Physician, Rate Thyself

Have you ever had an idea for an invention or a business or a website right before you find the exact thing you thought up? That happened to me just now.

I’m in the market for a new doctor and an orthopedist and a dentist and an optometrist and a dermatologist so I spent some time on my insurance provider’s website today looking for physicians that are in my provider network.

The problem is that, while you can find doctors that are near where you work or live and while you can find doctors that practice a given specialty, you can’t find out whether the doctor is any good or not.

This is why I’m in the market for a new doctor in the first place. I choose my current doctor based on proximity to my home and that’s pretty much the only criterion of mine that he meets.

Actually, I moved. He doesn’t even meet that criterion any more.

I did solicit referrals from my friends, btw. All I got were recommendations for various gynecologist. Very funny people, my friends.

Besides no longer being close to my home, my doctor also just doesn’t listen. I can enumerate symptoms but it doesn’t matter. He has me diagnosed within the first five syllables. I’ve visited the man twice in the last three months and he’s charged me $62 dollars in co-pay to refer me to an Orthopedist and to administer and prescribe both antibiotics and anti-allergens, just to cover his bases.

I have to pay for both those medicines, asshat, and I’d rather know what’s wrong with me than have you write it off as “allergies”. Last time I checked, most allergies didn’t involve people hacking up gobs of yellow phlegm for six weeks running.

He didn’t even recommend a particular Orthopedist. Just an Orthopedist. “Find one on your provider website”, he says. “That’s how I found you, jackass”, says I.

His diagnoses may or may not be correct but it’s fairly obvious the man is more interested in churning out patients than in getting them healthy. He’s anti-personable, averse to human contact, overly quick to diagnose and makes me wait an hour for the privilege.

And he has clammy hands. That creeps me out. Seriously.

He also takes off every Friday. Suddenly I realize why medical care is so expensive and why doctors are treating patients with a turnstile. Doctors have to earn a full salary working only four days a week. Nice work if you can get it.

The whole experience is so poor that I put off going to the doctor just because it’s such a useless ordeal. I just end up diagnosing myself over the internet and avoiding all the unpleasantness. The only reason I even go to the doctor is because I can’t prescribe my own antibiotics and I needed his referral for the Orthopedist to avoid being screwed by my insurance company. After all, he is my “primary care” physician.

Anyway, the point is that I came up with this idea for a website in which people could rate doctors and search for them by insurance provider. Kind of like an angieslist.com for physicians.

Then I find this. A Zagat Guide for doctors?

My work here is done.