damn doctors

So, I had a bad experience with a doctor yesturday.

Of course, it was an eye doctor but it does go to show the dangers of doctors abusing their authority. I went for my first eye exam in about two years. I've worn glasses since I was 5, so I'm well versed in these visits. I picked a new guy, because he was close to my apartment and got an appointment for my vacation week. Just looking for the basic exam and to get a new prescription because my current glasses are showing their age. I also have a coupon for a $40 gift certificate when I get my glasses at this great little place in Boston called S.E.E.

I should have expected problems when I had to wait an hour and a half for my exam after I got there early. Suffice to say, I was not thrilled. But, what happened next was the real problem. The doc takes a visual exam of my eyes, does the Glaucoma test, does the wall test, and that's it. He didn't actually check my prescription. You know, the "Is it better now... or now" test. Its such a familiar part of an eye exam that its even gotten into commercials. None of that. He pronounces my vision with my glasses to be 20/20 or better. He then proceeds to lecture me about how near-sighted I am (like I wasn't aware) and start insisting on me getting a referal from my primary care physician so he can dilate my pupils. Now, this always happened as a normal part of the exam before, but whatever. I already knew I wasn't coming back to him so I tried to put him off and ask about getting my prescription.

The guy refuses to write me a prescription. He insists I come back for that. He proceeds to then say I need to come back THREE more times and starts suggesting ways for me to make a reason for my PCP to give me a referral. I'm just too upset to even know what to do. I should have held my ground, but it was intimating. I mean, I tried to bring up what I needed, and the guy flat out refused me. I called my HMO and they were uniformly unhelpful so I called back my doctor and insisting on getting a prescription saying I didn't know when I could come back due to work demands. They were also unhelpful but acted like they'd see if he could mail it to me.

Its all so frustrating. It was supposed to be a simple little eye exam and its just left me feeling helpless and frustrated. I don't appreciate someone taking $15 from me and gosh knows what from my HMO just to make me wait 90 minutes for a 5 minute exam that wasn't even complete. And I expected my HMO to be more interested in a doc trying to extort additional visits from a patient, since they are paying more of that then I am. The only good thing is I had this appointment this week because my annual eye exam is done by calendar year so I can get another as of next week and have it paid for. They better, anyway. I'm also going to talk to my employers insurance agent (who is not an employee of the HMO but an independant guy who handles a lot of accounts with them) and see if he can do anything since he specifically said that's what he was there for. Wish me luck.

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