Why not make the appointment for the time when you actually want me to be there?

This is the best picture I could find of a waiting room that was in the public domain.

This is the best picture I could find of a waiting room that was in the public domain.

I’m not aiming this at anyone in particular. I’m just noting a trend and asking “why?”

So you have a long-standing appointment with a doctor, for say, 11 a.m. on X date.

You get a call from the doctor’s office reminding you of it, and you are told you need to be there at 10:30 for the 11 a.m. appointment.

You get an envelope full of forms to fill out in advance, and it tells you the same thing: Your appointment is at 11, but be there at 10:30.

Hey, I don’t mind being there at 10:30. But if that’s when you want me there, why don’t you just say that’s my appointment time? It’s not like I’m going to expect to see the doctor at that precise time — just as I don’t expect to see him immediately at 11 when that’s my appointment time.

That’s all. No biggie. It’s just one of those things I wonder about….

8 thoughts on “Why not make the appointment for the time when you actually want me to be there?

  1. Doug Ross

    And… let me guess… the doctor didn’t see you until 11:30?

    It’s incredible what we put up with from doctors’ offices. There is usually someone sitting at a desk who checks you in but won’t tell you if the doctor is on time or not. When there is a long delay, nobody says “Sorry for making you wait”… I remember waiting two hours past the appointment time for a family member to see heart surgeon. It’s never a pleasant experience anyway to see a doctor… the constant tardiness adds to the stress.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    I’ve been staring a bit at the waiting room picture I found. It feels familiar to me. From my distant past. In fact, the kid with the huge head sitting on his mother’s lap even looks a little like me at that age.

    I’m guessing it was taken in the ’40s, but it doesn’t look all THAT different from when I was that age in the ’50s.

    … right down to the fact that everybody’s white. Because, you know, the black patients were in the OTHER waiting room. Let’s not miss that point. Something I probably hadn’t picked up on at that age, since I couldn’t read yet

  3. Bill

    I had a doctor in the late 70’s and early 80’s who was ALWAYS on time.If your appointment was at 1pm,he was there at 1 and you rarely saw other patients and never any annoying children;more a swinging singles’ physician.He didn’t have a secretary/office manager and had good art on the walls.He mostly prescribed Quaaludes.He had a beautiful voice.I could listen to him talk all day…

  4. bud

    I generally spend far more time waiting at private companies (pharmacy, dr., phone store) than government offices (dmv, social security adm.). Nonetheless, the myth of the efficient private sector persists.

    1. Doug Ross

      The difference is if you don’t like the wait time at your pharmacy or phone store, you have other options. With the DMV monopoly, customer service is not required. You’re stuck. My most recent example of DMV customer service was last month when I attempted to get a replacement title on a vehicle. DMV claimed I had a lien on the car even though it had been paid off last year. They told me to get the finance company to fax a lien release form. I went home and called and had that done. Waited a couple days, checking the DMV website to see if it was cleared. Nope. So I called the finance company again and asked them to send me the form and fax it again. They sent me the form and the two fax transmission documents showing the form had been faxed to the correct number. Waited again a couple days. No change in status on the website. So then I had to make another trip to the DMV, hand them the form and get the expected “we didn’t get the fax” response. Thankfully I don’t have to deal with the DMV more than once a year…

  5. Dave Crockett

    I pay a local GP $1500 a year (not reimbursed by insurance) for her services. For that, I always get seen when my appointment is scheduled, get one complete physical with comprehensive blood work every year (takes about two hours to go over everything). Because of my history, I also get a second exhaustive blood workup a year and can get up to six additional visits during the year for any complaint I might have. The blood work, by the way, is covered with her annual charge. She’s also quick to respond to a text or e-mail query. My wife also uses her services.

    It’s pricey, but as long as I can afford it, I will continue to see her.

    I also patronize a locally-owned pharmacy where I’m known by name and always get great, timely service.


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