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WAITING ON DOCTORS

BRYCE ON PHYSICIANS

– Why can’t they meet you on time?

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One of the most uninviting places to visit has to be a Doctor’s office. First, we normally go there because we have a pain or suffer from some ailment which doesn’t put us in the best of moods to begin with, but to add insult to injury, you have to contend with the peculiarities of the doctor’s office staff, a very cold group of workers who are more concerned with processing you like an order as opposed to treating you like a human-being. On your first visit to a doctor’s office, you are bombarded with a substantial amount of paperwork in triplicate, which I guess we have to thank our attorney friends for. I visited a new doctor recently and was overwhelmed by the paperwork. There were more waivers of rights than there was anything pertaining to my medical history. I felt like I was in an attorney’s office as opposed to a doctor’s.

I’m generally pretty healthy, so when the forms asked me to list the various ailments I’ve suffered with over the years, I answer, “No, No, No, No, No, No, No,…,” you get the idea. They then ask about my dependency on alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex, etc., to which I usually reply, “Gee, doesn’t everybody?,” which doesn’t amuse the office staff. The fact I answer, “No,” so many times makes them skeptical of my answers, to which they call be back to the office window for further interrogation.

The decor of doctor offices are basically the same which is pretty plain, with outdated or irrelevant magazines to read, and a whiff of isopropyl alcohol in the air. I find patients in the waiting room tend to keep to themselves and do not like to engage in conversation, maybe because they’re embarrassed by their ailment or maybe because they only speak a foreign language. When you try to strike up a conversation with someone, they look at you like they are being interrogated by the FBI or border patrol.

On the walls of the office are the doctor’s degrees and certificates which are intended to impress you. Some doctors tend to overdue it though as they frame everything from their college degree to their safety patrol or bar mitzvah certificates.

I guess what irritates me the most though is making an appointment with a doctor which he or she rarely keeps. If I’ve got an appointment, medical or otherwise, I tend to arrive a few minutes early as I do not like to be late. However, doctors’ really do not value your time, even when you take time off from work to visit them. I’ve got a problem with this as I wouldn’t treat my customers this way. If you cannot meet me on time, tell me up-front so I can make other arrangements, but do not take my time for granted. I might understand a couple of minutes delay due to another patient, but 15, 30, 45, or 60 minute delays? NFW.

If the doctor is late, my impatience slowly brews until I can’t take it anymore and storm out of the office (I’ve done this on more than one occasion), and frankly, I wish more people would do likewise. The office staff then tries to threaten you that they will still bill you for the appointment, which is actually a veiled threat. I just point out the time to them, tell them I had a verbal contract to meet with the doctor at a given time, and since he/she failed to appear on time, threaten to bill them for my lost time. I just can’t figure out why after practicing medicine for so long, they can’t make a simple schedule and keep it. Everybody else does. To me, its a sign of disrespect.

Doctors are not alone in terms of having poorly run offices; Dentists are just as guilty, but the only thing worse than a doctor’s office has to a hospital, which even the doctors describe as, “One of the unhealthiest places on Earth.”

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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Tim is a writer and management consultant located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.


3 comments to WAITING ON DOCTORS

  • Bob Grant

    Tim – I wrote this last week while “waiting” in the Doctor’s Exam Room:

    Been stuck in here more than an hour,
    guess my mood is kind of sour.
    They close the door and here I sit,
    confined within this boring pit.

    What to do to pass the time?
    Closing walls that I might climb?
    To keep some sort of sanity,
    ideas without profanity.

    Here’s the things I’d like to do,
    although they’re all a bit taboo.
    Pull that paper from the table,
    ‘til it piles up to my navel.
    Blow up all the rubber gloves,
    throw them like a flock of doves.
    Place all the towels on the floor,
    slide on them into the door.
    Turn on facets in the sink,
    depression sticks then try to link.
    Write graffiti on the wall,
    with tubes of stuff both big and small.

    Though these are things I’d like to do,
    still waiting here with options few.

  • Tim,

    Luckily I have a dentist who is always on time; however, my wife’s doctors more nearly resemble yours in terms of promptness, or rather, lack thereof. Ha.

    Mark

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