Any medical professionals out there who can explain

LauraMax

Cathlete
why docs think their time is so much more valuable than the rest of the world?

Why they schedule 5 people for the same time?

Why they think it's OK to leave people sitting in their waiting rooms reading Better Homes & Garden for hours on end?

Why their receptionists are so pissy when you ask them how long the wait will be?

I think I'm done w/docs. I can get scrips online now. I'd rather spend the extra money on my meds than wait hours on end to spend 5 minutes with someone who has absolutely no respect or courtesy for their patients. :mad:
 

Dela

Cathlete
VERY good question. My last visit, I waited well over an hour, and I was the first patient of the day!
 

Jaffas

Cathlete
And where do they find those receptionists? I've actually changed doctors due to the rude front office staff who act like their job is to keep you away from the doctor.

And why does the receptionist always ask why you want an appointment, then when you finally do get into see the doctor the first question is "So, why are you here?" When I was taking care of my father one of his specialists would always tell us to come back in three months, but never tell us why. I got so frustrated with it - my dad is not an easy person to deal with - that when he would ask why we were there I replied "I have no idea, you're the one who told us to come back in three months and who won't refill his prescription over the phone."

Of course, now that I don't have health insurance and dad's in a nursing home so I don't have any of these problems. Haven't set foot in a doctor's office in years.

Oh, and why is the staff in dental offices always so nice?
 

Stacy

Cathlete
Sounds like you need a new doctor!

I can share some insight from living years with ppl in the medical profession...

Why do they ask why you want to be seen? In the office I worked at it was because each appt allotted a different amount of time. If you were there for a rash it would be like a 10 min slot, if you wanted to be seen for something more complicated, like depression, it would be a 20-30 min slot. Some of the wait comes when ppl show up late, or when the "quick" sore throat scheduled for 10 minutes becomes the "by the way while I"m here, I thought I should mention I've had headaches for a few months". So, the doctor can either address the additional issue and make the next person wait OR, address the headache so you wont have to come back and so he/she wont possibly be missing a potential serious cause for headache like a tumor for instance.

At the office I worked at...we'd never double book unless it was a sudden emergency. But for an example why some ppl wait....let's say you have 3 patients scheduled...one at 10am, one at 10:10 and one at 10:20 all for "quick" things...the 10am shows up at 10:05 and has other issues...the 10:10 shows up on time and then has to wait, etc etc.

My cousin is a doctor and spends half his time waiting on patients to show up on time and he feels rushed b/c he doesnt want to blow off any unexpected concerns but when he doesnt the next patient who has to wait is pissed off!

Obviously there are other stories, but just wanted to shed some light on the other side of the story.
 

JeanneMarie

Cathlete
Sounds like you need a new doctor!

I can share some insight from living years with ppl in the medical profession...

Why do they ask why you want to be seen? In the office I worked at it was because each appt allotted a different amount of time. If you were there for a rash it would be like a 10 min slot, if you wanted to be seen for something more complicated, like depression, it would be a 20-30 min slot. .

Yep! This is what I was going to explain too. I was the receptionist/office manager for an orthodontist for years. Same principle.... we scheduled appointment times according to what you wanted to have done. In my case, regular adjustments were different than say an emergency for a bracket off. I couldn't just make an appointment without knowing some background.... same for a medical office I am sure.

Also, if I am seeing the medical doctor, I never want to assume he knows exactly why I'm there, even if I've told the receptionist. I want him to ask, so that I have the opportunity to communicate with him face to face what is wrong.
 

Stacy

Cathlete
What's sad is that now ppl are having to pay more out of pocket to meet deductibles etc so they do try to make the most of their doctor visit even though the receptionist may be told they're just there for a "cough". Reimbursement is becoming less and less so in my cousin's practice he is seeing more patients per day but barely making ends meet. He almost had to let an employee go b/c the office couldnt make payroll. However the more patients you try to add on, the shorter amount of time the doctor can spend with any particular patient, combine that with patients trying to handle many problems at one visit....well that doesnt work! My cousin often is at the office catching up on paperwork and returning phone calls long after the staff has gone home....his poor wife never knows what time he'll be home. So when I hear stories about doctor's thinking their time is more important than anyone else's it really makes me feel sad and somewhat angry b/c I have seen the other side of the story, and things are not always as they seem.

Now mean and nasty staff, there's just no excuse for that!
 

jcm

Cathlete
Well, to maybe come to the defense of doctors I'm not sure how much of that is up to them. I know in larger practices they are pretty much dictated how many patients they should see etc. Now my pediatrician is the sole practioner in that office and it's very old fashioned. There really is no waiting room because there is no waiting, they make follow up calls, they even delivered flowers to me on MY birthday because they felt bad I had a sick kid! When my kids have been in the hospital he will also make a visit first thing, before going into his office (which is NOT near the hospital) to check in. They've also met me at the office at 9:00 at night. They also are not making nearly the money they could if a larger corporation or whatever was dictating how many patients to see. Unfortunately I'm too old for the pediatrician!

And, as mean as this kind of is, as I sit in the office of MY doc and ob/gyn I look around at the general population and feel a bit bad these docs have to deal with less-than-ideal patients much of the time!
 

toughYrun

Cathlete
I say you need a new doctor!

When I see my general care MD I have to wait a while, maybe about 45 minutes. But that's OK with me because he is very thorough and spends lots of time with me, so I figure he's doing the same with the patient ahead of me.

I've been seen promptly by the two specialists I've recently received care from and the staff was friendly too.

If I were as frustrated as you sound I'd be searching for a doctor that provides the service I pay dearly for.

Question: How do you get your prescriptions for medication online? I've not heard of that before!
 

boilerchick

Cathlete
I second Elaine's question. How can you get prescriptions online? I've never heard of that either.

As far as waiting at the doctor's office, I know it can definitely be frustrating. Luckily, I only have to go to the doctor once a year, and I've never had a horribly long wait. I did have to wait back in the room for 45 minutes once, but the doctor apologized for that, which made me feel a lot better. I'm sure many things are out of their control such as emergencies and patients showing up late for appointments, plus I'm sure it'd be hard to know exactly how long each patient will take. But I do understand your frustration, and if I had to wait a long time each time I went, I'd switch doctors.
 

jcm

Cathlete
Well, to maybe come to the defense of doctors I'm not sure how much of that is up to them. I know in larger practices they are pretty much dictated how many patients they should see etc. Now my pediatrician is the sole practioner in that office and it's very old fashioned. There really is no waiting room because there is no waiting, they make follow up calls, they even delivered flowers to me on MY birthday because they felt bad I had a sick kid! When my kids have been in the hospital he will also make a visit first thing, before going into his office (which is NOT near the hospital) to check in. They've also met me at the office at 9:00 at night. They also are not making nearly the money they could if a larger corporation or whatever was dictating how many patients to see. Unfortunately I'm too old for the pediatrician!

And, as mean as this kind of is, as I sit in the office of MY doc and ob/gyn I look around at the general population and feel a bit bad these docs have to deal with less-than-ideal patients much of the time!
 

maddiesmum

Cathlete
Well all I can say is,you need to move to Ann Arbor, MI where I receive fabulous treatment and professional attention at the Family Practice at Dominos' Farms of the U of M health care system.

Unfortunately, I have had to go to see a doctor frequently over the last two years, first for my teen daughter suffering depression and lately for myself with recurring and worsening migraines. I am happy to be seen by any of the doctor's on staff, accompanied by a student doctor on family practice rotation because I am so grateful to them for seeing me on the same day that I call with migraine pain.

I am always greeted by the friendly and personable receptionist/secretarial staff and the staff who take care of triage. The nurses are friendly and incredibly helpful when I turn up with the need to talk to someone before having my child admitted to emergency psychiatric services. The doctors take the time to listen carefully to my problem and symptoms, are helpful in recommending treatments and will answer each and every question I have about medications, etc. I am never rushed, never teated with anything but courtesy and professional respect.

All the staff working at the U of M family practice, in addition to the staff working in physical therapy and sports medicine/ob-gyn/mammography/x-ray/laboratory services as an extension of the practice, within the U of M's health care system are fantastic and deserve a full 10/10 stars because they do not keep me waiting for hours, they let me grill them with questions and always make me feel like I matter.

I am sorry some of you have not had a great experience at the doctor's office. Come to Ann Arbor, Michigan! The doctor's are fabulous here!

Clare
 

spyrosmom

Cathlete
Sounds like you need a new doctor!

I can share some insight from living years with ppl in the medical profession...

Why do they ask why you want to be seen? In the office I worked at it was because each appt allotted a different amount of time. If you were there for a rash it would be like a 10 min slot, if you wanted to be seen for something more complicated, like depression, it would be a 20-30 min slot. Some of the wait comes when ppl show up late, or when the "quick" sore throat scheduled for 10 minutes becomes the "by the way while I"m here, I thought I should mention I've had headaches for a few months". So, the doctor can either address the additional issue and make the next person wait OR, address the headache so you wont have to come back and so he/she wont possibly be missing a potential serious cause for headache like a tumor for instance.

At the office I worked at...we'd never double book unless it was a sudden emergency. But for an example why some ppl wait....let's say you have 3 patients scheduled...one at 10am, one at 10:10 and one at 10:20 all for "quick" things...the 10am shows up at 10:05 and has other issues...the 10:10 shows up on time and then has to wait, etc etc.

My cousin is a doctor and spends half his time waiting on patients to show up on time and he feels rushed b/c he doesnt want to blow off any unexpected concerns but when he doesnt the next patient who has to wait is pissed off!

Obviously there are other stories, but just wanted to shed some light on the other side of the story.

What she said :p

However late people, who happen to drive me out of my mind, should be the ones who have wait. If you've got a 10, a 10:10 and a 10:20, and the 10 shows up at 10:05 tough for Mr 10.

The 10:10, if he has any kind of brain, will already be there, and should get in at 10:05 instead of 10:10 and Mr Late should have to wait. He's already abusing other's time.

My Dr is almost always on time :)

And so is my dentist. But the dentist's staff is friendlier.

Nan
 

lauramangano

Cathlete
I hear you Laura. My absolute pet peeve is a snotty receptionist....as if I'm BOTHERING her with my questions or request for information. I have actually stopped seeing a certain doctor because of the office staff. And my husband goes to a great doctor, but I won't even bother to see him because I get a total attitude from the receptionist. GRRRRRR!
 

LauraMax

Cathlete
Nah, a new doc isn't the answer. I've been through maybe 4-5 over the last few years for exactly this reason. I think part of my problem is I live in a very densely populated area, & maybe there just aren't enough docs to go around? My last appt w/my last general practitioner was at 11:00 & I wound up seeing her at 1:15. :eek: I wonder what SHE would've done if I'd showed up for the appt 2 hours late? :rolleyes:

The genesis of my post was two visits to two separate docs over the last week--one my endocrin to get my scrip renewed, the other my general practitioner to get a pre-procedure exam for the PRP therapy on my feet. Both times there were at least 4 people in the waiting room waiting to see the same doc. :mad: The receptionist at the GP was something else--she was yacking away w/some pharm sales guy, & when I finally got to the desk & asked how long the wait was she asked what time my appt was. I told her 11:30. She very snidely said "it's 11:42." Well I've been waiting for you to check me in for the last 10 minutes, you dumb bunny!

None of these were large practices. The last two I DIDN'T see had their own small practices. I think one of them had a partner, not sure.

You can get meds online from Canadian pharmacies. Insurance won't cover it, but it is legal. I'm more than willing to pay for it if it means never having to deal with the arrogance of physicians & their staff again.

And ITA about the dentist. I never have to wait, & they're the nicest people in the world. Which freaks me out. I could never be that nice if I had to have my fingers in people's icky mouths all day long. :D
 

cab0899

Cathlete
But to get the meds online from a Canadian pharmacy, don't you have to fax them a doctor's prescription? So you would still have to go to a doctor to get the written prescription.
 

DixieGirl

Cathlete
Ha, that's funny you say that about pissy receptionists. I've come across some doozies, just mean miserable women :mad: But, I've also had Dr.'s who have fabulous receptionists :D

My friend and I see the same OB/Gyn and she actually complained directly to him about a nurse who was difficult and she's not there anymore. If she was fired or quit, who knows but I think it's well worth it to report a receptionist or nurse who is just plain rude to the doctor. These ladies are probably so sweet and great when they are around the doctors so he/she may not even know how they mistreat their patients.
 

Farah636

Cathlete
the past few years I've been pretty much subject to university health centers, and they're actually quite decent. I remember at my old uni, I had bronchitis and the doc gave me a prescription, but also a care package full of medicines, saline solution, and a couple of gatorades to see me through the night. :) The service at my current university is good too. Very nice, and very culturally sensitive....the waiting around is probably the main annoyance. Well, that, and the fact that I have to pay $20 every time I visit, only to be told something I already knew I had/could've found online for myself.
 

mmis29

Cathlete
If your provider's office is owned by a health care system of some sort, they are often held to productivity standards as if they were factory workers. In the health system I worked for last, the average provider in my system had 35 patients to see per day on his or her schedule. That does not include being called away for emergencies and hospital rounds (although many providers don't even visit their patients at the hospital anymore as there are "hospitalists" who see patients at the hospital now instead).

In addition to the productivity standards, they are also expected to make money. The amount a provider's office is actually paid for a visit by the insurance company (a negotiated dollar amount called an allowance) is usually much lower than most people think. The more patients you see, the more services can be billed, the more money comes in. Thus the over scheduling to compensate for the expectation that some folks on your schedule aren't going to show up.

It still completely sucks as a patient to sit around and wait. Nothing is more frustrating, especially as how others have mentioned the medical bills are stacking up and you feel like you're getting horrible service in return. All that said, doctors and their support staff should always remember that YOU are keeping them in business and sadly, they usually do not.
 

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