Why do a lot of doctors and/or their staff think they are doing patients a favor by seeing them? We are their customers, we are paying them, there are plenty of other doctors in the same field; we do not have just one choice! (I do recognize that some in rural areas do often have just one choice, I grew up in an area like that. We had to drive 2 hours for me to see an orthopedist, but still, they need to treat us with respect.)
I am so tired of going to a doctor’s office only to wait way past my appointment time, then I’m rushed through my appointment, and when I leave I feel like I wasn’t seen as a person, I was seen as dollar signs.
I have felt this way too many times. Often, I only feel this way with the doctor’s staff. I’ll love the doctor, but their staff is rude and inconsiderate.
I can give you many examples of this, but I will just give you 2 that have happened to me recently. I wish I could say these were isolated events, but unfortunately they aren’t.
Recently I was looking for a new gynecologist. The last time I went to my old GYN I had trouble with billing (during my annual visit she found something, I had to go to her office to give me a paper on it, I was subsequently sent a bill for an office visit…What?? Even if I was to be charged this, why was I not told in the office?), and feeling like she wasn’t listening to me or answering my questions. But, this is a different story. I asked my migraine specialist if she had a recommendation for a GYN who would work with my hormones to possibly help with my migraines, and who knows more about menopause than delivering babies. She recommended someone who sounded perfect. My husband made an appointment, unfortunately I was not feeling well the day before and knew I would not feel well enough the next day. He canceled before the 24 hour required notification, and rescheduled. The next time I woke up with a vicious migraine, and soon had an asthma attack. No way I could make it. Stuart called and explained, they said they understood and would not charge the late cancellation fee. He decided to wait to make the appointment again. In a few days he called to make an appointment, and set one up. The person making the appointment said that they realize his wife has health problems but she really needs to make sure and keep this appointment. Stuart wasn’t happy with this, “You can’t say you understand and then follow up with something like that.”……Then he received a call from this doctor’s office saying that the doctor would not see me. He told Stuart that we had canceled 3 times with less than 24 hours notice. Yes, my husband was livid. He got off of the phone and told me about it. He then called the office back and asked to speak to the office manager. First, he told the person he wasn’t upset with him personally, but he was upset, so please don’t take what he was going to say personally. (he is so thoughtful, I would have been upset with him, the man is the office manager, he needs to take care of these things.) Stuart then complained about the way he was spoken to, and proceeded to explain that they lied. He explained what was said, and what the truth was, and also said it wouldn’t matter now because I would not go to a doctor who allowed their staff to do such things.
Unfortunately for me, she was the only gynecologist I have found who is just a GYN and not an obstetrician too. But I did find one who practices Integrative Medicine, and works with balancing hormones. I will be seeing her in 2 weeks. Let’s hope things go better at this office.
The other incident happened at my General Practitioners office. I went to see my doctor about my asthma, I was still having a VERY hard time. I walked in the office (with the aid of my spiffy walker) and the perfume smell hit me in the face! I started to cough more and wheeze. I was having a very hard time breathing. I asked the front desk if there was somewhere else I could wait because of my asthma….I explained I couldn’t breathe with all the perfume in the waiting room…and it was obvious! She got all snippy and said no. So I said I would have to leave. Then she said, “well only if a room is empty” and she went to check. I felt like she took forever. I could tell I was making people in the waiting room uncomfortable. I had to use my inhaler 5 times just so I could catch my breath. Then she comes out and gets me. I was a mess, and ended up blacking out in the exam room, luckily my doctor and Stuart saw how pale I was getting and got me on the table lying down and helped me before I hit the floor. My doctor was not happy. (I must say that since this incident the staff there have been much more supportive. I think my doctor said something to the front desk. Plus, I think we have been lucky to talk to staff who are much more likely to help.) Now when I go there I wait in the hall until they can take me straight back. Luckily, my doctor is in a building that has a huge hallway.
Do others notice that you get poor customer service from the health care industry?
Yes, I have had some awesome care, and awesome customer service. I have some nurses and doctors that make me feel like family. But, it amazes me how many times I’ve gone to a doctor and felt like I wasn’t wanted there….that I was a bother. (once I actually had a doctor, who I was referred to, ask me why I was there??? Ummm, because my doctor told me I needed to come see you. This was after she left me in the room with the door open and talked to a friend in the hall for half an hour. She left a lasting impression on me, and not a good one. I’m often very nervous now about going to a specialist now, thinking they may wonder….why am I there? I’ve never been so embarrassed or pissed off (well I’ve probably been that pissed off, but boy was I ticked, and for some odd reason, my feelings were really hurt.)
Please note, I do understand that the staff at many doctor’s offices deal with a lot of strife, but every patient is different and should be treated that way. I’ve worked in customer service, and I would be ashamed if I treated anyone the way I have been treated at some health care provider’s offices.