthcare provider. I assumed doctors would want to advertise their education to make them attractive to potential new patients.
So when I finally uncover the information needed to make a call, I came to my next problem… excessively long wait times. The first office I called put me on hold for over 15 minutes. I never even told them my name! Other offices wanted me to leave a message and they would respond, not going to work for me. I need to explain that I have a rare disease and make sure the doctor would be willing to treat me before I go through the hassle of explaining my entire identity over the phone. I found this to be the norm, leave a message and eventually someone will reluctantly return your call. Fantastic start to the doctor-patient relationship.
I’ve decided to ask my doctors who they know and if they would be willing to take me on as a patient. I’m not easy to treat with a rare blood disorder and compromised immune system. However, I am educated, a great listener and an interesting case medically speaking. I’ll engage with whoever ends up taking care of me, and I hope we have a great bond like I enjoy with my other doctors.
Until then, I refuse to listen to elevator music for 15 minutes.