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Since 2008 I have been seeing a Primary Care Doctor at the VA — the routine is fast: give blood, and see the Doctor 2 hours later. When we meet, he reviews the blood work, and tells me his findings, and how I am doing on the inside, from blood test. After, he gives me a 5 minute exam, the basics. We talk, discuss health, VA, and other matters. I have found him to be friendly, informative, caring, supportive, and a pleasure to work with.

From time to time he has referred me to other parts of the Hospital, and these visits were unsatisfactory. While I have confidence in my Primary Care Doctor, I have little to no confidence in the other departments of the hospital. They are Ear, Nose, and Throat, EKG, and X-Ray. People always tell me the VA Healthcare is “worthless,” but my opinion is that for minor illness such as Hypertension, High Cholesterol, and other common healthcare issues, the Primary Care system and medication is working very well. My concern is “acute” healthcare problems, like heart attack, stroke, surgery, gout, and other illnesses…what will be the standard of care for the Veterans? Should I go on Medicare and find a new healthcare system? How do I learn the answers to these questions, at the appropriate time? Before it is too late?