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Leave the Room, Please

By       Message Rachel Gladstone-Gelman       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Away from view, in a separate room, a perky nurse gave my daughter her vaccine.

But before the nurse came the doctor, also very friendly, with a sense of humor.

We didn't have to wait one minute. A fifty-dollar fee and we went straight into the doctor's office. She practically followed us in...and then asked questions and listened. Is this a habit of Canadians? Respect. Communication. Clear information exchanged. Yes, this is a doctor's office I'm talking about.

So that the doctor could give my teen-age daughter a full check-up prior to her shot, my son and I were directed back into the waiting room, where he went into a corner to play with some toys. It is the waiting room of a family doctor. It's a large, airy room to accommodate the patients of maybe a dozen doctors. Ours told us there would never be a long wait due to "house" procedures. We did arrive at an opportune time, with the waiting room nearly empty. But, as much as I truly respected my previous doctor in the U.S., even with an almost empty waiting room, we waited. And after a reasonable period of time, the doctor called us back into the exam room while a just-in-case prescription was printed out. No scribble to rival my own.

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This visit involved no known health issues to address other than the vaccine. And I've been made aware, again through the media, that not everywhere in Canada does the red carpet await. But let me not assume the worst of people I may never meet and, instead, voice the reality that creates my appreciation. Did I wonder what was happening in that exam room, my daughter alone with the doctor? Of course. Was I really concerned? No. The doctor didn't explain that this is how they do things. She just politely told us to go back into the waiting room. Sometimes you have to trust. Sometimes you have such little reason not to. Any concern proved no match for the appeasement.

That said, my curiosity (and role as mother) led me to ask my daughter about the exam and to receive an answer that a female could predict. I even helped her explain.


Applying for our Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) cards required the appropriate identification, of course, including a letter from my husband's employer, but also afforded more than a spoonful of sanity. The waiting area was, again, nearly empty, with a number of windows with people on duty, all similar to a previous visit. They also had toys for the very young, although this time I went alone. The person at my window was kind and patient. It is now advisable for us to stay healthy, as the cards won't be ready for three-months from the day we arrived in Canada.

 

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Rachel emigrated to Canada in the summer of 2006.- She has an M.A. in Teaching ESOL, and her poetry, short stories and articles have appeared in print and online. Rachel is a member of Fair Vote Canada.

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