Manic Witch

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Common courtesy is an oxymoron

Some points to think about when you go to the doctors' office:

1. When you give us a telephone number, please use one that we can actually reach you. Telling us "Oh, I'm never at home so I never get those messages", "I don't know how to get my voice mail" "My kids/husband/wife must have deleted the message" and "I moved. I guess I forgot to tell you." Listen up people...our reminder calls for your appointment are a courtesy. It is ultimately your responsibility to remember that you have an appointment. And really, the reason that we do it isn't because we are being nice, we do it so we don't eat that time slot. Especially physicals which are an hour long. So pretend that you are a responsible adult and give us a way to contact you. Another reason behind that is I may need to call you about your test results. If I can't reach you by phone after 3 tries, I will send you a letter telling you that you now need to come in. You probably didn't need that appointment, but if you have inconvenienced me, then I am going to inconvenience you. If you don't respond to the letter, I am going to send a 2nd one. If I still don't hear from you, you get a 3rd one by certified mail telling you to find another doctor to jerk around.

2. When we call you and leave a message, please don't "caller ID" us and call back saying that "someone left a message". There are 4 people in our office and all with different duties. Did Shakira call to remind you of your appointment? Did George call with serious lab reports? Did I call to tell you of other news? Did Winifred call you? If we leave a message do us a courtesy and actually listen to it.

3. When we tell you to come 20 minutes early to fill out paperwork, please COME IN 20 MINUTES EARLY! If you show up "on time" for a 30 minute appointment, take the 15 or 20 minutes to fill out paperwork, then spend the 10 or 15 minutes with the medical assistant giving your medication list and history, you have now missed your entire scheduled time with the doctor. So don't get pissed the next time you come in and have to wait 1/2 hour to see him/her. You pulled the same shit on the person after you with your first visit. In fact, we may take the next person on your first visit just to keep things moving. So keep your pissy attitude to yourself.

4. Know your medications. If you can't remember, write them down! Telling me that you "take a blue pill" is going to get "Viagra" entered in your chart every time. I don't know of any other blue pill. Ok, I do but I am just going to guess out loud to you 25 year old "studs" that you need a little helper.

5. When I call you to tell you that you need an appointment at least once a year, don't get pissed. Doctors are NOT vending machines for prescriptions. We need to monitor you and make sure that you are responding to your treatment. And guess what? WE control your prescription refills. If you run out and tell me that you will call later to schedule an appointment, I will give you one month until you can get in. If you blow me off and ask for another refill you will get 2 weeks worth. I don't give a shit if you have the same co-pay for 14 days as you do for 30. Keep blowing me off and I will refill 7 days. After that I am sending you a letter telling you to find another doctor with whom you can be non-compliant. We are just NOT going to take on that liability. If you drop dead, then George gets to go to court and explain why he hasn't been monitoring your chronic condition.

6. Poor planning on your part does NOT constitute an emergency on my part. Physicals are rarely an emergency. Expect to have to wait a month for one. If you need to schedule an appointment because I am holding your prescription hostage, schedule one and I can give you enough refills to hold you until your appointment. You've already been a pain in my ass trying to get you in. We are NOT going to hold time slots for when YOU decide to come in.
On that note, when we offer you certain time slots, that is because that is all we have available. Calling in when you are sick wanting a same day appointment and then telling us the 3 that we offer you won't work, you can ONLY come in at 2:15, the tough shit. You obviously aren't that sick. We do physicals at 4 set times a day. We do this for a reason. We only have 7 hours of appointment time per day. 4 physicals takes up four hours. We need to leave a few appointment slots available between physicals for short visits. Do not call, tell me you need a physical next tuesday at 5:00. Not gonna happen. We aren't even there that late. And don't lip off to me that we only have daytime hours. Know what people who "work for a living" do? They take time off from work to see us. If you are compliant with your care, then it is only one or two days per year. Maybe save a sick day for that, split it up if you can. Of course you can always choose to not see us. Then when your heart explodes from not checking your blood pressure and cholesterol, and not taking your medications, then you WILL get to meet a doctor who works 2nd or even 3rd shift. He specializes in emergency medicine. THEN you get to meet the doctors in ICU. So it's your call.

7. The reason we ask that you not use your cell phone in the office is not because of sensitive medical equipment. It's because you hold us up when we are trying to get you into a room, check your meds, history and vitals so the doctor can see you. If you don't end the call right away, I am going to let you know that I can see you are busy, I'm just going to take the next patient so the doctor can stay on schedule. You can take their appointment when you are finished with your call.
Another reason is that we really don't care about Biff's soccer game/your sister in law's affair/that not so fresh feeling you've been having/the fact that you overdrew your account and your husband is going to kill you. Seriously, that shit is interesting only to you and maybe the person on the other end of the line.

8. An oldie, but a goodie...screaming at me about your deductible doesn't change the fact that you have a deductible and thus are responsible for part of your bill. Scream at your insurance company, your human resource manager, or better yet, yourself for choosing that policy in the first place. You're the one who picked a high deductible, not me. So shove it.

Ok, 'nuf medical office rants for now. Anyone have theirs to share?

Manic Witch wove her spell:: 6/22/2008 09:58:00 AM ::