I had minor oral surgery at the end of January. (I'm fine, thank you.)
The dentist wanted to follow up in three weeks. I generally try to make my appointments with the dentist on Saturdays, but he wasn't in the office at the three-week mark. That left only a weekday appointment. He was in the office only in the afternoon, so I took the latest slot available: 5 p.m.
I got there about 10 minutes early and was in the chair promptly. The dentist took a quick look around. I was fine. And I was home by 5:20 -- nearly two hours before I would normally have been home from work. It felt like a mini-vacation.
That's a perfect example of why I love having so many doctors and dentists nearby. I chose this dentist's office specifically for its location -- a mere block and a half away from our apartment.
In fact, its proximity came in handy for the oral surgery itself. The dentist became sick the day I was to have it done, and I had to reschedule for a couple of weeks later. That was bad news for me, who wasn't particularly looking forward to the procedure and just wanted to get it over with. Then, on the Saturday following when the surgery was originally supposed to be, I got a call. There was a last minute opening -- could I come in at noon?
I looked at the clock. That was a mere 40 minutes away, and I hadn't even taken a shower yet. Nevertheless, I agreed. I took my shower -- I wasn't even particularly in a hurry -- and made it there with time to spare.
The convenience isn't limited to doctors and dentists. My new hairdresser works catty-cornered from our place and takes walk-in appointments. I regularly wave to her on my walk to the subway in the morning.
I dont think I would put my health (or hair) in the hands of someone purely for their nearness. And I can think of a few cases in which being able to walk to the doctor would not be an advantage. For example, I was put under in college when I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. I'm glad Paul was there to drive me home instead of having to lead me by the arm and walk me home.
Nevertheless, the proximity of my current dentist was a giant selling point and makes my teeth cleanings just a little more bearable.