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Thread: Medical appointment peeve

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Medical appointment peeve

    [RANT ON] WHY, oh why, do medical organizations make appointments for me to come at a certain time, knowing this is not the whole story? I agree to the appointment, put it on my calendar and make arrangements for a driver if necessary, etc.

    THEN a few days before the appointment I get texts or emails telling me to come earlier than agreed, typically 30 minutes, or as one that came today, 45 minutes early to "complete paperwork".

    If you want me to come at 7:15am please make the appointment for 7:15, not 8am. Is that too much to ask? I will certainly be there at whatever time we have agreed on. I may not be able to come at a much earlier time. (I have llamas and horses and peacocks to feed and hatching birds to care for.)

    Has this happened to anyone else or just to me? Am I the only one wishing this would change? Maybe I'm just getting grumpier in my elderly years, unsurprisingly coincident with increasing number of medical appointments. [RANT OFF]

    I think I understand why they do that - to them the appointment is the time the procedure or doctor's visit is scheduled in their facility. To me, the appointment is the time I am to be there. (I always try to come a little early anyway in case of traffic delays, etc)

    JKJ

    PS: I should temper this rant by saying that I am SO grateful we have access to good doctors and specialists and increasingly effective medical technology AND the`means to take advantage of it. Many (most?) the world's people don't - either it doesn't exist where they live or they can't afford it. Insurance, what's that?

  2. #2
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    Symptomatic of the outsourcing and diversity of responsibilities. Some do it well. Most do it terribly.
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." - George Carlin

  3. #3
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    Feb 2003
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    John,
    I hear you about the frequency of appointments as we age! I try to make myself keep saying........"glad I'm here to go"!
    My medical facility here (same one for 35 years - Wake Forest (now Atrium) Medical, has a website that allows me to go online and fill out all paperwork before I go to appointment. I have started using that on every visit and it makes the "in and out" part of the visit much easier, especially timewise.

    Jim

  4. #4
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    It happens to me too. Worse, I arrive on time and shortly afterwards a nice nurse leads me to the small Dr’s room and takes my vitals. Then I sit and wait 30-45 minutes for the doctor to show up..
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  5. #5
    Join Date
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    My health care provider is very good about this. At the time an appointment is being made they always say to please show up ~15-20 minutes early for check in and any paperwork. Most blood draws and such are done on a walk in basis and there is hardly any waiting.

    Sometimes they do get backed up and the wait to see the doctor can become extended. Usually this is a few earlier appointments delaying the process.

    Since my first job I have always tried to show up for appointments early. Much better early than late.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
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    I guess I am bad about keeping the Dr in with me. I went 2 weeks ago and caught up on some stuff asked if he was still farming asked about his twins and oldest daughter that I worked with.

  7. #7
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    NW Indiana
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    There are some doctors who are very good about time and waiting is minimal and others are awful. I have some very good doctors who are typically on time.

    Thank goodness for my phone as I read books with Kindle app, listen to a book, play a game or a lot of other things. This really helps with long wait times.

    I do try to do all my paper work online. I hate filling out redundant paper work and refuse to do so.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Vancouver Canada
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    OK, I live in an area that does not have the same issues as you. Sometimes the Dr. (a personal friend) is 10 minutes late. No paperwork to complete; specialists, excepting for 1st visits, little paperwork.
    My ophthalmologist (also a personal friend) read me the riot act when I was talking to a fellow patient in the waiting room about doctors keeping you waiting. Told off in no uncertain words that his office runs dead on time and NOBODY waits.
    Still, I've had visits with some where I was waiting 30 or so minutes. I sent a doctor an invoice for my time, because at the time I was running a $3 million remodel. Naturally, I never got paid.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  9. #9
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    I had an appointment at UM Ann Arbor a few weeks ago. They told me to be there a couple hours earlier. Turned out I was in and out, and on my way home before the appointment was scheduled for.

  10. #10
    In our age group, it's important to CARRY a current list of meds. Recently, I've had two different doctors ask about a med which I quit taking back in January, as it causes and still does some major problems for me. I have seen both doctors since then. One of them is the one who took me off med. Actually, I took myself off med and then told them. It was a statin drug (Crestor,) which caused joint pain and muscle weakness. Even though I've been off this med for eight months, the lingering effects are most likely permanent. My knees hurt worse now than before I had bi-lateral knee replacement in 2013. Due to taking blood thinner, I can't take Ibuprofen. Acetaminophen does nothing for the pain or swelling.
    Last edited by Bruce Wrenn; 09-20-2022 at 11:21 PM.

  11. #11
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    For those who complain about having to wait for a doctor's appointment, what do you suggest is the solution? Would you like your doctor to set a timer when your appointment starts and push you out the door when the bell rings? My doctor doesn't rush me, he takes the time to answer all my questions and explain things with a little time for casual chat to make that important human connection, I'm sure everyone after me waits a few minutes longer because of the chat with me as I have waited longer for his chats with earlier patients. He could schedule longer times per appointment but that would just mean fewer appointments per day and longer waits for an appointment. I doubt he leaves on time from the office very often. Again what solution would you propose?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Central IL
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    I value my time as much as anyone, waited numerous times in Dr offices. 1 particular day a teenager had a serious infection on his foot, the podiatrist office I was in was within a group of podiatrists. As they worked to save the young man's foot the waiting room was filling up with scheduled appointments, this was before HIPPA laws and they kept everyone informed of the extended delays. I finally got in for my appointment about 3 hours late. Was a little irritated but if it was my son I would have been thankful for the doctors care. You never know what any particular patient's concerns are but hopefully the Doctor covers everyone's concerns.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    What is my solution for waiting too long in a doctor's office. There are certain doctors who are always late and others who are mostly on time. If a doctor is always late he needs to look at his scheduling and office management. Maybe he needs to schedule slightly longer appointment times. There are some people who are late for everything and think nothing of making people wait for them. I have no patience for such people.

    If a doctor has an emergency causing a long wait time, I understand. But those who are always late, they need to figure out how to do better.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    My doctor, like most of them in the area, works for a large corporate medical company. Most of the private practices have been bought out a long time ago. I was told by some staff that the corporation expects the doctor to spend no more than 15 minutes per patient visit actually with the patient. If they exceed that, they have to account for it to a supervisor. So if there is a patient that needs more time, then the next patient gets delayed. I dont know how any doctor can keep to a schedule under those conditions, without pissing someone off. My appointments are always rushed if they are routine.
    Hobbyist

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    For those who complain about having to wait for a doctor's appointment, what do you suggest is the solution?
    I don't think that the wait is the issue that John is bringing up. There should always be a certain expectation that a doctor/PA/NPA/Nurse is going to be somewhat flexible with time when they are with a patient when they are a patient focused resource. I actually expect that from them when I'm the patient. But I absolutely would be annoyed with what John describes if the expected time of arrival keeps changing because of "paperwork" or whatever. Tell me the time of my appointment and what time I need to physically be there up front and keep the "arrive early" expectation reasonable, too. Nobody's "paperwork" should take a long time and if there are more involved questionnaires, etc., required for the situation, provide them in advance...we live in a connected world.
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