Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How Long Is Too Long?

I had an appointment with my doctor today at 1:30. I left work plenty early because I knew that this doctor triple books every appointment. I raced home, changed clothes, and hurried off to my appointment. The person who set the appointment told me that 1:30 was the first appointment after lunch so there shouldn't be a long wait. Still I knew about the triple booking and that the first one there for each appointment was the first one seen. Unfortunately I ran into some delays because of road work on the 2 lane highway I had to take. But still, I signed in at 1:29. On time but probably not the first of three people with 1:30 appointments. After not too long, I was called back, weighed, my blood pressure was taken, and I was told that it shouldn't be too long. At 2:45 the doctor finally walked in. By that time, I was cold and disgruntled. I had put my coat back on and was contemplating at what point it was time to find a different doctor. Prior to this one, I had gone to the same doctor for twenty years or so and we completely understood each other. Occasionally I would have to wait for extended periods of time to be seen but not often.

This doctor just didn't seem to care about me as a person or even a patient. I felt like he cared about me as a source of income.

As I sat in that little, chilly waiting room waiting for the doctor to come in, strange and unwelcome thoughts started to wander through my mind. Was I the least important of all the people he was going to see? Was I the most easy going so that he could count on me to not be angry? Or does age come into play? Maybe it was more important to keep young people healthy. After all, at 62 I'm probably on the downhill slide no matter what we do. I knew better, but as I said, unreasonable, unbidden thoughts entered my mind. The appointment was completed. The doctor gave me the time I needed and I was satisfied with the decisions that we made together about my healthcare. But I have to ask. How long really is too long to wait for the doctor?


  1. Honestly if he ALWAYS triple booking, I'd definitely find a new one. An occasional long wait because of an emergency, I understand. But you trying to plan to be as early as possible and still wait over an hour to be seen is insulting. If he needs to book that many patients to keep the practice open, he should look for a different line of work.

  2. Ditto on livinginagirlsworld comments. Might be time to look again. This guy is just rude.

  3. I think that I too long of a wait. I probably would have done the same thing you did, but would have left very frustrated. I agree with the above posts. Why is he always booking so many patients? Income????

  4. It's just rude...I agree..once in awhile is forgivable, but all the time? NO. I don't think it is acceptable.


  5. I think an occassional extended wait is fine, but if you're consistently waiting for the same length of time, or longer than the appointment actually takes, it's too long!

    Your doctor works for you. If you're not happy with the job he/she is doing, maybe it's time to shop around for someone else.

  6. He's a tool when it comes to waiting, no doubt about it. When I was so sick a few weeks ago I decided NOT to see him because I didn't want to wait in the waiting room for an hour.

    Pretty sad.

  7. I would probably find a new doctor! I'm really picky about waiting, so unless it was a one time thing, I'd be looking elsewhere. It's just inexcusable to run that far behind, especially since you know if you were over an hour late, they wouldn't be as forgiving.


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