Finding The Right Doctor

<B>Steve Hartman</B> On The Constant Search For A Physician

I've gotta get a new doctor. I switch about once a year -- not because my prostate likes meeting new people, but because insurance companies stink.

They're always changing their list of "preferred providers," that list of random names and low bidders who I'm supposed to trust to be my doctor du jour.

Especially frustrating is all the new patient rigmarole that always starts with what they like to call "just a few forms."

The initial physical is equally tedious. I don't understand why they do half the stuff they do, like measure. It's not as if they have to pack me for shipping. And certainly, if I had something in my ear, I would have mentioned it on the forms.

First appointments are just plain awkward by nature, like a cross between a blind date and a Chippendales audition.

But the toughest part of picking a doctor, like Dr. Phillip Gilly, is examining them. I mean, he seemed really smart, until he asked me if my "arms and legs both work."

Question aside, the fact is there's just no good way to find out how competent a doctor is – which is why I always go with the subtle approach.

Hartman: I hated when I got C's in school. Did you hate that?

Gilly: Well, yeah. Because it didn't happen that often.

Hartman: That's good.

Finally, you should know Dr. Gilly is a board certified physician with a spotless record. And all joking aside, he could be my lifelong doctor – until next month, when my insurance changes again.