I’m not particularly scared of the dentist but dental work can be a source of anxiety. Novocain shots are painful and a dentists’ drill reverberating through your skull is not pleasant despite your jaw being numb. Back when I was an accountant I worked a block from Baylor Dental College, which I used for some dental care. Much of the work was done by an instructor, while the student watched. At one point prior to a procedure, the student thought my blood pressure too high and insisted I get it checked by my primary care physician. My doctor said it was fine and told me it’s quite common for patients’ blood pressure to rise while in a medical office where practitioners often wear white coats. That was the first time I heard about what he called “white coat syndrome.”
Just like a neglected girlfriend, you doctor may dump you if you don’t see her often enough. I don’t have a primary care doctor. My previous doctor was an Internist named Paul Craig. When I last called for an appointment several years ago in mid February his office staff told me he was retiring at the end of the month and was booked through the end of the February. Perhaps my irregular appointments were the reason he retired. I ended up being able to see a specialist who saw me without a referral.
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