Trust Me – I’m A Doctor

Think back to the last time you visited a doctor.  If you got there on time for your appointment, did you have to wait to see your physician?

I took my wife to the doctor a couple of weeks ago for an afternoon appointment.  We arrived on time for our appointment to find a crowded waiting room.  Nothing really surprising, it typically moves quickly.  But when we were called back to the exam room, we ended up waiting almost TWO HOURS before the doctor came in to see us.  That was atypical.  And it got me thinking …

Why is the public willing to wait for physicians, attorneys, etc., yet not willing to wait for other services, like travel (for all those folks headed to Inman Connect this week)?  Who hasn’t complained about that window of time the cable company gives you so you can wait at home, and then they don’t show?  Why is it okay for certain industries to seemingly ignore scheduling, and Joe Public seems okay with that?

Just wondering …

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11 Responses to Trust Me – I’m A Doctor

  1. Excellent question. I am very curious if there is a good answer to this…

  2. Jim Duncan says:

    With respect to physician – the public does not “willingly” wait – they most often have no choice. In most professions – real estate and law for example, consumers have choices from an abundance of professionals – not so in medicine.

    Talk about a “cartel”

  3. Jeremy Hart says:

    Jim –

    There are other doctors out there, and medical histories are easily passed.

    Within the travel industry, some will choose one airline or hotel chain over another because of a past experience – whether good or bad. I don’t go to a particular restaurant here in the New River Valley anymore because of an experience I had there with food poisoning … it was likely a one-time thing, but it ruined my experience and so I make the choice to go somewhere else.

    With a physician, however, as bad as that wait time may be, and as often as the pattern may be repeated, we keep going back. To me, it’s an interesting look at consumer habits, although I don’t know quite what it tells us.

  4. I think we REALTORS© should think about how often we schedule an appointment to see a property only to be an hour early, or an hour late. Would we ever show up to the doctor’s office an hour early? – I don’t think so.

  5. Jeremy,

    Interesting that you should bring this up. I have had A LOT of experience with doctors over the past few years. I recently changed my family doctor specifically because I got tired of always having to wait inordinate amounts of time for appointments. It really made me mad. I felt disrespected.

    On the flip side, I spent a lot of time at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Perhaps one of the busiest hospitals in the world. In all the times I went there, I NEVER had to wait even 5 minutes past my appointment time. Seriously.

    The systems that they have in place, an the people who run them are fabulous, and it makes the whole experience a lot better. A lot of it is about delivering on promises made. If you tell me that you are going to see me at 1pm, but you know it will take me 10 minutest to get checked in, tell me that when you schedule the appointment. Setting expectations is a big part of it.

    One reason that I think people put up with it at the doctor’s office is because they NEED to see the doctor. If it was for something that could be put off to another time, then you would.

  6. Frank Borges LL0SA says:

    I like to wear my Trust Me, I’m a REALTOR® tshirt that I made.

  7. Jeremy Hart says:

    Bill – you’re right. Call the owner or listing agent to inform of changes … never understood why that’s not a possibility.

    Daniel – “Setting expectations is a big part of it.” I 100% agree – I guess the part I don’t understand is why we expect to have to wait at the doctor’s office, yet we rarely change.

    As a new agent, you constantly hear “be on time”. If you say you’ll be there at a certain time, be there. Clients and customers are quick to kick some service industries to the curb for something like being late, yet other industries – like the medical profession – seem to be immune to it. It’s interesting to me …

  8. Julie Emery says:

    Personally, I leave if the wait gets too long. And, if it happens often enough I find a new doctor. But the thing is, it’s a pain to change doctors and get your records moved. If we all carried digital copies of our medical records around with us I suspect more people would change doctors more often. Hmmmm….maybe the medical profession has been slow to embrace technology for a reason!

  9. GMA says:

    I think it really comes down to that America has been designed to time everything and speed everything up. From the Drive thru to the 30 minute workout. A race to make the mighty dollar. Great Post!

  10. Dan_N says:

    I think when it comes to our health we don’t like to fool around so if you have a good doctor you are willing to wait not that you enjoy to but just more patient than your typical meetings with other professionals.

  11. Brook says:

    You tried something new!! Good for you! I

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