Today I have experienced a very rare occurrence at the doctor’s office.
This morning I had my follow up appointment with my doctor regarding a herniated disc I have been dealing with for the past two months. The problems with my disc started on January 30th when I woke up with an old familiar pain in my neck and arm. It was something I had experienced before and I knew what I was in for. My wife and I had moved since my last issuers with the disc and I had to find a doctor to treat the problem. The earliest I could get an appointment with a doctor was on February 22nd. So I spent about three weeks suffering through the pain until I could get to my appointment. When the day arrived, I was happy that I would finally get some relief. I did not prepare myself for the wait ahead.
My appointment was 8:30 a.m. I arrived early and stood in a long line to check in. I was in a LOT of pain and could not sit in the waiting room chairs in any normal fashion. I was constantly groaning and sighing heavily with every name that was called which was not my name. Finally THREE hours later I was able to see the doctor. His initial comment was “Wow, you look like you’re in a lot of pain!” I was thinking “How brilliant. Did they teach you that in med school?”
Today I returned for my follow up appointment. Again I arrived early. There wasn’t much of a line today and just as I sat down, my name was called. I was escorted into the exam room. Although I was no longer in the waiting room, I knew that moving to the examination room usually didn’t mean the doctor would be in any sooner. Much to my surprise he entered and review my charts and current condition. We were finished in less than five minutes. My appointment was over BEFORE my scheduled appointment time.
Vitals.com says that the average wait time in 2015 was a little over 19 minutes. I can tell you that before today, I have never been among those people in the 19-minute group.
Perhaps the main thing in my favor today was that I was the doctor’s second patient of the day. It is probably a good idea to get the earliest appointment so that other patients’ issues won’t create a domino effect on the schedule.
For once, I have had a positive experience with a doctor. My pain level was 0 and my frustration level was also a 0.