Saturday, July 26, 2008
What Is There About Doctor's Waiting Rooms?
Yesterday afternoon, I had a 3:30 endocrinologist's appointment at a large medical center; we arrived at 3:20. This center has a medical staff with more than 150 physicians. I checked in and took a seat in the huge waiting room, opened my book, and began to read.
My husband sat beside me, and tried to occupy himself. But there are no magazines or newspapers in this waiting room. The television was not tuned to the Marlin's baseball game, so he could only sit, check the time, and become restless. Time passed. Other patients came, were seen by various doctors, and left.
I continued to read; my husband began to sigh deeply and make comments about the wait. After thirty minutes, he went to the check-in counter to inquire. "The doctor is running a bit late." He returned to his seat. After an hour, he checked with the lady again. "Your wife's room is almost ready." He sat back down and waited. Finally, at 4:50, we were admitted--for a 3:30 appointment!
There had been no emergency; the doctor had merely taken his time with each patient as he refuses to be rushed. "If a patient is scheduled for a fifteen minute follow-up visit as you are but needs more time, the doctor will give it" the nurse answered us. "If it's a new patient, they're scheduled for thirty minutes, but he'll take an hour and a half if he has to. Then he gets behind. It happens every day!"
I know that this is a common occurrence, but my question is: How do you handle the wait? Do you take along a book? Watch whatever is on the television? Complain? Change doctors? Arrive late for appointments?