Chapter 17

* * * * * * * * * *

The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle is considered to be quite the medical center. Other metros with similar numbers of people are not considered to be such distinguished medical centers.

The reason that the Triangle has such a large medical industry is not medical, it is commercial. I went to a Triangle doctor twice, with three separate conditions that ranged from annoying to painful. Both times, for all three conditions, the doctor's reaction was, "Let's see it it goes away. I'll send you for a test. And here, I've set up follow-up appointments for you.".

In case you need a summary: He did nothing. He copped two appointment fees and scheduled two more. Plus one lab fee. And he will keep me miserable and in suspension until either I demand that he does something or go ring somebody else's cash register.


I went to a Triangle Dentist.

Now, up North, the dentist will look me over, and say things like "It looks pretty good this time", or "There's a little cavity starting here, let's get that now", or "Have you noticed food getting caught there? I can fix that if you want".

In the first place, the Triangle dentist's facility was a Taj Mahal. It was landscaped to the point of absurdity, and the design and fixtures indoors just yelled "Money". But, that isn't even the point.

The point is that after observing me, the dentist suggested a long list of procedures -- it sounded like one or two of almost everything that they did. She mentioned three times that if I don't do this or that, sooner or later I'll be in for a root canal. By the third time, she was emphasizing the words, glaring me in the eyes, obviously angry that she wasn't closing the sale.

The writeup that they handed me came to about $3500. But who cares? You have insurance !! Everything's FREEEEEEEEEeeeeee !!

Well, I don't have insurance. I have to pay with real money. So, even when the highly trained checkout girl ran yet another closing attempt at me, I just had to demur.

And by the way, I've had the experience of an auto repair shop that, failing to find enough wrong with my car, broke things so that they could fix them. Which, of course, prompts the question: What are these dentists going to do to my mouth to boost their revenues?

When I go to a dentist, I want an honest craftsman. Not a snake whose primary career aspiration is to suck money out of insurance companies.


*At the Dentist's office:
Me: "Did you get my x-rays that I just had done?"
Dentist: "Uh...., no....just step this way and we'll do them now!"
Cash Register: "Cha-Ching!"