Nearly five months pregnant with Eldest when I went to work at the Chronicle, I got on the health plan and needed to find a doctor who would accept the plan. The only other "requirement" I had was that I needed the doctor to refer me to the obstetrician I had already begun using.
I spent hours calling through doctors, trying to find someone. Finally, success. Introducing myself on the phone and explaining my plight to the elderly person on the other end of the line, the elderly person said, "I'll take you on. My girl's at lunch right now, but give me your number and I'll have her call you back to make an appointment."
Yes, that elderly woman became my doctor. Brusque and old-school, she fit my needs perfectly. For the last five or six years, she's tried to find someone to take over her practice so she could retire. She's complained, sometimes bitterly, how no new doctors want to take on the old-fashioned one-doctor general practitioner office. She she's plodded on, eventually cutting back to working 3.5 days a week. And now she's retired.
Which is why I was dialing-for-doctors the other day, looking for someone -- anyone! -- who would take on a new patient. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.
Wising up, I started asking if there were any other doctors in the practice who might be taking on new patients. I hit pay dirt when someone mentioned there was a doctor taking on new patients in the practice. "But he's a man."
My response? "I've had three kids. I have no modesty. Does he treat women?"
When assured that he did, I had just one more question. "How old is he because I'm looking for someone to outlive me."
And this, dear friends, is how I ended up spending an hour this morning getting to know my spankin' new, very young doctor. Here's to a very long and healthy relationship, Doc!