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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Eh, What’s Up Doc


 Eh, What’s Up Doc

They’re quitting, that’s what’s up. 

I just read an article about healthcare workers leaving due to the stress and pressure of the Covid pandemic.  I see this myself  locally, and not just with front line hospital workers, it is effecting everyone in the industry.

My regular GP, over twenty years, recently closed his practice.  Except for the dreaded “bend-over exam” I  used to almost look forward to yearly visits with the doctor.  He was always upbeat, made jokes and took my ribbing back at him.  Also a damn good doctor from what I could tell.

A few months after the pandemic hit, much of his staff left, taking the unemployment benefits, and or just overworked and stressed out.  The doctor and what was left of his staff were no longer upbeat, but surly and dare I say cranky.  There was bad attitude in the office.

Several weeks after my last visit I received notice that the practice was closing.  I’m pretty sure the Doc had several years left before normal retirement age, except for what he went through with Covid. 

This was a GP, I can only imagine the extra stress of those in the hospital watching patient after patient suffer, needing to deal with their families, all while they were mostly helpless in defeating the virus.

It took several tries for me to find a new GP.  Doctors were not taking new patients. I did finally find one, and I do like him, but when Mrs. C needed an appointment, his practice was no longer taking new patients.

She did fine a practice that would take her, but I think the traditional doctor’s office will soon be replaced by medical factories where you get a different doctor every visit and nobody knows your name. 

The personal relationship between doctor and patient, where personalities and past history are important in care and diagnosis will soon disappear. 

It was probably on the way out anyway, but thank Covid for speeding the exit.  


  1. Haven't noticed a doctor shortage here yet but then we are tiny town. Like you say, while my GP may not be the best, he has known me for 17 years and that counts for a lot. I worry about the people who need non-Covid care. Will they even get a bed?

  2. Everyone I worked with at the hospital says I retired at the right time. At this moment the OR where I worked isn't doing elective surgery because the hospital is packed with Covid pts and need the OR nurses to work in the ICU, ER, infusion and any other place you can think of. My Granddaughter was an RN for 3 years and last month quit nursing and found a job she loves without the stress and overworked to exhaustion shifts. I was sad because she was one of the good ones. A loss for sure. My niece is now a Nurse Practitioner and that's who will be taking the traditional GP spots left vacant. I hope you and Mrs. C find that you won't need healthcare any more than good checkups this year. Happy New Year to you both!

  3. I believe you are right, we do seem to be headed to clinics where you see someone new every time you go. I have had 3 different GP's in as many years. One opened a private practice, one moved to another state to be nearer to family...and I'm not enamored of my current doctor and am thinking of trying to find another. It's pretty rough out there.

  4. This is the bitter truth and truly they are overworked. The sad fact is that they can't do anything to cure a patient. Yes, very soon there will be Medical Factories just waiting to gobble up your money.

  5. I think some are quitting in frustration, because they have to follow the "standard of care" dictated by the big hospitals that are taking over the small ones. My favorite GP left our hospital-affiliated clinic in 2014. I had asked to get off the Xarelto that was prescribed in the hospital after my pulmonary embolisms. It made me miserable with aching joints, so bad I couldn't sleep. I told him I'd rather chance another blood clot than live that way. Doc said, "But Val. That's the standard of care. One year on Xarelto after a blood clot. This is not listed as a side effect." It was a fairly new drug back then. He said I'd have to get a cardiologist to sign off on that. So I went to a specialist, and was allowed to switch to a daily 325mg aspirin when I brought in a printout of a research study, and argued my case.

    Anyhoo... Doc had been one to listen and consider the patient's concerns in treatment up to that takeover by BJC. He left, and went down the street to work at the VA. Which I'm sure has its own protocols, but Doc was a military doctor to start with, so I guess he was in his element there.

  6. And we can't train the new ones fast enough.