Is It Normal To Wait Three Months To See A Doctor in the Hudson Valley?
I know so many of us hate the phrase 'new normal,' but something I hate even more is that this particular trend has become a new normal these days.
Over the past several years since those early 2020 COVID days, we have had to adjust to so many things when it comes to healthcare. Waiting in the car to be called in for appointments, the use of Telehealth services, and the fact that sometimes we have to wait four to six months to get an appointment with a doctor.
Why Has It Become Normal To Wait Months For A Doctor's Appointment?
Last summer I shared my personal experience with trying to get an appointment for a physical, and the fact that I was scheduled an appointment for seven months later, as this particular medical group was 'booking a few months out for new patients.'
I ended up switching to a local doctor in Wappingers, not affiliated with one of the major groups in the area and absolutely love my doc, so it turned out to be a win in this scenario.
Fast forward to this fall though, and I find myself again asking why has it become the new normal to have to wait so damn long for an appointment with a doctor around here?
Three Months To See A Specialist?
As someone who normally gets fall allergies, I thought nothing of the fact that I started feeling sick towards the end of September. Stuffy nose, a cough and losing my voice has become somewhat of an annual tradition this time of year.
One week, two weeks, and into week three of this sickness though, and after a number of visits to the doctor, along with rounds of antibiotics, I started to get a little concerned.
After chest x-rays, my second round of steroids along with an inhaler, and a third visit to the doctor, it was finally recommended that I make an appointment with a pulmonologist to see why this sickness wasn't going away.
Even with A REFERRAL FROM THE DOCTOR WHO HAD BEEN TREATING ME, the very kind woman who called to schedule my appointment told me the next available opening wasn't until January 8, 2024.
Three months from now? After being poked, prodded and x-rayed for strep, COVID, the flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, lung infections? After being sick for now six weeks, still feeling like absolute garbage finding it difficult to breathe?
Yes, January 8th 2024.
READ MORE: Crystal Run Healthcare Quietly Sold To Optum
We know staff shortages are a real thing, and with the recent CareMount/Optum merger there's been some hold-ups trying to schedule appointments with certain specialty areas. Perhaps trying to book an appointment with a specialist requires some patience, but I had assumed that due to the nature of my sickness, and how long it had been going on, maybe I might be able to get in sooner than three months down the road...or maybe not...
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