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Is Ann Arbor experiencing a shortage of physicians? - Zer Netmouse
March 15th, 2008
01:15 pm

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Is Ann Arbor experiencing a shortage of physicians?
So, I am slowly getting around to picking a primary care physician for my HMO. I'm looking for a new place partly because it seems to be getting harder and harder to get in to see my regular doctor at the old place... I tend to get shunted, on the phone or in person, to a nurse practitioner. Now, maybe nurse practitioners are just as experienced and trained as doctors and I'm thinking about this wrong, but I miss when I got to see my doctor more easily when I was sick, a few years ago.

So I called a new office yesterday which my chiropractor directed me to, and the doctors they had there who were accepting new patients were scheduling into either April or July for appointments for new patients. July! But I could get in earlier if my health insurance would let me see a nurse practitioner instead...

Is the health care industry restructuring, or what?

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From:elizilla
Date:March 15th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
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I think the nurse practitioners are just as good, for any illness that wouldn't send me to a specialist anyway. Maybe they only have 80 or 90 percent of the knowledge a doctor has, but you get the full benefit of that knowledge brought to bear, because they actually have time to actually *look* at you before they rush out the door. It's easier to get them to focus on you.

Doctors mainly just rush in, look at your charts and confirm the diagnosis done by the other people in the office who saw you first. Then they rush out before you have time to even ask them anything.
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From:netmouse
Date:March 15th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
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Well, the last time I went I waited over an hour to see the nurse practitioner-- and I had an appointment. they really do seem to be either short-staffed or over-scheduling.
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From:aiela
Date:March 15th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
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One of the reasons I go to a small, one doctor practice is because she specifically doesn't over schedule herself, and I am always seen within 5-10 minutes of my appointment time. She never rushes in or out, talks to me about all sorts of things - not just my health, but how my life in general is going, remembers to ask about Dave and/or Brittany, etc.

But I don't know if anyone like this is available in your area.
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From:childe
Date:March 15th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
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I completely agree.

I had a terrible experience in Ypsi, where I'd make appointments to see the doctor, and I'd get the P.A. Now, the doctor was a D.O., and I was looking for someone that wasn't a pill-pusher. He wasn't one. But his P.A.'s were. Every single one I saw.

I'm much happier now at my single doctor practice. She's way out here in Lansing, though. :)
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From:beckybmw
Date:March 15th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
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There has been a lot of stuff going around lately, making a lot of people sick and clogging up the doctor's offices. So I don't know about the short-staff situation, but I'll bet that over-booking is definitely an issue due to the number of people getting sick.
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From:kyril
Date:March 15th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
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One, lots of people getting sick (and since it just got warmer, another wave is coming).

Two, a lot of insurance companies trying to negotiate downward what they'll pay the doctors.

(What really sucks is having to pay a specialist copay just to see an NP, but at least at my PCP's office you get to see an MD.)
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From:rmeidaking
Date:March 16th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
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"Is the health care industry restructuring, or what?"

In a word, yes. More than that, the insurance industry is getting ready for the onslaught on the horizon, because the only thing all three presidential candidates can agree on is that the US insurance/health care industry is broken. And if you think things are hard to figure out now, just wait.

I like our doctor's office, but it's admittedly out near our house, and part of the U of M health system, so maybe not on your HMO.
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From:blue_duck
Date:March 16th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
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If you're willing to go to Brighton, I am *very* pleased with my doctors: all women, all awesome, get in same day, competent as hell and nice to boot. I got tired of looking in Ann Arbor.
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From:netmouse
Date:March 16th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)

Re: doc in ypsi

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If you'll send me her name, I'll check and see if she's in the plan.
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