My dog’s health care is better than mine … is this a cause for concern?

March 11, 2009 at 10:55 pm Leave a comment

It’s an interesting state of affairs when my dog in Madison, Wisconsin receives better health care than I do.

Given my family’s experience with vets who have no solutions other than to prescribe medications (even Prozac) for my dog’s recurring hot spots, my dad decided to take him to Truesdell Animal Care Hospital.

In short, this place is amazing. All information from my dog’s checkups is posted online, even prescription and diet information. My family also receives follow-up emails from the vet (which, due to my very strong attachment to my dog, my dad forwards along to me).

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m elated that my dog is finally receiving such wonderful care. But I’m also struck with a question (and it’s a big one): If they can do it for dogs, why can’t they do it for me?

My health care experience in D.C. has been, to put it bluntly, utter crap. After phoning multiple general practitioners, only to be put on a six-month waiting list or be told that “Dr. such-and-such doesn’t take insurance and charges $1,500 per appointment,” I settled with a private practitioner in my Dupont Circle neighborhood.

After being with this guy a year, I can safely say that going to the doctor is like going back into the 1980s. The office reminds me of my vague memories of doctor’s offices in my pre-kindergarten years. There are no computers – only fax machines and telephones. The office keeps all records on paper and prints out payment receipts from a home-office calculator.

All this wouldn’t be so bad if, you know, I received competent care, didn’t have to call the office 10 times to get a prescription refilled and if I didn’t have to walk into the office to get my doctor to talk to me.

I know I’m not alone. My place of work, Public Citizen, receives too many complaints about poor health care to name. But clearly, health care doesn’t have to stay stuck in the 1980s. My dog’s clinic is proof positive of this.

Hopefully I can find a competent physician soon. But I’m seriously considering checking myself into the animal hospital if Washington, D.C.’s medical care doesn’t improve.

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Entry filed under: Outrages. Tags: , , .

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