Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Appointments

I don't understand why I need to make appointments to see a doctor. They certainly don't seem to honor them.

I went to see a new doctor on Monday. I called several weeks in advance to make my 3pm appointment. I even supplied my insurance information prior so that I wouldn't have to do that in the office.

I arrived about ten minutes early. Walking into the office, I saw four employees standing around behind the counter. One was on the phone. There were no other people in the waiting room.

"I have an appointment," I said. to the three people who didn't seem to be doing anything.

One of them motioned to the person on the phone. "She'll get you checked in."

Because you're so busy. I sat down and waited. Finally the person on the phone hung up and gave me the paperwork I had to sign. I was told I'd be called in a few minutes. I waited.

Waiting...

At 3:20 I was finally called. I walked past several empty rooms wondering why we were going all the way to the back of the office and why one of these rooms wasn't perfectly suitable and why it had been so long.

In the room, the nurse took about five minutes to ask me general questions--this was my first appointment with this doctor and they needed my history. Several extreamly personal questions later, I was told to undress and assured that the doctor would be there soon.

I waited.

And waited...

and waited...

and waited!

At 3:45, I was still waiting. What was going on? What was taking so long? I thought about opening up the door and asking, but I was in a gown. Is that the plan? Do they keep you naked and trapped for some dark purpose?

Just as I was formulating rude comments to accompany my rant out of the office, the doctor finally came in. No appology for the wait, just getting down to business. Five minutes later, I was getting dressed.

I waited 45 mintes for 5 minutes of time. WHY? Why is it that doctors can never seem to keep appointments? If the office had been busy, I could at least understand but there was NO ONE ELSE THERE! Why is my time so much less important and worse yet, why does every doctor seem to do this? Why do we as patients put up with it?

Because we're stuck. We have no other option and none of us are bold enough to make those rude statemtns we're all thinking about. Next time, I'm going to call and rather than make an appointment, I'm going to ask when I'll actually be seen--that's what I'll show up for.

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