Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Waiting Game

Thankfully, I haven’t had much need to sit in a doctor’s waiting room the past few years. Recently, my internist left his clinic for fairer shores, and I was forced to find a new doc. I decided on a female physician, nice woman, I like her a lot. After listening to my litany of aches and pains, she suggested some screenings—my age. Okay.

The past month I have worked full time scheduling appointments, driving to one clinic after another and WAITING. I’ve been stuck, prodded, smeared, squished, and nearly killed (a stress test) ultimately for my good health.
The new fancy orthopedic clinic was a cattle call. In the name of efficiency, I was given an electronic tablet to fill out and got into a line where a young woman took vital signs one patient after another. When I finished entering my life history into the cloud, I was given an electronic survey of my techie experience. Handing the device to a human, I was assigned a number printed on the schematic of the building, complete with all the different doctor’s exam room numbers. I was instructed to listen for the “dings” and watch the TV monitor for my number and its corresponding room number. Sitting down in the gymnasium sized waiting room, I noticed there was not one magazine, newspaper, or pamphlet, on any of the end tables. Everyone who was smart used their phone. Waiting two hours for my number to “ding” and flash across the screen, I proceeded to find my own exam room. I was relieved to see the doctor was human if not harried. I wonder why.
I'll tell you about the cardiologist next time. Right now, I have to answer the phone. They're calling me to schedule an appointment.

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