My husband had a follow up appointment last week with his cardiologist. We’ll call him ‘Dr. M.’
After driving nearly an hour and taking half the day off work, we walked into the office with our list of questions and eager to see the doctor.
Why would we drive so far to see a physician?
Now, we know how busy physician offices can be, so we were prepared with reading materials to help pass the time. I had just started reading ‘Reputation Management Book by Kevin MD’ and had it with me to knock out a few chapters during the probable wait. We weren’t in a rush because we had made arrangements and knew that it would be worth it if we could get our questions answered when we got in to see the physician.
It all went downhill from the moment we opened the door:
My husband parked in a ‘physician only’ spot. I sent him back out to move his truck and he ended up having to walk a country mile because every other spot was reserved obviously for somebody more important than the patient.
It was ok because we’re healthy and can walk. I wouldn’t say this about half the other people in the waiting room though.
We checked in with the front desk person to let them know we were there and ready for our appointment. After 20 minutes with my book, we got the call to come forward. So we gathered up all of our stuff and made our way to the front desk eager to get started.
The girl says without really looking up, “I’m sorry, but the doctor is not here. You’ll need to reschedule.”
My husband was literally unable to speak but considering I’m never at a loss for words I manage, “Excuse me? Is he stuck at the hospital?”
I said this because I’ve often had to manage negative feedback about physicians running behind in clinic. Many times its because they get delayed with a patient at the hospital or tending to an emergency.
Not the case this day. “No. I think he’s out of town. I haven’t seen him all week.”
“We’ve driven an hour and had to get blood work done for this appointment. Why didn’t you let us know? Isn’t there somebody else who can see us?” I muster. After all, there are six doctors at this office.
She tells us, “We would have called last night”. I give my husband the death stare and look at his telephone. Lucky for him – no missed calls, no messages.
At this point the girl did the right thing. She made a sad face for us (it’s good to show empathy) and went to the back to speak with someone.
To no avail, she comes back out and tells us, “Sorry, we can’t fit you in. You’ll need to reschedule.”
In the end we just left and called a new cardiologist. We have an appointment next week. We’ll need to navigate getting the medical records released and a new patient portal, but at least it’s closer to home.
I’ve lost my patience and they’ve lost patients.