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September 20th, 2004
Doctors

I come from a long line of women with an inherent distrust and dislike of doctors. At this point, a lot of it comes from my mom, and with good reason.

She went to school as an undergrad with the pre-meds, who apparently would do things like sabotage other students’ work to better their chances of a good grade (the lovely bell curve in use at the time).

As a kid, my experiences with doctors weren’t much better. The primary care doctors we had for a long time were good at first, but slowly became HMO-ized and the quality of care went down. They had a bad habit of telling you to stay home if you called up sick and needed an appointment, pretty much no matter what you said — little kid has a 104 degree fever? Oh you probably just took her temperature wrong, stay home (worst bladder infection the emergency room doc had seen in a four year old). Mom is complaining of intense abdominal pain? Probably just gas (a day later her appendix ruptures and she needs emergency surgery). Can’t practice with the swim team until a doctor checks out your shoulder pain? We’ll see you in five weeks (even though the season will be over by then).

After several years receiving excellent care in more non-traditional settings (student health centers and clinics for low-income people) it is with great trepidation that I approach choosing a primary care physician. The timing couldn’t be worse. Choosing a doctor when you’re stuck in a depression rut is probably not the best thing, because choosing a doctor is stressful and stress makes depression worse (or at least, feel worse).

Without any better information, I’m left with a list of doctors in my geographic area (because I want one near where I live), with very little information about them beyond where they went to school, and I have to call them up and ask if they’re taking new patients. This is someone who is going to handle my health care! Why isn’t there some kind of doctor clearinghouse where people can post reviews of doctors in the area?

So, if you have a great primary care doctor (female) who is Providence-preferred, in NW Portland or downtown, who might be taking new patients… would you share? :)

Posted by Claire at 03:10 PM | Days Go By | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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Claire Luna Lundberg