I had to change an appointment with a very good dermatologist I’ve been seeing once a year for over a decade. Here’s the discussion with the woman at the office:
Her: Dr. M’s office.
Me: I need to change an appointment, please.
Her: Can you hold on a second?
Me: Okay, if it’s not too long.
TWO Minutes later:
Her: Last name?
Her: First name?
Her: Date of birth?
Me: In this an interrogation? Do you ever say “please” or “thank you”?
Her: Is this your date of birth?
Her: I see your appointment. If I change it, you will have to wait until next year, at least January.
Me: That’s how you treat your patients? Wait four months?
Her: That all we have.
Me: Give me another doctor in the practice then.
Her: In that case, we will treat you as a new patient and you won’t be seen for at least four months.
Me: Can you give me Dr. M’s email?
Her: I don’t have it.
Me: Can you give me her voice mail?
Her: No, but I can take a message.
Me: Tell her that as a patient for over a decade, this treatment is unacceptable, and she is to call me at home and either get me an appointment at one of your two offices or refer me to a physician outside of your practice.
Her: You can see her at our other office?
Me: Of course I can, they are only ten minutes apart.
Her: In that case she can see you in October on any Tuesday or Thursday.
Me: Why didn’t you give me that option in the first place?
Her: You didn’t ask.
That is a verbatim conversation with a woman who doesn’t care, isn’t monitored, and doesn’t deserve employment. It’s also an example of how even superb physicians’ offices are run extremely poorly, as if we’re all pests instead of patients.
© Alan Weiss 2014
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