I want to make it clear that I have complete faith in, and support of, doctors, especially as I'm getting older and visiting them more often than when I was a younger man. This is not about their skills as a medical professionals, it is about the medical professions ability to manage their business.
We use the services of Eisenhower Health here in the desert because it is convenient and because it is one of the premier facilities in the country. They recruit doctors from all over the world to be a part of their team, and to their credit, as their staff was getting long in the tooth, they aggressively went out and recruited a new group of young doctors to replace them.
With all that being said, Eisenhower Health, like many other medical groups around the country, have a growing, and frustrating, issue that is not going away any time soon. They can't seem to keep their appointments on time.
I have talked with friends around the country and they are saying the same things we are seeing here. When you make an appointment with your doctor you are then bombarded with phone calls, emails, and texts, reminding you that you better show up fifteen minutes early, and you better not be late or they will hunt you down and make you pay for the visit even if you don't show up.
So, we little people, show up dutifully forty minutes early so as not to piss them off and then are made to wait thirty to sixty minutes past the scheduled time for the appointment as the doctors are doing god knows what in back.
When they do finally deem it time to come in to see you they do everything they can to get in and out in one minute so they can go back to doing whatever it is they are doing instead of seeing patients. "Sorry Mr./Mrs. patient but your time is not nearly as valuable as mine is so unless you are about to have a stroke I have better things to do than listen to your sad problem."
This week I made an appointment to see my primary care doctor who was busy not seeing anyone until after the new year so they scheduled me with her PA, which was fine because she is actually less of a lecturer and more of a problem solver than my doctor.
I showed up and waited forty minutes past the appointment time before I got up and told the front desk clerk that when the doctor or PA could actually find the time to see me to give me a call, and I left.
The next day I had an appointment with another doctor to discuss the results of my MRI on my shoulder and again I waited thirty five minutes past the time before they brought me into the room and then waited another thirty minutes before the PA showed up.
When asked how I was, I told the young man that I was frustrated about having to wait to see every doctor I need to see down here. He apologized and said he understands my frustration but he wants to give patients the time they need so it pushes him behind. I suggested that they schedule fewer patients each day to avoid this problem and he looked at me like I took his dog.
This is an industry wide issue and unless we stop allowing them to do this it is only going to get worse. They are trying to slam as many people into their day as possible to maximize income and frankly, they don't really care about our inconvenience.