Thursday, April 3, 2008

Doctor, Doctor-- Give Me the News

So it's been a year and a half-ish since Marty and I moved to Victoria. During that time, I think we've both needed to see a doctor twice. Nothing serious, of course, but both times we were forced to visit a dreaded walk-in clinic, seeing as we don't have a family doctor yet.

The other day I decided it was high time for us to look into getting a GP. But I didn't want us to have just any GP, no: I wanted us to have the most bestest GP in all of Victorialand. Ideally, this person would be an MD with a flair for integrative medicine; somebody who wouldn't necessarily push a prescription down our throats if ever we visited; somebody who would recommend things like yoga and tai chi as therapy. Yeah, I wanted us one of those GPs.

Luckily, Victoria has a list of "Wholistic Medical Doctors" that can be downloaded from the internet and direct one's search. Not so luckily, most of these doctors are flat out busy for the rest of their professional lives and have receptionists who merely laugh at you when you ask them if they are accepting new patients. One of the women I spoke with even went so far as to tell me that Dr. So-and-So would never be taking new patients, because everybody he has right now in his practice would be with him 'to the death'. (And presumably those patients will never die, either. Not even one of them. Under his magical care? NEVER!)

Anyway, after scratching off one wholistic GP after another, I finally found one who would be accepting applications for new patients the very next day! (This, I learned, was a once a year occurrence, too, so it felt very serendipitous to me that I happened to phone them that morning.) There were a few catches to this application process, however:

1. Only 40 applications would be handed out on a first come, first serve basis.
2. The clinic reserved the right to reject applications as they saw fit. (So getting an application didn't guarantee getting a doctor.)
3. Even applications that were accepted might not be accepted into Dr. Also-Magic's private practice... they might get stuck with a regular Dr. Joe Blow doctor from the same clinic. Ech.

Basically, there were no guarantees whatsoever. Did I care? Of course not. I was positively determined to land us our magical GP, and doing almost anything for the sake of the doctor who practices Ayurvedic medicine (!), nutrition (!), reiki (!!), and hosts meditation workshops every Saturday (!!!) seemed worth the chance.

I rode my bike to the clinic VERY EARLY the next morning to stand in line. I was not the first one there, or even the twentieth person there. I was still in the top 40 (thank god!), but man, were there ever a ton of people already waiting. Some had arrived at 6:30 for applications that would be handed out at 9 am. I felt so callous, seeing older-than-old women huddled over their walkers and mothers with young babies behind me in line. Ordinarily, I would be falling over myself to offer them seats, open doors, back massages-- WHATEVER THEY NEEDED, but that morning, all I could think was 'back off! I got here first!' Heaven forbid they get one of MY applications.

After an hour and some in line, they finally started handing out applications. I scored one each for Marty and I, but I noticed many people behind me weren't so lucky. After all that wait, they simply got told that there were no more applications to be given out. How insane!

We carefully filled out our applications, not wanting to sound too sick or too healthy. We wanted all of our concerns to sound like they were perfectly tailored to Dr. Also-Magic's skill set. I dropped them back off the next morning, and now all we do is wait. They say it takes up to one month to review all of the applications. Some will be rejected outright. Others will be offered a first visit to 'assess their compatibility' with the practitioners at the clinic. I am SO HOPING to be in the lucky few who not only make it pass the first round and the first visit, but who also make it into the LIFELONG PARTNERSHIP with Dr. Also Magic. After all, if we ever manage to get ourselves under his care, Marty and I are basically assured eternal life. See you all in the 30th century! (right.)


Anonymous said...

I had no idea doctors did this!!!!!!! If I had only knew when I first moved to town. I don't like my doctor at all and it seems that once you have a doctor in town, it's EVEN HARDER to get a new doctor, so I feel like I'm stuck with Dr Moronic. *sigh*

Goodluck to you though! (fingers, toes, knitting needles crossed!)

Wednesday L said...

Remember when Mother switched us to Dr. Morys in the... early nineties, and it was fun and easy? My gosh, what a struggle it's become since!

I hope whoever you end up with is a golden cross of Arrata knowledge and Morys friendliness. But, like, exponentially better in both! AND, that they don't like prescriptions.

I will cross my fingers, super one!

xo, your l'il bro

susiederkins said...

did you guys apply as a couple? what would you do if one person got in and the other didn't?

Rose Fluxes said...

This causes me stress.

thinking about difference said...

what a fascinating entry into a new phd topic! think about it, the systemic dimension of doctor-patient relation, and the personal view and expectations of health care.

i find it frustrating that doctors have so much power, but i also understand they have concerns. 4 years and going in calgary, we still have no family doctor... talk about tensions...

thinking about difference said...

i meant - doctors, 'they have constraints'.

dana said...

Mary-- I've heard that the clinic won't even look at applications from people who already have doctors... sucks!! Who knew that the doctor-patient contract was a lifelong commitment? Written in BLOOD??

Wd-- I would love a Morys/Arrata cross. More than anything.

Susie-- I hadn't even considered the possibility of only one of us being accepted. I just assumed that if one of us didn't make the cut, they wouldn't phone the other one, either. An easy way to pare down the list of applicants, I guess.

Rose-- I feel your pain. Immensely.

Delia-- Still trying to get me into a Ph.D program, I see! Some things never change! :P

Valerie said...

Dana, I looked over your health for years and, I must say, ANYONE who gets this privilege should stand in your line!! Mom xoxo