Friday, 8 March 2013

It's decided - Amber's marrying a dermatologist

It's decided - Amber's marrying a dermatologist
8 March 2013

I’ve given it a fair bit of thought, and I’ve come to the obvious conclusion – Amber is going to marry a dermatologist.  It’s decided.  End of discussion.  I don’t care how many hot surfer dudes she falls in love with one day, it will be a dermatologist for sure.  And this is why…..

This week I took Luke to a local dermatologist.  At fifteen, his skin is obviously not great.  In fact, it’s pretty awful.  And nowadays one certainly can fix problems like this.  If I weigh the costs of a visit to the dermatologist, as well as the resulting medication, as opposed to the emotional cost to his self-confidence, due to bad skin, then I’d happily pay the dermatologist.

Or at least, that is what I thought.  Until I actually had to pay the dermatologist.

Holy friggin moly!!!  Was this guy for real???  Luke and I reported to the receptionist when we arrived and were handed two forms to complete.  Form number one obviously required all of our details - address, contact numbers, etc.  All pretty straight forward.  As for form number two?  That was the tricky one.  Form number two, informed me that we had to pay for the consultation immediately.  And the amount you might ask?  Well, that would be R600 for a fifteen minute visit.  I tried to keep my composure and managed to drag my jaw off the ground.  But only just.  I told the receptionist that I was not aware that I had to pay in advance (I suppose I should have asked when I made the appointment – or she should have informed me).  I had mistakenly hoped that they would just submit to medical aid.  I had not one drop of cash on me, and therefore I asked her if it would be okay if I did an EFT, once I got home.  I wasn’t going to do a runner, I just asked for leniency until I reached home again.  And then quite unsympathetically, she simply said “no”.  Just like that.  And continued to stare at me expectantly.  How rude!

I quickly phoned Grant, and once I explained my dilemma to him and he picked the phone up, after he’d dropped it on the floor (it was the shock, you see), he told me that I could swipe his card.  Food, wasn’t so important for the rest of the month after all.  And then, when I once more approached the receptionist, there was another patient in front of me, also going through the same motions.  And this brave lady, actually managed to ask whether the doctor charged medical aid tariffs.  And you know what that receptionist said?  She said, that there was no longer such a thing as medical aid tariffs.  That they weren’t even sure what the medical aid tariffs were.  Basically , in short, the impression was that they just didn’t care.  Trivialities like excessive costs to patients, certainly did not concern them.

Personally, I find this shocking.  It is callous and unfeeling and completely and utterly gluttonous.  Shameless in fact.  I don’t dispute that a dermatologist, or any doctor for that matter, is an educated medical professional.  An expert in his field.  But is this not rather exorbitant?  An abuse of patient’s needs?  They have us strapped over a barrel, completely at their mercy.  And they’re milking it for sure.  On the odd occasion, I do enjoy a spot of number crunching.  This guy has the potential to earn R2 400 per hour.  Working a mere 8 hour day, because he indulges in lunch, he could earn a potential R19 200 per day.  Given a 20 day month, allowing for weekends, he can pull in R384 000 a month.  Not too bloody shabby if you ask me.  I understand that some consultations could cost more, depending on what he has to do.  And then, quite predictably, he also sells a variety of skin care products and treatments too.  And would you believe that he’s booked up – two months in advance!!!  People are literally lining up outside his door!

Fair enough, while some people were partying and jolling in their youth, he was studying instead.  I get it.  I really do.  But teachers also study and they don’t get paid this well.  Nursing staff also study, working shocking hours, sometimes under awful conditions, and do they get these benefits?

The dermatologist guy is really, really nice.  In fact I like him a lot.  I’m just not entirely sure if I six-hundred-bucks like him, if you know what I mean.  I’m sure Luke’s skin will soon look marvellous.  He gave me a script for some medicinal magic.  And would you believe it, but a follow up consultation is required in another two months’ time.  How very, very convenient.

The thing is this.  He’s not saving my child’s life, and I certainly mean no disrespect when I say this.  He’s not a cardio-thoracic surgeon, fixing broken hearts.  He’s not an orthopaedic surgeon, fixing broken bones.  He’s not even an orthodontist, fixing broken teeth.  He’s a friggin SKIN DOCTOR!!!  Chances are, that apart from the odd patient with melanoma’s and the like, he spends a sizeable portion of every day looking at teenage spots.

And just of late, I know how much a cardio-thoracic surgeon charges for a consultation – R650.  And an orthopaedic surgeon – R500.  And an orthodontist – R860 (but that’s for a whole month and we can go as often as we like in that month).  So how come this guy is charging comparatively more?  Is it not ridiculous?  And just to prove a point, I phoned my medical aid.  And take a wild stab at the recommended consultation fee?  That would be a mere R303.  He should be charging less than the others, not more.

I’m really not prone to whinging.  I promise.  But this did strike me as rather abusive.  But then again, I do value his assistance and his help.  And yes, in two months’ time, we’ll probably go back.

Which brings me back to my earlier statement as to Amber’s prospective future husband.  A hot surfer dude, would bring nothing in the bag for me.  No side benefits at all.  Well, apart from the obvious eye candy of course.  And let’s face it – eye candy is nice, it just doesn’t pay the bills.  Now if Amber marries a dermatologist, the benefit scale would most certainly tip in my favour.  Not only will my daughter gain a husband who is able to care for her rather well, financially.  Chances are, he would be able to care rather well for his darling wife’s family too.  In fact, perhaps I could even squeeze him for a little holiday house of my own.

And finances aside, I suspect I would remain youthful looking forever more.  He would fix my pigmentation chop-chop.  Bags under the eyes?  Consider them gone!  And he’d be able to Botox me into wrinkle-free oblivion.  I’d look perpetually young.  Simply marvellous darling.  Marvellous!

And here’s the thing.  If I managed to gain some youthful good looks, I might just be able to bag myself a hot young surfer dude of my own.

Therefore, starting on Monday, I shall compile a list of all educational institutions providing courses in Dermatology.  Chances are Amber’s future husband is studying there already.  Probably a good idea for me to start interviewing prospective applicants already…..





  1. Touching a nerve here for me! Mind blowing! Especially when you compare what we earn per hour and our increases don't keep up with the medical aids increments either! ! My dentist charged me a R500 LEVy ( also a very matter of fact SURPRIZE!) nogal for root canal,and could not comment or care if I could claim it back from the medical aid!

  2. Hey! All I can say is great blog and a horrible picture related to dermatologist .

  3. My new bf is a dermatologist thank you god lol