Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Patients are prats.

It's en vogue to whine and moan about managed care and healthcare costs; everyone's doing it. And believe you me, doctors and office staff have and discuss their fair share of frustrations with managed care. Can you say Prior Auth.? What a nuisance.

But the real thorn in healthcare's side isn't commercial managed care or drug costs or Medicare or even Big Pharma. No, no. The real plague in health care is the Patient.

Today, while waiting in a doctors' office (as I do), I was in view of the front desk and witnessed a patient clamorously harangue the little receptionist. The patient was 30 minutes late for her appointment and was told that even though she wasn't here for her appointment time, she could still be seen; it would just have to be with a different practitioner with an opening.

The patient threw a royal fit and threw it right at the demure receptionist. Yes, as my adjectives indicate, I'm on the staff's side, but doing my best to be objective, this patient was [way] out of line.

You do not arrive at an office and yell at the receptionist, who, try as she might, is unable to stop time if you're going to be late. The patient made the receptionist (who truly is incredibly sweet, and I'm an expert in Receptionist) cry. Cry. Right out there in the front office, surrounded by ringing phones, old magazines and the the very real scent of Stinky Patient.

I don't care if you're having a really bad day. I don't care if you feel sick. I don't care if you're on a new medication. I don't care if you're struggling with your new oxygen tank. I don't care if traffic was wretched. I don't care if you're getting a divorce. I don't even care if your mother just died . . .

You have no right, you have no privilege, you have no cause to project your illness, frustration, or innate ire on the soft-spoken and kind receptionist. Or the MA. Or the nurse. Or PA. Or NP. Or even the doc. But especially not the receptionist. Because she sits up front dealing with crap people like you all day, and deserves one heck of a break.

Common Courtesy needs to make a doctor's appointment. If it's not dead, it certainly has the flu.


Sue said...

AMEN! Why shoot the messenger?

Poor girl...

Kar said...

I agree with you here. I really don't understand how people can blow up at others. I also don't understand how these people can't see that they're really just make themselves look like idiots...big time losers.

Also I've been meaning to tell you, awhile ago you wrote about how annoying it is when people put music on their blogs, I could see where you were coming from, but it didn't bother me that much because I blogged surfed at work and never had the speakers on. Once I started blogging at home with the volume on I've come to realize that it is THEE most annoying thing on the planet and honestly, it pisses me right off. I have seen the light, and I apologize for my error. It's the worst when people have the music box thing at the very bottom of the page and you have to scroll forever to turn it off. Heck!