I've been going to the same doctor for years and years. He's moved twice in that time. The first move was to a smaller office, which I absolutely LOVED. It was nestled in an area that was very wooded and it just gave the area a peaceful look. Inside his waiting room was the biggest fish tank I've ever seen, along with the TV up in the corner. His waiting room was quiet too. Everyone called you by your name and you felt comfortable....or as comfortable as you could be seeing as it was a visit to the dreaded doctor.
Well, he has moved again and this time into a 5 story medical building. Even though this building is only a mile from his old office, the difference is shocking. You feel like you're in the middle of a large city when you go into this 'complex'. Yes....yes...I know...progress and all that. But I miss his old office.
Yesterday was my first visit since he moved in about 2 months ago. Needless to say, they are still working on getting things streamlined but for the most part, everything is up and running. Gratefully, the parking was close to his office doors. I just hate to have to park and then travel by foot for half a mile before you finally reach your destination. The outside wall is all glass....and the fish tank is there but there were so many chairs. He's now in with 7 other doctors. Picture a huge square in your mind.
You walk in and through the waiting room to the south side of the 'square'. There is a huge counter with cubicles to the left and one open place to the extreme right. There, you write your name, date of birth, appointment time and the doctor your appointment is with. There is a stack of round miniature UFO looking discs on the counter. Each has a lighted number on it. You take one of those, writing the number of it next to your name. You take a seat and wait. I kept thinking about this pager thingie. I'm not so sure I like that idea. What if someone is sneezing and coughing all over it. I supposed they disinfect them at the end of the day.....hmmmm, something to think about. The pager suddenly vibrates and red lights go on and off all over it. I get up and walk to the counter. I hear someone calling my pager number. I walk to one of the cubicles and am told to have a seat. She's very nice and sits in front of a computer typing my personal info into it. She takes my insurance cards and my driver's license and scans them into the system. She says I will have to show ID each time I come in. I fill out paperwork on who to contact in an emergency and sign it. Then she hands me back the pager and tells me to have a seat and wait and when my pager goes off again, to go to the door at the far end. I return to the waiting room and wait. Soon my pager goes off and I respond to the appropriate door and a nurse takes my pager and tells me which room number to enter. I am now on the east side of the 'square'. A nurse comes in and takes my vitals, she draws blood because its time for me to have that done. Then my doctor comes in. Finally a familiar face! I can't read him and I don't know if he likes it there or not but he says everything is fine and yes, I will always get him....not to worry about being shoved off to a strange doctor.
After his exam, he writes me prescription changes and refills and then I'm told to go to another cubicle. I am now on the north side of the 'square'. Another person is sitting in front of a computer and takes my information. This is where I would make new appointments and/or pay. However, they are in the middle of changing computer software and she can't schedule me for an appointment six months away at this time....I'll have to call back in a couple months or so. That's ok with me. I'm then told to round the corner and take the hallway straight to the door at the end. I'm now on the west side of the square. I open the door and I'm out into the waiting room again, except out of a different door.
The office is beautiful. Its new and clean and streamlined. I felt like a car that was being built on the assembly line in Detroit....I'm sorry. I know that with the explosive population we have....this has to be done. Too many people....not enough time. But I really miss how it used to be done. You felt more like an individual....not an object. I love my doctor....he was the same friendly face as always, but I wonder how long he will stay that way in this type of environment. Sigh ~ progress, I know.....but it comes at a price.