Today, I went to a doctor’s appointment for my own health issues. I want to share with you my own experience navigating the healthcare system as a patient.

My Own Experience as a Patient

As you may know, I have a number of ongoing health issues that I’m dealing with on a regular basis. My goal is to minimize any recurrence of symptoms of dizziness or vertigo, or pain, and optimize my wellness.

Today I went to a specialized medical provider who accepts my health insurance. This referral was made by my primary care provider.

This blog is about my experience navigating the healthcare system to receive care through an insurance-based specialist medical provider.

As I was sitting in the exam room today waiting for the doctor, I was looking forward to the visit with this specialist.

I had prepared in advance with questions I wanted to ask and requests that I wanted to make. I was ready to advocate for myself to receive proper care while navigating the healthcare system.

However, when the nurse practitioner walked into the room, she was carrying her laptop on her forearm out in front of her and looking at the screen.

She did not even glance to look at me when she entered. We did not make eye contact.

She placed her laptop on the patient exam table and kept her eyes on it the whole time we were talking. I was sitting in a chair against the wall to her left.

She did not look up at me while we were discussing my health concerns, questions, or requests.

We had never met before. She asked me about the state of two diagnoses that I’ve actually never been diagnosed with by any practitioner at any time.

So I stated that I had never been diagnosed with either of those health conditions ever before by any other provider. I was not sure why they were in my electronic medical record that she was reading.

She Never Even Looked at Me

She never said my name or verified my identity, so I was wondering if she had opened up the wrong chart on her laptop.

She asked me about my recent labs (bloodwork) and a few questions about recent treatments I had received elsewhere.

As I was answering her questions, she was steadily typing what I shared on the laptop.

Not once did she look up at me.

After that, I made the specific two requests that I wanted for my health care. She simply stated no without an explanation.

She recommended two prescriptions for me and said she would send them over to my pharmacy. Then she started talking about herself. She shared about her own health issues and her current family situation.

She looked up from the laptop as she was telling me all about her own personal story. Then as she was still talking about herself, she got up and left the room.

As she was walking out the door of the exam room, she instructed me to come back again to see her in four weeks. I was left sitting there completely stunned.

That’s it? What just happened?

She did not address my health concerns or requests. The only time she even looked at me was when she was talking about herself.

She did not put her hands on me or conduct any kind of physical exam or assessment.

That was my experience today navigating the health care system with a health care provider who accepts my health insurance.

Right now, I’m feeling frustrated and disappointed. I guess I will have to try again when I follow up with her in four weeks. But I’m honestly not even sure why I would go back.

Have you had a similar experience when navigating the healthcare system?

I’m interested in your comments, please leave them below.

Disclaimer

This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.

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