So I have had a lot of asthma problems this past year. After a 4 month wait, I finally had an appointment with a highly recommended Pulmonologist last April. I really liked him. He listened and thoroughly discussed my asthma plan. He had me do some follow-up testing that indicated other health problems aggrevating my asthma. He took the time to explain things to me and to talk through treatment options. He even called me on a Sunday to talk about the results from one of the tests.
At that appointment in April, I scheduled a follow-up appointment that took place today. I even had an appointment card with his name written in confirming my appointment. Imagine my surprise when I showed up to my appointment and was told that it was with his Nurse Practitioner, who I have never met before. I expected to see the doctor. I paid a large specialist co-pay to see the specialist, not his nurse. She was nice, but she couldn't answer all of my questions. I now have to wait to see if she calls me back after talking to him to get my answers. I had some pretty major surgery recently to try to help improve my asthma. This was on his advice, with support from my GI doc. I couldn't even talk to him about it. The nurse just nodded her head and took a page of notes.
It is frustrating that it is so hard to see an actual doctor anymore. I spend the same money seeing their helpers that I would to see the specialists, yet they don't have all the same knowledge. I have the same issue with my GI doc as well. It seems that after seeing him for three years, he no longer sees patients and only does the procedures. I see him only after the procedures when I am coming out from anesthesia. I had another primary care appt last week and couldn't get in to see the doc then either and had to settle for a PA. My last ENT appt ended up being with a PA as well.
I'm really trying to get my health issues under control. It has been really draining on me physically, mentally and economically. I know the doctors helpers (PA/ nurses) are qualified, but is it too much to want to actually see the qualified doctor? Is it too much to question why I have to pay the same amount to see the specialist as I do to see their PA or nurse practitioner? Is it wrong of me to question the actual quality of care I am receiving when I don't see the specialists?
I need to go back for further Pulmonary Function Testing in January. When I went to make the appointment today, the doctor isn't available the entire month. I made the appointment with his nurse practitioner to discuss the results, but I am questioning what I should do at this point. The wait to see any other new, qualified specialists is at least 4 months out and I would have to start over again.
Thanks for listening to my frustrations. Any advice would be appreciated.