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7 Sep

The Doctor Will See You Now

waitingSlate has a great read on the interminable wait at the doctor’s office. And forget just trying to make an appointment. We’re living in a time when you can hop on a jet to Singapore or reserve the nicest table in town the same day – just try getting that kind of turnaround when you’ve got a kid with a fever or a nagging injury to deal with. We’re so used to hearing “The doctor is available in October”…when it’s July…that we don’t even stop to think about how ridiculous the situation is. It’s frustrating, but we deal with it. Why?

Despite the importance of a doctor’s visit over, say, a trip to the salon, operations management in medicine is among the worst of any industry. Head over to to Slate to read more. There’s no special reason why medicine should lag behind in service like this – it’s purely operational dysfunction. In fact, some hospitals and private practices have already instituted better systems, meaning their patients can call in the morning and get an appointment the same day. These are the kind of efficient reforms that ought to be a no-brainer in arguably one of our most important, if not the most important, industries.

Further Reading:

My Healthcare Proposal

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I remember when I waited at the doctor’s office to get a physical, and besides waiting forever I had a very interesting person sitting next to me. I waited for an hour and 45 minutes for the physical and the gentleman sitting across from me just kept smacking his lips over and over. Their was nowhere else for me to go I was doomed and the lip smacking was extremely loud for lip smacking. I will never forget the wait and I will never forget that guy’s face.

    terry wrote on September 7th, 2007
  2. A few years ago I was in Korat, Thailand with my wife and four of our grand kids. Two of them became ill and we took them to a hospital in town. Within thirty minutes, both of them had seen a doctor (an actual M.D.), and each received prescriptions including an antibiotic. I walked to the cashier’s cage fearing for the health of my wallet. I walked away with a big smile on my face and my wallet was only missing around $22.00!

    A year later I had a biopsy done on a growth in my throat and I had to wait three weeks to find out if I had cancer. Luckily I didn’t but that was the longest three weeks of my life!

    Dave wrote on September 7th, 2007
  3. I actually like waiting rooms. Especially in hospitals or the ER. The best characters hang out in the ER, but any doctor’s office waiting room will do. It gives you the chance to play “Guess the Illness.” Big frat guy in a waiting room on a monday morning? We know what he’s getting checked. Woman with three kids all looking glum? The school probably had a flu outbreak. Man missing an arm and teeth marks all over his face? Probably shark attack.

    Also, hospital waiting rooms are the only places I feel comfortable browsing through magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, or Southern Woman.

    McFly wrote on September 7th, 2007
  4. After waiting in the waiting room, then you get to wait in the exam room. I’ve waited for a doctors appointment for 3 months. Dave, I’ve waited for a biopsy test too. After two weeks, I called and was told that she had the results but the doctor needed to talk to me. Nice! So, I waited again.

    When you call and make an appointment, they ask what type of insurance you have. This sometimes decides which place in line you are. It is not always first come first serve.

    Still waiting…

    Crystal wrote on September 7th, 2007
  5. McFly, I like to play that game too. My husband was cleaning out the garage and sliced open his face. We waited an hour for surgical glue. Took 5 minutes. Guess what the condition we had after seeing the $1000 bill…. post traumatic stress. Next time we’re using super glue!

    Crystal wrote on September 7th, 2007

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