Does Your Doctor Respect You? Part One

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Does Your Doctor Respect You?

Adapted from http://www.flickr.com/photos/maunzy/5531925035/

Does Your Doctor Respect You

Doctor’s are great sources of information. They are good at decision-making when they are presented with your common health issues. They are great at emergency situations. They are vital to our communities…

What doctor’s are not good at is respecting you.

The Waiting Room

I was not very good at taking Aidalyn to her well baby check-ups. I think we made it to 2 total? Since we aren’t vaccinating the girls yet, there was really no point to expose her to more germs at the doctor’s office.

With Annaleigh, I decided I was going to try to go a few more times. We were seeing a new doctor and I wanted to establish a good relationship just in case we did need to see her during a sick time.

We went at 1 weeks and 2 weeks. Saw the doctor again at 2 months and our latest 4 month appointment. Or should I say disappointment.

Woman Doctor

I only have 2 kids… but I don’t like to take both of them to the doctor at the same time by myself. So, I scheduled Annaleigh’s 4 month check up on Columbus day so Adam could go with me. 

The doctor’s office called the Friday before my Monday appointment and confirmed my time. “Great!” I thought. “We’ll be there for about an hour, then we can go explore on our day off as a family…”

When we checked in, we weren’t told anything particular. So we just walked to the well baby area and took a seat. We saw patient after patient being called back… but we just sat there… for 45 minutes… with no update, no “I’m sorry you are having to wait.” And this is with an almost 3 year old and 4 month old (Who, now, needs her nap!).

After 45 minutes… or close to an hour. I look at Adam and say “I’m leaving.” He agrees and is as upset about the whole situation as I am.

We go to the front desk and tell them that we are leaving. They ask if they should go check with the doctor to see what her status is for when she would be ready for us. The receptionist comes back and says that the doctor told her it is going to be a few minutes before she can see us…

So we left.   

They never called us to tell us they were sorry for the confusion or waiting… It was just expected that we should wait. Even with an appointment, we are on their schedule.

The only thing that I ask of them is that they could have told us when I checked in that they were running far behind schedule and that since it is just a well baby visit we have the choice to reschedule or to wait…

You are paying your doctor for a service.

In any other service based, appointment based environment… the customer comes first. A restaurant gives you a wait time, a salon will tell you “It will be a few minutes.” 

Why do doctors think they can abuse that?

Needless to say, I’m probably not going back for a well baby check-up.

Not Just Pediatricians.

I waited once over 2 hours to see my gynecologist with an appointment as well… not cool people! I realize emergencies happen and doctor’s do have patients to see. My only request is to be informed if they are running behind.

This is one reason I prefer a midwifery type of care and the care I receive from my naturopath. It is more personal from the beginning and I am always called or informed if they are running behind and need to come in later or reschedule completely.

Tomorrow we are going to look at how doctor’s respect for their patients carries into the exam room. 

Read Part Two Here

If you are a medical professional, why is it that the patient’s time isn’t respected?

If you are a patient, what positive or negative experiences have you had with doctors respecting you?  



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Angela Parker
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  1. Well, I don’t normally comment (although your work is excellent!). But this one hit a chord. I definitely remember that waiting room, poor Aidalyn was doing her best to not get into anything, and I know Annaleigh was getting quite upset since she wanted to nap but couldn’t deal with all the noise. Not a pleasant memory.

    I don’t think any Doctor (or most anyways) conscientiously think that their patient’s time or trouble is worth less than theirs, but they sure seem to give that impression. I can presume that they do deal with people who themselves difficult to deal with, so maybe that reinforces this feeling over time. Hard to say…

    • I think the whole situation could have been easily changed… with one action of telling us the status of the waiting room… I’m not sure why it is so hard for them to forget what it is like being a patient.

  2. Thankfully, we have wonderful physicians who I can count on having about a 5-10 min wait time. The only doc I’ve been held up at before is my OB/GYN. And her policy is to reschedule GYN spots when she has emergency deliveries, but asks the OB patients if they can wait (if not, they get rescheduled, too). I would leave, too, if I had waited that long.

  3. I have to comment on this post- you are going to the WRONG doctor!! I, too, have experienced the lack of respect for my time at the doctors office ( don’t even get me started on the DMV place!) but have discovered that there are MANY doctors out there who are respectful and don’t overbook their schedules or make you wait forever. Word of mouth is by far the best recommendation for a great pediatrician and I would quiz everyone at church about who is their number one pick. If all else fails, try this trick for a well baby visit. Go in and check in to let them know you are here, tell them you are going to be waiting in your car since they are healthy and give them your cell phone number so they can text you when it is your time. That way, you are away from the germs and are not sitting in a questionable location with minimum toys! Hope this helps!

    • That is very very good advice! I have one pediatrician I want to look into for future visits. My current doctor is highly recommended and I have so many friend using them. Maybe they were just having a bad day. It takes a lot to get Adam and myself upset, haha, but they accomplished it that particular day. Thank you again for the advice!

  4. […] to Children’s Health!” I also love this series, Does your doctor respect you? (Part 1 & 2) This is a great read, “The adverse side effects of trusting your […]

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