Monday, October 24, 2011
THE DOCTOR'S WAITING ROOM
I arrived promptly for my 11:00 AM appointment at the gynecologist's office. At the time I was working second shift and had to be to work at 3:00 PM. The waiting area had several people. At 11:30 AM I asked one of the other women what time her appointment was and she said, 9:00! I exclaimed, "You've been waiting two hours--WHY?" I went to the desk and asked what the problem was and the receptionist informed me that DOCTOR was delivering a baby at the hospital and would be at the office as soon as she finished! [First of all I hate it when they say "DOCTOR" instead of "the doctor"!] I said, "So when were you going to tell us?" She answered, cavalierly, "You should know that problems happen!" I responded angrily, "Well, YOU should know that MY time is just as important as THE doctor's and you should have told me the situation when I signed in so that I could make the decision of what I wanted to do with MY time!" I continued, "Why would you think that I would want to wait around in a doctor's waiting room when I could be doing something IMPORTANT?"
She looked stunned that I would even complain.
I continued my tirade by telling her that I would be charged if I missed an appointment and I thought they should PAY those women who'd been waiting since 9:00!
I left, went home, called another gynecologist and made an appointment.
That's when I made my decision to always interview my doctors.
When I met my new doctor, she sat down and started by telling me her "philosophy" about dealing with patients. I listened and said, sarcastically, "As for myself, I'm a follower of Kierkegaard!" She looked embarrassed and answered, "Was I condescending?" I said, "A wee bit." I then took out my 3 x 5 cards and began telling her my expectations. I began by telling her that I would never waste her time and that I would be prepared ahead of time to discuss any problems I might have. She told me that she'd never had a patient so well-prepared. She asked if she could keep the cards. They are still in my file. We now joke about our first meeting.
She and I have had a great relationship in the intervening years.