playing doctor

Health care is a large issue today, both in America and on Cementhorizon. Last year, I worked only part-time while back at school, which meant I no longer qualified for health insurance. Suddenly, my medical provider was the University of California, and my doctor's office was the Tang Center. Going to the Tang Center for medical care is a lot like getting your haircut at a barber college.

You should only visit the Tang Center if you absolutely have to. I went last year after a sore throat got unbearable. My "doctor" was a guy wearing a Sports Medicine polo shirt who didn't even have a stethoscope. He examined my throat and prescribed Ibuprofen. Dr. Polo also suggested it might be herpes that was bothering my throat, because that's what every single person at the Tang Center does. If you come in with a sprained ankle, you get an STD test. If you re-fill a prescription, they'll take blood just in case. If you come in to pick up an informational pamphlet on nutrition, you might not leave without a painful swabbing. It's just the Tang Center way. And in case you're wondering, ladies, I passed.

My second doctor wore a white coat, which instantly inspired confidence. She gave me actual antibiotics, which made me even more confident, and she also prescribed Vicodin, which made me give her a big hug. The only scary part of this visit was her insistence that I go straight to the emergency room if my throat swelled up so much that I couldn't breathe. "Is that really a possibility?" I asked. "Gotta go," she replied, and left the room.

After about a month, things weren't a lot better, so I saw my final Tang physician, who suggested Ibuprofen, Sudafed, and a screening for chlamydia. "How about Wal-buprofen, Wal-phed, and a copy of my successful test from last month?" I countered. She was fine with that, but insisted I take an informational pamphlet on safe sex.

Once I returned to full-time employment, I was covered by an HMO. Using the haircut analogy, this is like switching to Supercuts. The best part of my comprehensive coverage is that my doctor is ridiculously hot. Well, technically, my doctor is male, and not particularly hot aside from the inherent hotness that goes along with possessing a medical license, but I usually see the physician's assistant. She is maybe thirty years old, Asian-American, long-haired, and gorgeous. She's very informative and smart, we have a completely professional relationship, and I would marry her in a second.

Having such an unreasonably attractive physician alters the dynamic of the checkup. When she gently suggested that my cholesterol could be lower, it was like a slap in the face. I resolved to get into better shape before my next doctor's visit. Sure, some might say that jogging four or five miles isn't the best way to deal with a possible bronchial infection, but I wanted to look my best. I've never had to wear a hospital gown that ties in the back, though I still try to do a few sets of squats the night before a physical, just in case.

Once, I complained about my struggles with insomnia. Dr. Hotness told me, "It's important to keep boundaries in your house. You don't want to work or do a lot of things in your bedroom. If you're going into the bedroom, you want it to be that you're getting some, or you're going to sleep." I responded with a classy, embarrassed, "Nnnnhunh. OK.," then stared at the floor, blushing. Then she had to do the ball test, and while I wish it had been more special, with candles or champagne, or some cuddling, at least I had remembered to do my scrotum exercises the night before.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on March 9, 2006 11:48 PM.

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