I try and see a dermatologist once every 18 months or so.
Regular body scans are important, because skin cancer sucks. So I go. And, generally, it’s been an OK experience. In New York I visited a series of recommended dermatologists, and they were all fine.
Now, though, we live in California …
Someone suggested a dermatologist. It wasn’t a rave review, but he said the doctor was capable and fine and he had no complaints. So I made an appointment for earlier today. Walked in at 8:45—was immediately offered a series of beverages. A declined. Wasn’t thirsty. Then filled out a bunch of first-time-patient forms, then waited and was shown to a room.
I was first greeted by a woman who looked to be, oh, 20. She wore a white jacket and held a small bag. She thrust it toward me and spoke in a volume worthy of multiple exclamation marks. “We have a welcome gift for new patients!” she said. “It’s a water bottle, because we like to see everyone drinking water, some sun block and some chocolate!”
Um, OK. I took the bag, my heart sinking. A welcome bag? Dude, I just want my checkup.
“So why are you here today?” she asked.
I explained: Wrist wart, body check. She asked a few questions. “OK!” she said. “The doctor will be with you shortly!”
I waited, and waited. A woman in a white lab coat entered. I certainly don’t care about the gender of my physician, but I’m pretty sure the guy I booked this with was a male. “Hi!” she said—equally young, nearly equally loud. “I’m a physician’s assistant, and I hear you have some warts you want removed!”
Um, just one.
“Oh,” she said, glancing at the chart. “Oh, OK. So … why are you here?”
“I always get a body scan …”
“Ohhhh, of course! Take off your shirt!”
I took of my shirt. She scanned, then looked at the wart. “So it’s up to you, but we can cut some things off if you’d like!”
“Great! Do you still want to see the doctor?”
I said I did. She exited. I started reading the prominent literature—all about face lifts, Botox, looking younger …
I walked out.
And left the bag.