29 going on 80

Since arriving at Dream Job, a couple things have changed. One of the most important, for me, is that I no longer uninsured. I got sick about three weeks ago; after a while, I decided to take my insurance out for a test drive.

One of the things I most have about my life style is that I am constantly looking for new doctors.  Each city I arrive in means new general doctor, new gynecologist, new dentist, etc— or at least in theory that is how it is supposed to work.  In reality, I stayed with my pediatrician until her death (I was 24 or so).  Up until last year (the rash), I never really got a new family doc.  Now that I have, I have left WI and need a new one.  I also have never changed dentists.  I just make a point to see Jim when I am in WI and, if urgency warrants, will see someone wherever I am.  End of story, I pretty much only find a new doctor when I am sick.

This doctor search was further constrained by health insurance.  S and I picked the insurance which gave us the most options overseas.  We, however, did not consider the possibility that we would be living in DC for a year and might get sick here. Of course, at the point that we picked our insurance, we didn’t know this would be the case.

Our insurance, while in the US, basically works like a PPO.  There is a list of approved doctors. I went to that list and started sorting our family practitioners and general practitioners. I then started looking for doctors near work, doctors near home, doctors who were female.  The list was small. When I started calling– it got smaller.  Many of the number didn’t know who I was talking about. One of the doctors was a hand surgeon; another a MS specialist.  Needless to say, the list given by my health insurance was outdated and poorly sorted.

I finally got an appointment with a family doctor about 5 miles from my house. He wasn’t on a metro line– but having a really bad sinus infection, I didn’t care.  He was willing to see me that afternoon and that was enough for me.  I successfully found his building and his practice.  Turns out, he was a gerontologist mainly!

I still saw him– after all, the elderly get sinus infections too.  He gave me the meds I needed. Here I am, 2 weeks later.  I feel much better (although not totally).  I still have no “real” doctor (gerontologist are real doctors– they just shouldn’t be my real doctor).



  1. Geez…I’m pretty lucky that my doctor is pretty darn good. I was so thankful when I finally got insurance! My sister really isn’t taking care of herself as much as she should because she doesn’t have any. You just keep on trying to get by…

  2. Hey Clare, I know what you mean about finding a new doctor you are comfortable with at every location. I need to book a routine visit when I visit my family in November.

    Let me know if you need the name of a great lady OB-GYN at the Washington Hospital Center. I believe she is accepted by PPO. If you’re taking the Metro, it’s the Catholic U stop and a brief Metro bus ride.


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