Or has the whole world gone crazy? Honestly, I think it just must be me.
Last week I made Josh a doctor's appointment to talk to his doctor about a referral. Under our insurance we are not required to get a referral from our primary care doctor, but I felt like since she was his doctor and had provided his care (since he was born), we should discuss it and form a plan for action, get her input on who to see and so on. Josh also wanted her to look at his thumb that he jammed a few days ago to see if it needed an x-ray.
I thought my appointment was at 10:30. Both Josh's and Ellie's doctor's offices regularly call the day before the appointment to remind you of the time/appointment. I didn't get the call, but thought for certain I had made it at 10:30. We arrived, signed in and sat down. Two other children were there and they were called back to see different doctors while we waited. About 15 minutes later, someone called me up to the front desk. Josh had gone to the restroom at the time. She told me that our appointment had been at 10:15 and that since we were late (15 minutes), that our doctor's would NOT be able to see us and her schedule was full and she could not work us in. She made a point to tell me that she asked her (the doctor) and she couldn't see us. HUH??? And did I want to reschedule for another time. I know I stood there for 2 or 3 minutes just staring at her. In actuality, I was trying to decide what course of action to take. What I wanted to do was jump up and down and throw at tantrum, tell her how far I'd driven, how much time it had taken me, how I couldn't miss more work to come back, how I was ONLY 15 minutes late, ask why I didn't get a reminder call, ask why she couldn't see me if no one else was waiting and just go ballistic. Knowing that was not the best course to follow I said that I supposed I'd have to make another appointment. As she pecked away on her keyboard I said, "Wait. No, I don't want to schedule another appointment. I was simply coming to get a referral and I don't need the referral, I can do it myself." She wanted to know if I wanted her to make the referral for me. Uh. No. I told her no, that I could do it myself.
I met Josh coming back in and told him that the doctor couldn't see us.
NOW... keep in mind. Everyone before me on the sign in list had already gone back. There was NO ONE ELSE in the waiting room. No one had been called in to see her during the entire time we were there. She knew the appointment was simply for a referral -- and she COULDN'T SEE ME????
So, I made a decision. We are changing pediatricians.
Not once in twelve years have I ever been late to or missed an appointment. Many times, however, in twelve years, I have had to wait extraordinarily long times for the doctor to make it in to see us -- LONG past our appointment times. Never once did I complain about that wait. But let me be 15 minutes late one time and that's it, can't see you. What if Josh had been sick -- would we have been turned away then? I'm certain that I don't want to pay for that kind of service any longer.
Josh now has an appointment next week for a physical with Ellie's doctor. We will now have one doctor caring for both of them. Honestly, it will be a LOT easier for me. I like Ellie's doctor and their practice a hundred times more than I do Josh's former pediatrician's practice. I like the fact that there is care seven days a week. I like the fact that I can get prescriptions filled right on site. I like the staff there. I like the fact that there is a nurse I can call to answer routine questions -- who will answer when I call and I don't have to wait for a return call. I just find they are more patient friendly. Personally, I'm pleased it's worked out this way.
I'm sorry that some doctors now feel that a patient who is late one time by fifteen minutes is too much of a burden to fit into their schedule.
And while I'm on the subject (it's been a long day), I visited MY DOCTOR four weeks ago. At that visit, I was told I would get a call within two weeks to schedule a procedure I need to have done . I'm still waiting on that call four weeks later. Go figure.
Tomorrow will be a better day.