The expectations that surround doctor’s visits baffles me. We all know that when we book an appointment we need to add extra time into our schedule, an unknown addition to the time they have allotted us. We must show up early for the lovely ladies behind the desk who I believe secretly control the world with of all the power they possess. Lateness makes them balk. Yet although we arrived early, we will sit in the waiting room 15-30 minutes past our actual appointment time. Finally we are escorted into a meeting with the nurse that ends in a relocation to a private room where you’ll wait some more. We know this and yet we all endure it. If I kept people waiting that long in my job then I would be called unprofessional. If my handwriting was completely illegible then I would be called unprofessional. However, making people wait excessively and bad handwriting in this office makes you THE professional…the doctor.
I mention all of this as a supporter of the unusually lengthy amount of time that my doc is willing to spend in the room with each patient, listening and trying to figure out symptoms. I have been a patient in his practice for years and he’s always been happy to sit with me as long as it takes for me to explain my problem and for him to come up with a solution. Finally, after all these years I’ve come to the decision that it isn’t his fault that he’s running late. Because he’s not running late at all!
I think it’s the lovely gals at the front desk who need a wake-up call! The doctor isn’t going to change his way of caring for patients. I don’t see him limiting his time. So why is it that the ladies at the front desk haven’t caught on to this yet? The appointment time options are 15 minutes apart, but on my last visit I kept the doctor captive with my situation for 45 minutes. That means I used up my time and ran into the time of the 2 patients after me. I don’t feel bad for doing it, because I waited over an hour past my appointed time to see him. It is obvious, if you do the math, that maybe his allotted appointment times need a bit of adjusting.
I don’t know how to bring this up to the “goddesses of scheduling” that control my future appointment fate, but I think there needs to be a universal scheduling seminar for them all. I know that this is the not only office that experiences this situation on a daily basis. For now I will continue to pad my schedule for these appointments, but maybe I should quit my day job and start a national class on appropriate doctor’s office scheduling. Who knows, maybe that is the way to become a millionaire. As long as I don’t schedule a class on a day I have a doctor’s appointment!