Like most people, I have to go to the doctor from time to time. I do what I’m supposed to do. I make an appointment, I answer their reminder calls to confirm, I show up early to check-in as they request and I pay my bills on time afterwards. Sounds like I should fit into the good patient category, however, my last appointment might put me on the “do not allow an appointment” list!
It all started off fine. I showed up 15 min early. I checked in, I filled out the forms, I gave my insurance card, I sat in the lobby and waited to be called. There I sat, and sat, then sat some more. My apt was a 3pm, I was called back to a room at 3:15. Mind you, I’ve been there since 2:45 as they requested. At 3:40, I left my room and asked the receptionist what the heck was going on. I confirmed my apt time was indeed 3pm and pretty much blew out the lobby with my disgust.
I had allocated an hour to be there. I had to leave at 4pm in order to pick my son up on time. I was leaving at 4pm no matter what. So at 3:50, when the doctor finally entered my room, my pot was boiling and he just took the lid off!
“Hello,” he says.
My response, “My appointment was at 3pm, it’s 3:50 and I’m leaving in 10 minutes because I have other things to do today than sit around waiting for someone who can’t honor their booked appointments. I’m not sure how you even stay in business. If I was an hour late to a business meeting, without even having courtesy to inform someone of my tardiness, I wouldn’t have a job.”
“Well, I’m in the healthcare business. My focus is on my patients. If people have questions, I take time to answer them. Should I not take that time to answer them?”
Me, “Yes you should. But you should book appointments that allocate the appropriate time needed for each person. Instead, you overbook yourself so you can try to cram as many appointments in an hour you can so you can make more money. You have no regard for the patients you leave sitting for an hour. It doesn’t sound like you’re really focused on your patients at all. Looks like you’re focused on your bank account.” I look at my watch and it’s 3:54pm. “I have 6 minutes before I walk out this door so what are my results?”
“Everything came back normal. Are you still experiencing the same symptoms?”
“Yes. Now what?”
“I can give you medicine for blah, blah, blah.”
“So you can give me medicine for that when the test came back normal? Why would I take medicine for that if I don’t have a diagnosis?”
“What would you like me to do?”
“Refer me to a different specialist so I can have different tests run to get a true diagnosis. I’m not treating something if I don’t know what the root cause is.”
“Ok. I will have the front desk send the referral. I will….”
Looking at my watch, it’s 3:59pm. So I interrupt him. “Great.” I stand up. “Like I said, I’m leaving at 4pm. And you know what? This whole experience reminds me of a joke. What’s the difference between a doctor and God?”
He and his 2 nurses look at me.
I’m walking out the door and turn to look him in the eyes. “God doesn’t think he’s a doctor.” I give a bitchy smirk and leave.
And there you have it. I’m probably now on the “do not allow an appointment” list! Let’s hope I don’t get sick anytime soon!