Monday, September 13, 2010

Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News...

I feel like a doctor's office should be like pizza delivery. If you have to wait more than 45 minutes, the service should be free.

I spent a lot of time in waiting and exam rooms last month. The dentist, the vet, the chiropractor and the ever popular gynecologist, just to name a few. All in a matter of just a few days. And most of that time I spent waiting. I don't understand why.

It should be simple. 15 minutes to check in. 15 minutes to do the exam. 15 minutes to check out. I should not have to block more than an hour out of my day to go to the doctor. It's ridiculous. I know there are other patients. I know there's paperwork and insurance. But get it together. Learn efficiency and multi-tasking. The rest of us have to do it.

If I was a doctor, I'd see 3 patients in 15 minute increments and take the last 15 minutes of the hour for myself. To do whatever other doctor things I needed to do. Catch up on paperwork. Make phone calls. Whatever. That way I wouldn't be rushed and I would have time to spend with everyone accordingly. I also would not overbook patients. I believe that happens, too. And if you're not there on time, I'm skipping over you and going to the next person.

My last trip to the dentist was really irritating. She's super nice, almost cheesy. But I sat in the waiting room for at least a half hour before I got in the chair. Already, I've wasted time. My cleaning with the dental hygenist went quickly and I was ready to go on about my day. But no, I had to wait for my dentist, who didn't even work on me, to look me over before I could leave. I swear I waited another half hour for that. When she finally came in, she tried to make small talk but I just wasn't into it. I wanted to get the hell out of there. I felt like a prisoner!

Here's the thing: I'm 31 years old. I'm not an 85 year old woman who has nothing else to do but go the doctor. That is not the highlight of my day. I have a job. I have housework. I have groceries to get. I have banks and post offices to go to. I have a husband. I have dogs. I try not to be in too much of a hurry, but my time is just as valuable as the next person. Great, now I have an image of me barrelling down the highway in my car, passing my grandma who's driving 30 with the emergency brake on, eloquently saying, "Now just what is her damn hurry? She'd better slow down!"

During the healthcare debate, I read an article written by a woman originally from the tri-state who used to live in Switzerland. Or maybe it was Canada. Anyway, it was another country where she described the medical system as a very well run machine. Very little wait, low to no copays, etc. I wish I had saved that article. I could take it into the doctor and use it like a competitor's coupon. "Can you match this? If not, I'm taking my business elsewhere." But then I guess I'd have to go to Switzerland to get my teeth cleaned. Damn, that's not going to work.


Amy said...

:) I like this, and I sympathize. I get a lot of knitting done waiting in Dr's offices,and while it gets projects done, it is annoying because I've usually rearranged work to be there. Last week it was the neurologist, followed by the allergy dr. Got to both on time, and then had to wait for drs and nurses to show up to work. Grr! My GP last month kept me waiting in the waiting room for 45 minutes, then the nurse wondered why my BP was high. I try not to be that witchy woman chewing everyone out, but it really tests my patience.

Paperback Writer said...

Love this post! I agree. America needs to get there stuff in order!