I'm always interested in hearing stories about the healthcare system.  Good and not so good. This past week, a friend shared with me her recent story about interacting with the healthcare system.  And it made me think maybe we should forget medical doctors and sign up with our pet's veterinarian.

Each year, Debbie (c'mon, not her real name—have you heard of HIPAA?) makes sure she gets her annual physical and gyn exam.  She's been connected with a gyn practice for many years.  Her dog, Snickers (no, not HIS real name either) also gets his annual check up, too, around the same time of year.  This way, it's easy to remember for Debbie.

This year, Debbie received a postcard reminder that Snickers was 'due for his annual check up.'  This reminder prompted Debbie to call her gyn practice and inquire as to why she hadn't yet gotten their annual reminder. Their response? "Dr. Jones is no longer with the practice."  Though she failed to see why that would impact a reminder, Debbie asked if they were planning to let any of Dr. Jones' patients know that she had left the practice and the staff person said, "No, we're just offering patients another physician in the practice."

Debbie figured that the easiest way to keep on track with her exam was to acquiesce and be seen by one of Dr. Jones' colleagues.  When she asked when she could get an appointment, she was told, "The first available is September."

Meanwhile, back at Snickers' vet's office, the ones who actually sent out a reminder, the first available appointment was the next week. 

Now I get that a human going to a vet for medical care might be (?) ludicrous, but you can't beat the customer service of a veterinary practice  that far exceeds the customer service of a people practice.