Patients may perhaps have to start thinking outside the box when choosing a doctor. Well maybe not. So please don’t go throwing away that yearly listing you receive in the mail when your health coverage enrollment campaign begins. But don’t be too quick in dismissing the idea. In an article entitled, Doctor-Patient Rendezvous is an accounting of this scenario. It was in the July/August 2010 edition of the AARP Bulletin. It was written by Mike Tucker.
In an attempt to better budget their hospital finances and in dealing with competition, a hospital in Texas did something rather unique.
According to the article, “About 20 patients recently gathered at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford in Bedford for a “speed dating” session with prospective doctors.
Each patient was paired up with a doctor and for 5 minutes was given time to ask questions and get answers. Its purpose was to see if the patient and doctor would be a good match. According to hospital spokeswoman, Jennifer Gordon Erickson, “It’s an inexpensive, time-efficient way for people to meet physicians in a nonthreatening, relaxed and fun environment”.
As I thought about it, it was somewhat humorous to me. But then when I further contemplated I likened it to “trying before you buy”. Since I’m sure I’ll have to pay some cost with my doctor’s visit, I might as well give it to someone who I feel I have some rapport with. I’d like to think that I am more than just a social security number to my doctor.
I have been fortunate to have had good doctors who seem to care about me as an individual. On the other hand this option might be a good idea for patients and doctors who don’t really have a good patient-doctor relationship.
It will be interesting to see if this is something other medical professionals will embark upon. Stranger things have happened.
AARP Bulletin, July/August 2010, page 8