That thing about “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor…”

That thing about “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor…”

- in Opinionated News
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Only works if you can find him.. sometimes that’s not easy

Just about seven years ago, I started going to the VA Clinic in Viera Florida.. I was assigned to a primary care doctor by the name of Tom Anderson, the first time I saw him, my first day as a VA Patient, happened to be Anderson’s first day seeing patients as a VA Doctor.  Then about a year ago he wasn’t there any more..  I was told he’d quit and moved on, but no one knew where he gone..

Before we go any farther, the doctor turnover rate at that particular VA is incredibly high, I’ve had a couple come and go, just this year.  I asked the first one if she knew why Anderson had left and where he went she responded by saying, he left because of the way they treat doctors, a few weeks later she was gone..

When I asked her replacement the same question, she let me have a glimpse at the list of 20 or so patients she was still supposed to see that day.. it was already late in the day and getting close to closing time..  She told me it was impossible to see that many patients in a day, and to treat all of them properly.

I haven’t seen her replacement yet..  I was supposed to, but ended up seeing a substitute instead.. something I’m glad happened, we’ll get to that in a minute..

According to someone at the clinic, over the last 5 years, the primary doctor turn over has run 300% and about 150% in the other departments.  That makes the average time at the VA less than 2 years before they get fed up..  High professional level employee turnover is a big indicator of poor moral and poorer management.  In this case I’m sure the lousy management is not at the Viera Clinic itself, or even in Florida, but about 800 miles away..  Everyone at the clinic is hard working and devoted to the care of our Veterans, but their best efforts are being undermined by Washington DC.

The same person who told me about the turnover rate also told me all the Chinese made solar panels that now cover the parking lot, aren’t working..  The turnover numbers match my own observations, but I have no way to verify what he said about the solar panels.. If he’s correct, it’s probably the largest of Obama’s Green screw ups..  If the things aren’t working in sunny Florida, it’s safe to assume there may be a problem in cloudy Cleveland and dozens of other VA Facilities were the Obama Administration spent billions installing the things..

Getting back to Doc Anderson.  For almost a year I’ve asked repeatedly if anyone knew where he’d gone.. He’d been a damned good doctor, and I didn’t want to lose touch with him..  Nobody knew nuthin.. until a couple weeks ago..  When I ended up seeing a substitute for my new doctor, who I have yet to see..  While we were talking I mentioned I’d had a VA primary care doctor that I’d really liked, but he’d left the VA..

When she asked me who, and I said Tom Anderson. she got a big smile on her face, and told me:

Tom Anderson’s now my personal doctor, he has a new practice in Melbourne, you should give him a call..

She gave me his number, and less than a week later I saw him..

When he saw me, he commented that it had a long time, too long.  I answered with “When Obama said if you liked your doctor, you could keep your doctor, he forgot to mention you’d need bloodhounds to track him down.. Then I tossed him a Trump, Make America Great Again Tee Shirt, and told him it was from the guy who wants to make the VA Great Again..

He loved it, and we talked briefly about how Trump and Carson are giving the political establishments of both parties a long overdue and well deserved case of diarrhea..

Then he told me a little about his new practice..  Since he’s an Army Reservist who served a tour as a doctor in Iraq I wasn’t surprised he was doing things a little differently from most doctors.. Vets tend to do things their own way..

Among other things, he’s devoting a full half hour of his time to every patient visit..  The average time a modern doctor spends with a patient is down to around 7 minutes per visit.  Additionally he’s keeping some blank time on the schedule, so patients who wake up sick, can go see him that day, instead of waiting for an appointment.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve know Dr Anderson for seven years.. He’s a great guy and easy to talk to.. I’d damn sure recommend him to anyone in the East Central part of Florida, especially veterans..

His address is:

3040 N. Wickham Rd. Suite 10, Melbourne, Florida 32935

Phone 321 428 3295

 

 

 

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  • Marcia Wood

    Great blog Grumpy – hope many read it so they can become well informed about the VA.

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