Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On Doctors , Appointments, and Being on Time

Several months ago, I wrote a piece about the need for doctors and therapists not to over schedule…IE to receive their clients reasonably close to the appointment’s set hour. (See post of December 17th, 2007)
Today I saw the other side.

This afternoon I had an appointment for Ricki at a top eye doctor, for 4:50 pm, for examination and evaluation of cross-eye. On the way there, on the bus, the lady sitting across from us was very personable… and, as it turned out, was going to the same doctor we were! This was a G-d-send for me, as I had never been to this doctor before, and she had. As we exited the bus, I said how happy I was that she was with me, as her knowing the way would help me reach the 4:50 appointment on time. She laughed, and said that her appointment was for 3:45.
We arrived to a packed waiting room. When the doctor next exited his private sanctum, he queried: “Is Mrs. X here yet?” The lady from the bus waved, announcing her presence. He then commented: “OK, everyone, you can set your watches, it is now 3:45!” Everyone looked very puzzled. Only two in the room understood: the lady in question, and me. Apparently hers had been the first appointment, and he had lost valuable time.
Actually, I do not condone the behavior of either. Theoretically, he should have told her in private. And she certainly should have been on time. (I of course do not know—she may have had a very pressing reason for her lateness. But she hadn’t seemed perturbed, which is why I suspect that she had not made any effort to arrive promptly.)
I’ll say this, though. The doctor’s office ran smooth as butter. We were in to see him within 30 minutes of arrival. He examined her, put in eye drops, and his secretary recommended that we take a walk for half an hour in the mall downstairs. (What went on in the mall is a tale of woe, but it will have to wait…)
And the final note: Ricki will need surgery for her crossed eyes.

1 comment:

The Babysitter said...

If after a certain time the person doesn't show up, then they should move on to the next appointment.

How is she in waiting rooms? She is able to wait a half hour?