Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Really long doctor visit waits and the parents who put up with them
A week ago, I took Max to our pediatrician for his annual checkup and waited a full hour. When it came time for Sabrina's checkup, I decided to be proactive. I reached out to the office manager and asked if she'd call me when we should come in for our 7:15 appointment. We spoke at 7, and she said she'd let me know. At 7:40, she said to come in 10 minutes. We did. And we sat and sat and sat. At some point, I lost it and told the office manager how inefficiently the practice was run. She noted that I could take the form to switch practices.
We saw the doctor nearly an hour after we arrived, and a full hour and a half past when our appointment was supposed to be. He apologized but still: a-r-g-h. And this was far from the first occasion where we waited for an extraordinarily long amount of time to be seen.
I really like and respect our pediatrician, who has seen Max since he was born and who has always given us solid advice and encouragement. I consider most of the other doctors in the practice good, too. My children are comfortable going there; Max has been known to enjoy it. The office is super-convenient to our house; earlier in the day, our sitter dashed Ben over there for a bad cough. All this is why I've been hesitant to switch.
I know of other parents who have left this practice because of wait issues. When I posted in my moms group last night about what happened, some mentioned that. Others urged me to speak with the doctor. I plan to email him, but I doubt it will make any difference.
There have been occasions in my life when I've waited long stretches of time at visits to specialists, for myself or for Max. Any doctor gets backed up at times. I understand. Last week, the pediatrician had an emergency visit involving a child with respiratory issues. But when long waits are a pattern, I'd say that's a problem.
If something isn't working for me in all other parts of my life, I change it. I'm just stuck on this one.