If you’re like most people, you hate to wait, especially if you have an appointment. You have scheduled your time carefully—around work, childcare, and all of your other daily demands. You not only arrived on time but early. What, you ask, can be the problem? You wait ten, fifteen, twenty minutes, and then you march to the receptionist’s desk to confirm that your appointment is indeed today. You’re assured that you will be seen soon. How could this be happening, and why does it seem to happen during every single visit?
We lose our patience because we believe the medical team has not scheduled their time well, but nothing could be further from the truth. On any given day, doctors may not be sure what services they will perform for individual patients, and some patients require more time for their services than others. Equipment may break down. An obstetrician may be delivering a baby, or there could be unforeseen emergencies.
There are many legitimate reasons doctors run late, including patients who themselves are late or who may divulge during a routine appointment that they’re having additional issues. In this case, the allotted time does not allow the physician sufficient time to properly care for their patient. A doctor can hardly say, “Sorry, time’s up. My waiting room is full.” That’s not an excuse, but that’s often what happens.
When it’s your time to be seen, we want to make sure we perform a thorough exam, address your concerns, and answer your questions.
While we can’t promise that you will always be seen on time, we can assure you that is our goal. Here are some tips on reducing the time you spend in the waiting room and, ultimately, making the wait more tolerable.
How to Reduce the Time You Spend in the Waiting Room
- Try to get the earliest appointment in the morning or the first appointment after lunch. During each of those times, you’ll have a better chance of spending less time in the waiting room.
- When you make your appointment, ask which day of the week is the lightest scheduling day. Fewer patients on that day will hopefully mean shorter wait times.
- When you book your appointment, make sure the doctor won’t just be returning from a vacation or conference, or time out of the office.
- Call an hour or so before your appointment to see whether the doctor is on time.
- Be considerate of the patients coming after you by being on time for your own
- Let the scheduler know in advance if you have new issues to discuss that might lengthen the time you need with the doctor.
- Consider an evening appointment and schedule in advance. Dr. Moore sees patients in our Myrtle Beach office until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. On the fourth Wednesday of the month, Drs. Maselli and Lasry see patients in the Murrells Inlet Office until 7:00 p.m.
Tips for Making a Long Wait More Tolerable
Your wait time will be less stressful if you are prepared to wait.
- Leave yourself plenty of time. Don’t create more stress for yourself by scheduling something else right on the heels of your appointment. If the kids have to be picked up from school at 3, then schedule something that morning, not in the afternoon. If you have a 10 a.m. meeting, you may not want to schedule an appointment beforehand.
- Take a good book, your Kindle or iPad, your knitting, a hand-held video game—something to pass the time.
Great expectations: Expect the appointment in total, wait time included, to last longer than you think it will. If it’s shorter, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. But if you account for an extended period of time, ahead of time, then it won’t be so frustrating to wait.
Carolina OB/GYN makes every possible effort to adhere to the time of your scheduled appointment. With medical specialties such as obstetrics and gynecology, unplanned events and emergencies often result in delays. We apologize in advance if these result in waiting times above the norm. We care greatly for our patients and wish to provide the best medical care possible. We appreciate your patience and look forward to seeing you soon. Visit us online at www.carolinaobgyn.com or call us at 843-651-6525 to schedule an appointment.