How Doctors Work

My experience with doctors typically goes a little something like this:

  • Discover an issue somewhere in or on my human body for which a doctor’s expertise may be necessary.
  • Convince myself it is nothing. A trip to the doctor is not needed.
  • Second-guess myself. Google my symptoms while sitting alone in a dark room.
  • Convince myself I have six to eight months to live. A trip to the doctor can’t happen soon enough.
  • Spend the next four or five days wrestling with my own self-pity as I attempt to figure out how to schedule a doctor’s appointment.
  • Call my mom, ask her how to do this.
  • Finally discover a doctor, read several of his or her Yelp reviews, and haphazardly set up an appointment without checking my calendar.
  • Almost immediately realize I am busy during the time in which I have just made said appointment.
  • Call back to reschedule, putting a damper on my relationship with the doctor and his or her associates.
  • Report to my appointment at least 20 minutes early in an act of good faith, hoping to repair the damage caused by the aforementioned rescheduling fiasco.
  • Check in with the receptionist and follow his or her orders to take a seat and fill out an abundance of photocopied and nearly illegible paperwork.
  • Promptly finish the paperwork, hand it over to the receptionist with a friendly smile, return to my seat, and crack open an issue of US Weekly from December 2013.
  • Hear my mispronounced name echo throughout the stagnant room.
  • Rise from my seat, return to the receptionist’s desk to find that he or she is irritated. I have neglected to fill out a small, nearly invisible section of the paperwork. My reputation as an upstanding patient has been completely tarnished. Punishment is delivered in the form of a 40-minute delay in the waiting room with nothing but Smash Mouth playing through blown out speakers.
  • I am finally granted access to the doctor’s lair. A grumpy person wearing scrubs guides me into an empty room. I’m told the doctor will be right in, and to go ahead and have a seat on top of the parchment paper.
  • I sit in the normal chair adjacent to the window instead. I wait five minutes before I contemplate riffling around through the cupboards.
  • Twenty minutes pass. I hear a soft-spoken conversation outside of the door. I become certain it is the receptionist speaking with the doctor, telling him the problems I have caused leading up to this point.
  • The doctor enters. He seems disappointed in me. He asks what’s wrong, even though I’ve already politely outlined my reason for being there to six or seven of his colleagues.
  • The doctor looks at my problem area. His examination and the accompanying diagnosis are neither thorough nor sincere. He assures me it is nothing, removes his latex gloves, wishes me good luck, and exits the room. I am left cold, confused, and filled with displeasure, as if I have just been dumped by my longtime girlfriend at the Chinese buffet.

This post was originally published on my Medium.