Sunday, November 02, 2008
Before I go South for the winter I make appointments to see ALL my doctors up North, I want to get a clean bill of health so I can go knowing that I've done my part and that I'm a-ok.

In August I called to set up an appointment with my dermetologist, the earliest appointment they could give me was October 30 at 3:30 pm. I didn't like waiting that long and didn't like 3:30. I took the appointment and as time went by I called several times to see if they had a cancellation. No, nothing doing, I couldn't get anything earlier.

The day finally came - I arrived at the office at 3:15pm. I was called into the examining room at 4:00pm. That was ok with me since I realize that at that time of day the doctor can get backed up.

Gown & Stockings
Gown & Stockings by FatMandy, on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND

The nurse asked me to undress and gave me "this flimsy paper robe." Ok - I'm a patient person and settled in to wait for "his" arrival. After about 15 minutes I started to feel cold, the air was running full blast! Well, I thought to myself, "can't be to long before the doctor shows up." After another 15 minutes I got really cold so I took the jacket that I had worn to the office and put it over my shoulders.

At that point the nurse came in to tell me that the doctor would be in shortly. He did not show up shortly!!

What's a person to do?

Here I am in a paper thin robe and freezing, I opened the door and stuck my head out. The nurse saw me and asked if I wanted a blanket!! YES, YES.

Again she reassured me that "he" would be in shortly and would I like the air conditioner turned off!! YES, YES.

"He" finally came into the examining room at 5:05 pm, no explanation and no apology.

It took him less than 15 minutes to do what had to be done and in parting said, "see you in six months."

The whole time I was waiting for him to show up I was thinking of my options, I could get dressed and leave the office but the nurse kept telling me he was going to see me shortly. I had waited so long for the appointment, I wanted to be seen. I was stuck.

One thing, for sure, I'm never going to see "him" again.

What would you do in similar circumstances?

Popping by to see what you're up to. Haven't seen you in ages.
I'm afraid I'm not as patient as you....or maybe being an RN, I have even less patience with doctors. I would have left and gone elsewhere. But at least it's behind you now.
Millie my dear -- you are a candidate for sainthood! I would have been stompin' my feet and hollerin'! With what docs charge you deserve respect and dignity.

Find a new dermatologist who gives you your propers.
Yes Millie, you surely should change dermatologists. That was inexcusable for him to make you wait so long especially with no apology.

Better luck next time.
Dear Millie, This Doctor should be fired for "Lack of Concern" for his patients. I would find a new Doctor. Write him a note to tell him how you feel. Do your readers feel you should tell him? This is definitely his loss. Good-Bye, Ciao, Au Revoir and Shalom! Nanci
I like to think I'd have gotten up and left, but like you, I probably would have waited. I would have been mad, though, and I probably wouldn't go there again.
65 minutes of waiting in a flimsy paper gown!!
You have every right to contact this doctor and his office and tell him why you will not be returning.
Unexcusable in my opinion.
Are you ready to head south again soon?

Bear((( )))
Doesn't time fly ? It's time for Millie the snowbird to migrate south once more.
You are lucky that you can change doctors. I am afraid the time is coming when we will have to put up with their he could have apologized and explained...or we will not get to see a doctor at all!
After my experiences I had come to the conclusion that this is normal, but judging from the comments, I guess we are the only ones who suffer this indignity. Three weeks ago I saw my primary care physician. My appointment was 3:30 pm and his nurse had to bring me home because it was 7:00 pm before he was finished with me. He still had another patient waiting in the lobby. I mentioned to the nurse that he was the most caring doctor I had ever been to and she said that's why he gets so far behind. I guess this one doctor is worth waiting for, but I won't make an afternoon appointment again soon.

You know what you should do, there really is no need to ask us. You were treated shabbily and there is no excuse for it. When you leave, make sure they know exactly why you're changing to a new doctor!
Millie--For the past several years, I have eschewed seeing an MD dermatologist for the more-readily-available (and very capable) Physician's Assistant. "My" PA takes good care of me. At my insistance, she performed the surgery to remove a basil cell carcinoma from above my upper lip--a surgery that she had recommended that I have a plastic surgeon perform. I didn't want to have to make another appointment nor did I wish to go to a strange MD. When she confirmed that her license allowed her to perform the surgery...I insisted that she do it--right then! She did a fabulous job and no one notices the scar unless it is pointed out to them.
You might be well-served to look for your own PA.
Cop Car
Millie: My wife and I are both survivors of life threatening medical conditions. One thing we learned along the way was that we had to become our own best medical advocates. We don't have to accept anything but the best, most respectful care from those we select to be our medical providers. If you are not getting that from your current dermatologist, then, by all means, look for someone who will provide you with the level of care you deserve.
Well, this guy sounds like you wouldn't lose anything if you dropped him! I'm sure you can find another competent specialist, and a NICE one!
Thanks to all of you who left comments on this post. You made me feel a lot better by your understanding and suggestions.

Cop Car
Good idea - see a physicians's assistant -
A while ago I did see a PA since my internist was away and you know what - she was very good.

Bear Naked and Keith
I'll be going South early December - that's why I wanted to get all those doctor's out of the way.
Millie, I'm so sorry you had to deal with such a situation. I think that Doctor's should be called on their bad behavior. Any doctor who would have a patient wait that long without explanation or an apology is not acceptable. Your time is as valuable as his time and without patients such as yourself the doctor would be out of luck, and left without billing opportunities! I hope you find a more considerate dermatologist.

Make yourself up some invoices and make sure you have em on hand next time a "professional" keeps you waiting. When he hands you the bill, just figure up what your time is worth, subtarct it from his bill and if he is lucky, he won't OWE you anything...I did this once with my Obstetrician and while they did not take me seriously, it certainly got me some thumbs up from the poor saps in the waiting room who NOW knew what the deal was....
Like you, I would have shivered and waited for the doctor. Especially since I had waited so long to get the appointment to begin with and then was being told he'd be there shortly. However, that would be the last time I saw that doctor. I would write a note and let him know exactly why you'll be seeing someone else in the future. Waiting like that is inexcusable.
I think a lot of medical doctors work this way any more, but think I might explore finding another doctor. Doesn't mean I would change since more and more of them don't accept Medicare patients. I get frustrated with the guy I go to sometimes, as have others I know, so I've just gone to an Urgent Care facility. Have been treated in one specialists office on a first time visit by his Nurse Practitioner -- had never even met the doctor. She was good, but haven't needed to go back. Some P.A.s can be very good, and even better than the doctor sometimes. Think we're going to have a lot of adapting in health care when they finally begin to try to fix the system.
you are one of the fortunate ones =] i wouldnt feel as strong as you did..
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