This week, Tara Lopez and I chatted about the struggle of the walk-in clinic and family doctors.
My daughter complained of an ear ache on Friday, so I set out for the walk-in clinic FIRST THING on Saturday morning. I was there at 8:02 – along with 25 other sick individuals! We waited an hour, then at 9:15 decided to go to her art class and come back at 11AM. Luckily for me, at this clinic they will allow you to leave and return as long as you come back within 2 hours.
When we came back at 11, we were seen by a doctor, and the waiting room was packed with new clients/patients, and they had reached their quota for the day. No wonder people often go to emergency rooms just to see a doctor.
We do have a family doctor, but I usually just make an appointment to see her for things like filling prescriptions or routine exams.
When I asked around, many people do have a family doctor – but most of them are in another city, downtown or where the person has grown up. It’s certainly not a buyers market – if you do find a family doctor that is “accepting new patients” you pretty much stick with them.
We have gone through a few, and being a patient to a doctor who works at a walk-in clinic does have its benefits. When my kids were younger, there was a certain doctor I did like who was NOT accepting patients, but he worked as a walk-in doctor a few days a week, so I would just pop in then to see him. Our files were all at this clinic so it worked well for me for a few years. In the last 10 years there have been more and more families moving in to Surrey, so I am not sure the same trick would work these days.
Another option if you have coverage is to visit a naturopath. We have gone this route in the past and the naturopathic doctor was able to suggest tests and things that we could address with the medical doctor.
I just feel very fortunate that so far we have had great medical care, even if it has been spread around a number of different doctors.