Waiting

Have you ever gone to the doctor and gotten right in? If you have, you are extremely fortunate. Nearly every time anyone goes to a doctor appointment (this includes dentists, GPs, OB/GYNs, all of them) you get there on time, and end up waiting. Sometimes the wait is only a few minutes; other times it feels like the second coming of Christ will happen sooner.

Take this as an example. I had an appointment today to get my anti-depressant refilled (by the way, I’m increasing my dose, as I feel like I’m regressing a bit). My appointment was at 12:45. Fine. I get the link texted to me, as all visits are via video call for now. I click the link and go to the video chat page, and I wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. Other times, I’ve been attended within half an hour. This time? Nearly two fucking hours later the doctor comes on.

My son got out of school at 14:00, and I couldn’t even go pick him up, since I was waiting for the doc. His mom, fortunately, went to get him. I get that this is the volunteer clinic I’m talking to, and it’s not the highest-quality care, but Dr. Nielsen is a highly-respected doctor, known to many people around here. He’s a retired doctor who donates two days a month offering mental health services to the public. His specialty was pediatric mental health, and many people see him for their mental needs, myself included. I would hate to go to a psychiatrist and pay upwards of $100 a visit just to get my meds to keep myself normal. But, what is “normal”? Isn’t that a setting on your dryer?

Doctors’ offices give you an appointment time. If you’re late, you might need to reschedule, or they might charge a fee. But if you’re there on time, and they’re running late, it’s fine. “It’s part of the job”. Well, what about my time? Is the doctor’s time any more valuable than mine? Maybe I had to miss work because of this visit. Maybe I had to change other plans to see the doc. Why don’t I get to bill the doctor for my wasted time? Shouldn’t that be a two-way street?

Same thing goes with cancellations. I get that things happen and sometimes you need to cancel your appointment, or the doctor has something last-minute that they can’t see you. Many doctors, if you cancel within 24 hours, will charge a fee for the cancellation. I say if the doctor has to cancel within the same 24-hour period, they should pay us that fee, or waive the charge for the rescheduled visit. I say that’s only fair.

Today’s motivational quote:

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
– Henry David Thoreau

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