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Ever had a doctor/dentist actually see you at appt time scheduled?
Old 12-17-2013, 01:31 PM   #1
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Ever had a doctor/dentist actually see you at appt time scheduled?

I may be humbled by the responses that follow, but I honestly don't remember that I have ever been seen on time by a doctor/dentist. If it was on an exception basis, I'd understand, clearly some specialties can have emergencies and some appts can go longer than expected. But not every time, every specialty. And I know doctors have/want to see more patients than generations past, and may deliberately overschedule so they aren't kept waiting.

I take the first appt of the day with my doctor/dentist assuming they have to at least start on time.

Last time I went to the dentist, I waited 30 minutes. It appears a patient had a legit dental emergency and she took him in before my (first) appt and ran long with him. However, I always wait for her, every time. I admit she is a good dentist.

Had a physical a few weeks ago, first appt of the day. They sat me in the waiting room for 15 minutes. Then took me to a holding room where I waited 10 minutes for a nurse to ask me the same questions as the receptionist already had for the most part. Then another 10 minutes before I see the doctor himself, for about 10 minutes. Then another 10 minutes in another holding room to have blood drawn. Imagine later in the day! I admit he is a good doctor.

But yesterday DW had a podiatrist appt for 11a. At 10a she called and asked 'I'm about to leave work, is Dr X running on schedule? Answer, 'yes, he is.' So she arrives just before 11a, and sits in the waiting room until 12:15p (resorting to deep breathing for the last 15 minutes vs throwing furniture). She came home so mad, she said she just won't go back to him again.

I prescribed a margarita for her, seemed marginally effective. Last thing she remembered yesterday (jk).

It's aggravating to me now, but it was more aggravating when I was working and didn't have time to sit around waiting.

I don't know of many other professions where this would be considered normal (see how diplomatically I worded that). I've never had a doctor or dentist call to tell me 'doctor is running late' as might be the case for many other professionals.

BTW, evidently there's no shortage of doctors, the physician : patient population is above average where we live.


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Old 12-17-2013, 01:40 PM   #2
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My regular doctor is great; I don't think I've ever sat in the waiting room for more than about five minutes, and I've been seeing him for over 20 years.

Most of the specialists I've seen here are similar. 20 minutes would be an unusually long time to wait.

I can think of only one time I've ever had a long wait (around two hours), and that was because the doc had been tied up by unexpected complications while he was doing a surgical procedure on a patient. It cost him his own lunch hour plus an hour of office time, so he suffered as much as I did.

But in general I think they really don't know how much time they will need for each patient. I've had situations where they spent far more time with me than I expected, which delayed those after me. It tends to even out in the long run, I think.

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Old 12-17-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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Absolutely both dentist and doctors have seen me at the scheduled time but not all doctors and dentists and not every time.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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In my experience, they're almost always on time. I usually try to schedule for the first appointment in the morning.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:48 PM   #5
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Doctors, not so much..... even with the first appt of the day....

My new dentist.... usually 'on time' if we go by the airlines ... but never longer than a few minutes... he is good at getting patients in and having someone prep, x-ray etc while he is working on another...
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:50 PM   #6
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My regular dentist is always on time and greets me in the reception area.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:10 PM   #7
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[/rant] It used to be that all of the medical community made an effort to see you on time, or apologize profusely if they were more then a few minutes late. NOW, with the advent of these medical practice consortiums and "medical office" groups that appear to have the front office and business office run by some outsourced company, NONE of the medical practitioners are on time anymore. Whether its the over scheduling, or the lack of common sense in setting up sufficient time for the patient's time with the doctor, the results are the same. Before you say that emergencies or some people take extraordinary time, if the scheduling group took the time to understand the patients needs for that visit, they would adapt the time spent to accommodate them, instead of painting everyone with the same time slot. They seem to be in too much of a hurry to get back to listening to their music, or talking about their boyfriends latest episode.The loss of professionalism in the front office, and business office, I think, is due to the running it like a stand alone business with the focus on $$$$ and not service. [/end rant]
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:28 PM   #8
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My dentist is always on time. But then, he is my son. (Do you think that has something to do with it?)
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:44 PM   #9
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Just yesterday. Doctor saw me 3 minutes early.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:58 PM   #10
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My dentist is essentially always on time. My primary doc usu is, but then I also try to schedule early AM appts.

BTW- Docs (& nurses!) also get frustrated by schedules running late. I've been told it's most often because of scheduled patients showing up late (vs true emergency issues), which then causes all subsequent patients to be seen late too.

How Practices Should Deal With Late Patients | Physicians Practice

Chronically late patients... - Ambulatory Care Nursing / Clinic Nursing

Also- Most US docs now are employees & not in full control of how things run. I've heard many stories of private offices being bought out by hospital systems which then cut support staff to inefficiently low level.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:02 PM   #11
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Varies with my dentist. Sometimes on time, some times I wait. Not excessive wait time, perhaps about 20 mins max.

My doctor, I almost always have to wait about 30 mins in the examination room before seeing him, but I love his bedside manner as he actually listens and communicates before any examining. My theory is as I'm waiting that he's going over my health file as often times, even not seeing him for about a year, he'd bring up details of previous visits (a person's memory can't be that good!).

My understanding is often docs and dentists overbook as make up for many patients that cancel. See who blinks first I guess
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:40 PM   #12
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I ran on time for at least 95% of patients seen. It requires subtle time-management all day, and accepting that the occasional patients who are say 10 minutes late may have to reschedule or wait around a while so I could sneak them in after a non-show occurs up.

Over all, the patients were grateful and the chronic late-arrivers either learned my policy or wandered off.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:40 PM   #13
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Both within 5 minutes...
May wait in chair or consulting room for another 5 if they're busy.
Never get to read a full magazine article...
A little bit longer in Florida, but no complaints.

Have a good friend who calls first... to see how long the wait will be... then
"call me when you're ready"... works.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:58 PM   #14
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Usually within ten minutes or so. They're dealing with people and I would think they (doctors/dentists) cannot know in advance how much time a given patient will need. They can play the averages of course but I'd think they need some wiggle room in timing things.

That said, I have changed physicians when they were always late. One in particular was always an hour or more late with no explanation - three strikes and he was out.

I know what they do is a bit more complicated than fixing air conditioners, but when I was doing that I often didn't know how long a repair was going to take until I got into it. Even then one stuck bolt can add 20 minutes to the job. So I think it reasonable to cut 'em some slack on that.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:05 PM   #15
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I've had a mixed bag. I've had plenty of times like Midpack says. At my allergists, they tend to get you back to the examining room quickly, but then you can wait 10 minutes or so before the physician (or NP or PA as the case may be) shows up.

My old gynecologist was the absolute most horrible. He could literally be hours late. In fairness, this was usually related to an emergency or a delivery, but still was annoying.

My sense is that nowadays there is less waiting than in the "old" days and it usually occurs once you go back, not so much in the reception room.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:16 PM   #16
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I'm almost always seen on time. And if I show up early, I'm almost always seen a tad early. Maybe this varies by locale.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:36 PM   #17
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Sorry but I have nothing to complain about. I have of course been kept waiting a few times -OVER THE YEARS- but that's still a pretty good battin' average.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:51 PM   #18
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My current doctor and dentist are pretty punctual. I do try for an early appointment, though.

Funny story - about 20 years ago, I went for physical. I waited for an hour in the lobby, then they put me in a little room and told me to strip. They totally lost me. I sat there for 3/4 hour shivering and naked and had finally had it, so I got dressed and stormed out. When I got home there was a message on my home answering machine from about the 15 minute point in my naked wait - they couldn't find me and were looking for me, evidently, then gave up. I never went back and DW was so embarrassed, she changed docs, too.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:03 PM   #19
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Doctor and Dentist both on time, specialist never.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:10 PM   #20
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My Doctors & Dentist are usually on time . I do always take my kindle loaded with a book in case I have to wait .I also never sit on the examining table . I sit in the regular seat until he or she arrives .

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