I have had the same family doctor for thirty years. She has seen me through childhood broken bones and my pregnancy. I dread the day that she retires which I fear is rapidly approaching. I know that there are other doctors at her practice that I will adjust easily to, but I truly love having her as my family doctor. She and I live in the same community and sometimes have bumped into one another at the grocery store or movie theater. Though she has numerous patients, she always takes a brief moment to say hello to me or anyone else that she recognizes.
I know that some professionals choose to not acknowledge clients or patients outside of the office. I think that is rude and unprofessional. I also think it is rude to see your family doctor out and about and approach them with your ailments. There is a time and a place for everything. My family doctor has never once seemed annoyed that I have said hello to her.
Nor has she ever appeared to be in a bad mood when in the office either. Though she is a family doctor, she does not specialize in any particular areas. She does, however, seem to know practically anything I've ever asked her or seen her for. There have been times in which she has referred me to a specialist but only if it was absolutely necessary. I've challenged her with some strange ailments in my years and as my family doctor, she's never left me down. My insurance company requires me to visit my family doctor before going to get x-rays or a specialist. Even if I know that I need to see someone other than my family doctor, they require a referral. Though I think that it is simply a ploy to get more money out of the clients and patients, it does make sense. Appointments are already hard to come by when seeking a specialist. They don't want people making unnecessary appointments if a family doctor can take care of it in the first place.
I have learned that the family doctor is the gateway to most everything in the medical world. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful family doctor that I can trust and rely on. In some ways, I have more respect for a family doctor than a specialist. Why? Well, a family doctor sees a variety of ailments - things that specialists may never have seen. Day after day, a family doctor deals with the coughs and sore throats and infections that people are constantly fretting about. A family doctor is certainly one that deserves a great deal of credit.
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