Thursday, October 6, 2011

Entitled to be late??

This is a repost of a comment I made over at I read that blog partially because I know I'm going to read stuff that upsets me. It helps me focus my own thoughts for this blog. But this guy got my blood boiling, I have to admit. My heart is still racing as I type this, I'm so angry. Dr. Stewart Segal insists, "A doctor cannot be on time and take care of your needs." Wow... Now, I'm only an armchair 'psychologist,' but doesn't that sound like medical narcissism? Here is my comment.

My ex-husband was in the Navy. Whenever we traveled, we always planned to show up at home a full 36 hours before he had to report back to the base. Sure, the flight may only be 4 hours, but a lot of stuff can go wrong from point A to point B. The only excusable reasons for not showing up on time are: you're in the hospital, you're dead, or there's a national crisis (9/11).

You guys *know* you deal with crisis situations. That's in your job description. They tell you in school. They train you for it. You do your residencies in ERs.

What I want to know is that if all doctors are chronically late, why not PLAN for that. Sure you can't plan for the emergencies, but what about scheduling HOUR appointments instead of 15 minute ones? Sure that may mean there are block of free time where you don't *need* the full 60 minutes... But all y'all hope for the best every day without planning for the worst. That seems foolish to me.

And I think it's absolutely correct for me to demand that of my professionals. You get higher social status, you get better paid, better treated... It's not unreasonable to hold you responsible for your schedule. If any GED kid in the military can pull it off, why can't you?

The thing that I hate about that article is if you boil it down, essentially he's saying, "Oh, it's okay for me to hurt you because it's not really me hurting you, it's these other emergencies. It's not my fault. I don't need to take responsibility."

And you can try to blame this song and dance of "NOT MY FAULT!" on modern litigation, except that same attitude existed in 1847!!! [Medical Arrogance and the Effects of Prejudice]

This is a problem with DOCTORS. It always has been. And the sooner they wake up to that fact, the sooner the healing process can start.


  1. I LOVE your reply! I am never late for an appointment unless some sort of catastrophe has occurred. I worry so much about being late, that I am always painfully early and have to sit and wait. We pay doctors a lot of money to do their jobs. We deserve the courtesy of showing up on time. I completely agree.

  2. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I had the same thought with my favorite doctor - I love her to pieces, but it drove me nuts. Her appointment times started at 8:00 - I knew if I took the 2nd slot (8:20) I'd be there at LEAST until 10:30 or 11:00 (even noon). I found out that's because sometimes she didn't get there until maybe 8:30+! But, there's been a change. A little while ago there was some schedule shuffling and fuss, and next thing I knew, I'm usually out within an hour (knock wood)! I think it was a few things, including her coming in earlier but also them scheduling longer appointment times (40 minutes instead of 20), and it's SOOOOOO much better! As someone who usually has to go to work afterward and who has clients to attend to on a schedule, this was huge!