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waiting for doctor



  • I had an appointment a while back with my orthopedist. My husband had to drive me there and we were running a little late. I called the office while we were on the way and told the receptionist that I would be about 5 minutes late. She told me that it was fine, that patients have a 15 minute window to get there before their appointment is cancelled. I thought she was so nice. We got there about 10 minutes later to find out that the doctor was running 2 hours behind. Would have been nice to know that we were rushing for nothing... :))(
  • My first appt with my NS was the longest I ever had to wait and it was about 45 min.... now I get my pain sheet done and they get me right back. That is nice since he is 2 hours away from me. Sitting hours would kill me on top of the drive!
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  • I've never had to wait very long at either of my doctor's office. The receptionist who sets the appointments always asks me a bunch of questions before setting it up so she will have a pretty good idea of whether to schedule me for a 15 minute appointment or a 1/2 hour. I let her know if I just have a few quick questions or if I think I will need some extra time.

    Also, my PM doctor has an amazing waiting room with soft couches and a bunch of recliners - tons of pillows and soothing water features. You'd think a PM doctor would know to do stuff like that.
  • Another reason I hate a pain clinic, at least the one I was a patient of last year for a few months, it would take a whole morning or afternoon of your time up. Not to mention in my case it was all for nothing.
  • They always take me right in.If I have any waiting it's in my room where I have my choice of a chair or bed,magazines or television,and my wait has never been long enough to bother with the TV.I learned this only after my first couple of visits.During the second visit I was actually interested in w/e it was on the tv and a little dissappointed when the Dr came in so soon.Also I quit getting in the bed for the same reason-unless I'm getting an injection or something I just sit in the chair now.

    Oh yeah-they offer coffee or water w/lemon at my PM too.

    Sometimes I get to wondering when Drs DON'T run a little late..later in the day.I mean,things come up unexpectedly and take up more than the alloted time.It makes me wonder when Drs don't EVER run a bit behind...maybe they are trying to rush things or something.In my case I always get a morning appt.,so don't really expect much of a wait.
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  • thanx pappa ron thats great advice. i can tell u have years experience of seeing dr's and going hrough the misery of it all. dr's never seem to have a shortage of patients and i think that they dont realy mind losing a few of us. they know we need them more than they need us, and they abuse the privalidge uf treating us, they really do. dr's always seem to be rushing out our appointments just as fast as they came in room. and they seem to get annoyed when we ask critical questions about our healthcare, i hate it when they have thier hand on the doorknob when im asking smart questions trying to advocate for my own healthcare. funny how u never have to wait for the bill tho huh!! :''(
  • I've never had to wait more than 10 minutes at my PM doc office for an appointment, my frustration is the wait to see the PM doc himself (as opposed to his PA). I have to schedule more than a month in advance to see him directly.
  • Reading this thread is pretty interesting. I find that doctors that run behind generally spend a whole lot more time with patients, make sure that all questions are answered, etc. Remember, when you book that appointment for a med refill, of course the receptionist scheduling will give you a 5 minute slot. If you tell your doc, "Oh, and while I'm here, what do you think of this (surgeon, procedure, other meds) etc." is the majority of reasons doctors run behind.It may seem likely a 30 sec. question to you, but check your watch on the reply and its often 10-15 minutes. And for that 30 sec. question, you just added another 10-15 more minutes of documentation the physician has to do in your chart, which makes them run behind even more. I routinely wait over 2 hours for one doctor (always), I know it, take a book, and am pleased with the time he spends with me. If getting in and at are that important to you - make sure that the scheduler knows EVERYTHING you need to be seen for or ask to be seen as first patient in the morning or afternoon - remember you will wait a lot longer to get in to be seen. And to those that complain about overbooking, many doctors do because of high no-show rates (just like airplanes), or so patients with needs can be seen within a certain period of time. No shows not only waste the doctors time, they waste the time of every single member of his support staff. And on booking too many patients, how happy would you be if you needed a PM appointment and they told you since the doctor can "really" only see one patient a half hour so his next appointment would be in 3 months?
  • optimist said:
    And on booking too many patients, how happy would you be if you needed a PM appointment and they told you since the doctor can "really" only see one patient a half hour so his next appointment would be in 3 months?
    I guess I'm one of those strange souls that would prefer honesty, even if it means my doctor has to say to some patients (including me!) "I'm sorry, I haven't got any more time for questions during this appointment because other patients are waiting. Please schedule the next available appointment and ask the receptionist to book a double slot so that we can discuss *insert procedure, drug, referral, etc* in depth."

    I see it from the perspective of a professional, as well. I can't just keep on counseling someone because they've had a particularly rotten day or because they thought of something at the last minute that they meant to talk about; I can't schedule with 2 clients at the same time, just because one of them might not show up; and I can't ask one client to sit wait for an hour (or however long the first person needs to talk!) because they both happened to show up for their appointments, exactly as I scheduled them.

    As far as the high no-show rates - there's certainly not a shortage of pain patients in most areas, so I really don't see any problem with doctors weeding the no-shows out of their practices. If a patient can't manage to show up for their appointments OR abide by the office's cancellation policy, then I have to question just how much that patient really needs the appointment to begin with.
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