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Can doctors do something about the wait?


Dr. Eric Last

Carly Flumer

Dana Deighton

Daniel G Garza

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels


  1. Alex McManus says:

    An interesting conundrum this week. Many years ago I spent a couple of years regularly visiting a cancer specialist. His wait time was on average, 3 hours but I didn’t dare get here late as, like many patients, I had no alternative but to wait due to the particular expertise of the doctor. I would estimate I saw him 40-50 times over that period and not once did he apologize for keeping me waiting. I did bring it up with him one day but he just laughed and said he was worth waiting for and that his time was very valuable.

    Skip to the present day. Have things changed? In my experience, it depends. I cared for my young brother for several years until his recent passing. Specialists tended to keep us waiting at least an hour. If significantly longer, most acknowledged the inconvenience but wait times remained long.

    My own experience has been somewhat different. My neurologist rarely runs late but always apologies if held up (usually a spinal surgery taking a little longer than expected). On the other hand, my local doctor always runs late ut the practice have a strategy in place. If he is running over 30 minutes late, the receptionist rings and lets them know when you should come in. When you arrive he apologies for keeping you waiting and then you become the sole focus of his attention.

    Realistically, scheduling medical appointments in a busy practice must be a nightmare at times. I take your point Moyez about the importance of practices regularly reviewing wait times and I think patients would appreciate knowing this. Perhaps ask patients for feedback too. We know that doctors (in the main) don’t run late because they are twiddling their thumbs or dawdling over cup of coffee. When I am kept waiting a significant time past my appointment, I would simply like this to be acknowledged. My time is just as valuable. A simple sorry for keeping you waiting costs nothing but means so much. Works for me.

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