As a Patient, I Have No Patience

I’m not a big fan of waiting, and I imagine very few people are.

There are certain situations where you can’t do much about the waiting, like being stuck in a traffic jam or a long line at the grocery store, so I try not to get too upset.

But there are other situations, such as when you have an appointment to meet someone at a certain time, and that other person keeps you waiting, that I find quite bothersome.

I had a routine doctor’s appointment scheduled for today at 3:40, and after an hour of waiting, I walked out without ever having seen the doctor.

The primary reason for leaving was that I had a meeting at 5:00, and the meeting was 20 minutes away. I had no idea how much longer I would have had to wait, since no one ever came in to the examination room to give me an update, so I felt the best thing to do was to leave.

Now I realize that sometimes doctors get a little behind schedule, and it would be nice if you were told this when you check in, but that has never happened in all my years of going to see doctors.

I also don’t consider an hour a “little behind schedule”, but rather just bad planning. My sense is that the office is trying to squeeze in as many patients as it can, with little concern for how long the patients may have to wait as a result.

Now today’s visit happened to be with a doctor I like, so I don’t think I will look to switch doctors. But if that were not the case, I’d be looking for a different doctor immediately.

I’ve also noticed that the frustration of having to wait in a doctor’s office is eased quite a bit with a simple “Sorry for the wait,” from the doctor. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to happen that often.

But to end this diatribe on a positive note: after my meeting was over, there was a message on my phone from the doctor’s office apologizing for not being able to see me today, and asking me to call back to reschedule.

The apology seemed sincere, and as noted above, such a gesture goes a long way in making things right.

P.S. This is not the first time I’ve complained about this issue; maybe I need to learn how to become a more patient patient…

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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