It had been almost two years since my wife had a pap smear or mammogram. Received a recommendation for a female gynecologist, Dr. Ma. Sisa B. Fernandez, located just a short distance at the Soriano Building just a short distance from Doctor's Hospital in Iloilo. The Sainted Patient Wife is 46 now (I'm sure she would love me sharing all of this personal information, but she seldom reads what I post on this website so I should be safe from the wrath of her bolo.)
We're hoping to have better luck making contact with an actual doctor since we failed miserably at our first attempt at St. Paul's Hospital in yesterday's post. Catch a jeepney from Ortiz Dock in Iloilo to the hospital and walk the short distance to the Soriano Building. See a lola (grandmother) sitting inside the office. The door is locked, but she lets us in. It is nine o'clock, the posted opening time. However, we are informed by Dr. Fernandez's receptionist that the doctor does not arrive until 9:30. The Sainted Patient Wife fills out a short medical form which basically consists of her name, address, and telephone number. That's it. No medical history required. No questions about what allergies she might have. No medical privacy forms to fill out. Completely different experience from a visit to a new doctor in the States.
Around 9:15 a tall middle-aged Filipina arrives. It's Dr. Fernandez. She greets us as she walks by and a minute later my wife is told by the receptionist to go back to the examination room. The doctor is ready to see her. I'm liking this doctor already! After a day wasted at St. Paul's Hospital in Iloilo yesterday, things are looking a lot promising today.
I ask my wife if it is necessary for me to go into the exam room with her this time, as I have had to do in every visit to her gynecologist in America. Thankfully, she lets me off the hook, and I get to sit in the waiting room. I pass the time playing a car racing video game on my new free Samsung Champ phone. After about 20 minutes my wife joins me. The doctor has done the examination and a pap smear test already. She will send a text to my wife with the results. That's a lot better deal than the gynecologist at St. Paul's who required a patient to return in order to get the results. Probably so the doctor could extract another fee for an office visit.
I go back to thank Dr. Fernandez who has also scheduled a mammogram for my wife the next day, Friday, at Doctor's Hospital in Iloilo. I pay the very reasonable 700 peso fee (around 16.07 US Dollars) which includes the cost of the pap smear test, and my wife and I walk back to the hospital to find the Mammogram Department with the referral in hand. My wife is very pleased with her new gynecologist, and I am happy to hear that. Looks like today is going a lot better than yesterday.
However, as part of the deal to entice my wife to go to a gynecologist and to get a mammogram, I had to agree to find a doctor that would give me a referral for a blood test. I haven't seen a physician in a few years, and my last blood test done in the States revealed that I had slightly high cholesterol levels. Since we already are near Iloilo Doctor's Hospital, we decided to find a doctor that could refer me. I hoped the medical technicians that would draw my blood would do a better job than the techs and the doctor at Great Saviour's Hospital in Iloilo last year who weren't able to draw blood from me after five attempts.
We have to go to the emergency room of Doctor's to find a doctor on duty that could help me. The mammogram can be done anytime in the afternoon so we have some time to locate a physician for me. We're referred to a Cardiologist and Internal Doctor located in the hospital. After finding his room, the receptionist informs us that the doctor is at lunch and will return at one. My wife and I go across the street to The Atrium for lunch at Chowking and return to Doctor's Hospital around 1:15. There are two doctors located in the office. The male doctor was the one I was supposed to see. After a few minutes of waiting, the other doctor, a middle aged female arrive and loudly greets everyone. She calls us into her office.
- "What do you need?" she loudly asks.
- "I need a blood test. I have not had one for several years, and my last one showed I my cholesterol was a little high." I answered.
- "Why do you want to waste your time with that? You're probably OK." she said.
- "Well, I told my wife I would get one done. I had a kidney stone attack last year and was taken to Great Saviour's Hospital where the three technicians and a doctor could not even draw blood from me. They're incompetent." I informed her.
- "Incompetent? How can you say they're incompetent" the "doctor" loudly asks.
- "If someone at a hospital cannot even draw blood from me after five attempts, I call that incompetent. Sometimes the nurses and techs in America had trouble finding my vein to draw blood, too." said I.
- "Oh, so the nurses in American are incompetent, too?" the annoying doctor remarked.
- "No, if the first nurse could not draw my blood, they always had someone that could do it." I said with obvious irritation in my voice.
- "I just don't understand why you think it's necessary to have a blood test if you are not having any problems." she stated.
- "Well, I guess since you don't think I need one, I'll just find a doctor who will give me a referral." I said as I stood up and stormed out of her office. "Let's go!" I loudly exclaimed to my wife.
- "Is he German?" I could hear the doctor ask my wife as I walked away.
- "NO, I'm German-American, and you've pissed me off!" I replied. (My great-grandfather came from Germany.)
I go outside of the hospital, and I soon realize my wife is not following me. She stayed behind to talk to the doctor so she could get a referral for my blood test. The doctor did not even refer the lab at Doctor's Hospital where she had her office, but gave my wife a referral (for a charge of 200 pesos,$4.59 ) so I could get the blood work done at St. Paul's Hospital.
My asawa also informed me that that the doctor asked personal questions like how we had met and also remarked that Americans have short tempers. My wife did not like her saying the doctor was loud and unprofessional. I completely agreed with her. Absolutely the rudest and most obnoxious doctor I ever met anywhere, whether it be the United States or the Philippines. What kind of doctor discourages you from preventive health measures? Did she want me to wait until I had a stroke? At least we had the pleasure of meeting a doctor that my wife and I both liked, her new gynecologist, Dr.Fernandez. Tomorrow's post: disturbing mammogram results.