Friday, October 31, 2008

why so serious?

as many of you who know me, you know that i am sick and tired of my job. one of the many reasons are the calls i have to take. the clinic is a specialty clinic, gastroenterology/hepatology/bariatrics/gi surgery, and as such, receives numerous referrals. in fact, our gi staff physicians are booked out well into february for new patients and that is to put it mildly as we don't have all the referred patients scheduled. we get approximately forty referrals per day to the various services. and yet, the response from both patients and referring providers alike when i tell them my first available appointment for a morning colonoscopy on a monday or wednesday is such and such date in january.
"you're joking?" is the most common response.
yes, sir. of course i'm joking. i find it quite amusing to wile away my 8 to 5 by joshing with patients. our 30 second interaction led me to believe that you would be open to a bit of leg pulling before we get down to the dirty business of scheduling a colonoscopy. i'm afraid i was mistaken.
it's only that it gets extremely exasperating when things are completely beyond our control about scheduling patients in a timely, or even reasonable, fashion. on a day-to-day basis this becomes a real drag on a person's psyche. especially when a number of people state that we must want them to die rather than schedule them.

on another note, i came across a referral for a patient with a relatively minor complaint. all was dandy until i caught sight of the name, which slightly resembled another existing patient's name. i read on with interest. candy morningst**. not her birth name, obviously. most m2f i've come across don't have names that are quite that stagey-sounding. also, her wife was still listed as nok. i don't mean to come across as insensitive; it's only that we have an ongoing list of unusual names in order to keep the mood light on occasion. she qualifies. as does the wife of the patient with a similar name. her first name is blueberrie.

4 Comments:

At 10/31/08, 9:46 PM, Blogger Softw said...

Don't know where you wrote this from. All I can tell you the part of the globe I am writing this from made me wait for eight months for a scheduled colonoscopy while the referring doctor made it clear that something serious was suspected. And I blame the long wait on the office staff, snotty young know it alls who have the power to schedule as a doctor does not waste their time on that frivilous part of the medical profession. I am sure that everybody slightly more important than me got a quicker appointment. So it begs the question do patients have to start bribing office staff so they can get a quicker appointment. I bet you it happens already.

 
At 10/31/08, 10:34 PM, Blogger mar said...

so are you calling me snotty? not really sure.
because i actually have a serious gi problem that i've lived with for 9 years & was hospitalized twice last year, so i have empathy for the patients who need appointments.
i was mostly referring to screening colonoscopies (those for patients who are over 50 with no symptoms) because if a patient presents with a serious issue that needs to be seen immediately, the referring doctor can speak to the on-call staff directly & get them in within a week at most.
you're not alone in blaming the office staff. if the doctors' schedules are overbooked, they scream at us, if patients cancel last minute/same day, they yell that they don't have a full schedule, but we can't fill colonoscopy slots on the same day because it's a two day prep.
i'm sure that bribery does happen in some places, but the only 'bribe' i take is explaining to them how they can get in sooner (ie their doctor calls our doctors) or when people in need are nice to me i will personally take their name to the side & keep an eye out for a cancellation for whatever procedure/testing/clinic visit they need.
and after all doctors are much above being snotty.

 
At 11/1/08, 9:40 AM, Blogger super des said...

wow.

 
At 11/1/08, 10:01 AM, Blogger mar said...

me or the other commenter, des?

 

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