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10 April, 2006

Bedside Manners

All of my personal doctors provide excellent care, are attentive and willing to discuss my concerns as needed. That is why last week’s visit to my new ophthalmologist was such an unpleasant experience.

First of all, I waited more than two hours. I almost left, but was determined to give Ms. Doctor-My-Time-Is-More-Valuable-Than-Yours a piece of my mind.

Second, her manner was perfunctory when she rushed into the examining room. She asked questions that were self-explanatory if she only bothered to look at my chart. She also spent half of my consultation time discussing another case with an assistant she had in tow.

Third, after poking and prodding my eyes for a bit, she told me they were fine and that she’ll see me in six months, all the while rushing out of the room as quickly as she walked in. I’ve finally had it.

“Wait, WAIT,” I said. “I have questions to ask you.” She had the decency to stop, but with one foot literally out the door.

“I waited more than two hours to see you. Is that customary? I seriously thought of sending you a bill for my time.” This I said with a smile laced with arsenic.

She rattled off something about a patient emergency that threw off her schedule. Understandable, but is it too much to ask that someone at the front desk inform her patients of this? Note that this was the closest thing I got to an apology.

After a few more questions, I knew I didn’t want to see this doctor again. I told her I would call so she can forward my records to another doctor. She barely shrugged her shoulders before finally walking out.

Why do we take such abuse from so called professionals? Moreover, why do they expect that we would? We are their clients, for pete’s sake. If I treated clients like that, not only would I lose the account, I would get fired.

I won't be treated shabbily. I take active involvement in my health care and refuse to place it in the hands of someone who sees me as another billable gold mine. A person who barely gives me the time of day doesn't deserve my business, let alone be my personal doctor.

posted at 11:46 PM by City Muse


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