Logic would say so. After all, most physicians, dentists, attorneys, and accountants have spent years in formal training, becoming certified, and passing strict examinations. All on their way to becoming the pillars of society they are today. We trust these fine educated specialists with our bodies, teeth, injustices, and financial affairs with total trust and respect. And they, in turn do everything possible to earn that trust. Or is it earn that almighty dollar? I can never distinguish which is more correct, Suffice it to say, they work hard at whatever it is they do. So why am I so skeptical about their values and real concerns?
I should give you some of my background. I worked as a sales and marketing consultant for the Bell System Yellow Pages for nearly 25 years. During that tenure, I had hundreds of these professional accounts and got to see and experience, first hand, how they treat their clients and what was their driving force. In addition to those whom I have listed, I interviewed opticians, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, financial advisers, insurance agents and too many others to recall. But they all had one thing in common: they were in business to make money. Shocked? I wasn’t. Do you honestly think your family physician gives you your annual physical out of his sense of loyalty to the Hippocratic Oath? Or is it to be reimbursed by your insurance plan?
You can’t blame anyone for trying to make a buck. After all, they have to make that Mercedes lease payment. But they also are the ones that can make, or break your health, or economic situation. Have you ever checked out their credentials, educational background, or other qualifications? Realize that it’s your life that they are handling and you have the right to know these things. For instance, if you knew that your dentist got his degree from an online dental school based in Belize, would that give you peace of mind while he’s extracting a bicuspid? Understand that most of these fine people are doing an admirable job, but not all of them.
That’s because they’re just human. There, I’ve said it. Amazed? You shouldn’t be. And the fact that they can commit numerous errors of judgment, become absent-minded, or have an absolutely terrible relationship with people, be it their staff or the public, doesn’t cancel out their diplomas or force a closing of their practice. But I can attest to the incompetence and lack of social skills that plague many of my previous clients.
Therefore, do your homework. Get references, talk to former customers, patients, or clients, and check with the appropriate licensing authority for any complaints, or black marks, filed against their practice. This public information is available through many sources. In the case of healthcare providers, a site I recommend is ‘thenurseschoice.com, ’ which has ratings of these professionals by nurses and patients and provides the certifications and credentials I just discussed. Then, at least, you can make an educated decision. But don’t always assume that professionals always know what they are doing. In the real world, they have the same DNA as the rest of us, for better or worse. So, myth busted!
Jeffrey Hauser was a sales consultant for the Bell System Yellow Pages for nearly 25 years. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Advertising and has a Master's Degree in teaching. He had his own advertising agency in Scottsdale, Arizona and ran a consulting and design firm, ABC Advertising. He has authored 6 books and a novel, “Pursuit of the Phoenix. " His latest book is, “Inside the Yellow Pages" which can be seen at his website, http://www.poweradbook.com . Currently, he is the Marketing Director for thenurseschoice.com, a Health Information and Doctor Referral site.