Waiting Room Economics

Do you ever wonder if the world is spinning slower, or faster?  It’s this world full of doctors that plague me. How often we go so fast to get there to meet their appointments, as they slowly allow the time pass as we wait to get to the back. Not to see the doctor, but just to get to the back waiting room a complete walk through? That would be an accomplishment in itself.

I’ve often sat in those waiting rooms listening as the people discuss their appointment times. Sometimes they wait for thirty minutes to be called to the second waiting room. It could be an hour before they see the doctor. And as I waited in the line to pay for services rendered, I smiled at the discussion of economics. The bills they would surely receive reflected by ineffective insurance company payments. This amount divided by the number of hours spent in the waiting room. All would surely equal the reason patients are there, and are to return: high blood pressure.

It isn’t uncommon to hear the phrase, “If I could bill that doctor for every hour I have to sit and wait on him, he or she would learn to get in there when it is time.” There are also the glares received as the Pharmaceutical Representatives merely pass through the office, to the back, see the physician, and are back out before the first group even makes it to the second waiting room. “They have a job to do too!” But this surely prolongs the wait time of others who also have jobs to do. And would be back to them, rather than sit and wait.    

I was introduced to a cardiologist in Birmingham, Alabama earlier this summer. Hopefully she will not mind me mentioning her name. I was rushing into the facility to the lab. Down the hall, I was led into another room for an Echocardiogram and Electrocardiogram, prior to the physician’s assessment. Steadily thinking, my wait time was increasing. Yet, I was led to the exam room of Dr. Melissa Smallfield. I was in the facility for approximately 45 minutes, and waiting in the exam room for approximately 15 minutes, when in walked Dr. Smallfield. She looked as hurried as I did.

As she approached me, she extended her hand and apologized for being so late. Scott was with me on this first visit to meet Dr. Smallfield. He grasped her hand and shook it so hard; I thought he was going to lift her off the ground. He was so happy to see her. I looked down to notice the wait time, and advised her it was no bother at all.  The time we had waited for her was nothing compared to the times we were accustomed to waiting. With my previous cardiologist, I used to think there was a six-hour minimum wait time as a pre-stress test.

We made sure to welcome her to come to Louisiana to teach etiquette to the doctors on time management. A 15-minute wait is welcomed. God bless you Dr. Melissa Smallfield.  You serve your patients well, you do your practice well, and you do it right on time.

Published April 5th, 2012, Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench.

Published by touring from the park bench

A blogger, columnist, educator, researcher, social media enthusiast, and writer with a zest for knowledge; Brenda is the founder of "Touring from the Park Bench"; formerly the column and now, the blog. Her diversified background has enabled her to research and write in Arts and Sciences, knowledgeably and creditably. Her writing themes include Behavioral Sciences, Christianity, Criminal Justice, Education, Fitness, Healthcare and Informatics, Lifestyle, Psychology, and Sociology. Brenda thrives on researching and learning, which has enabled her in work in Technical Writing and Communications for over five years. Though varied in her traits, she has considered the distinctions of others, as a contribution, an honor, and a privilege to behold. She acknowledges her acceptance through collaboration and communication with professionals in other disciplines, forming meaningful partnerships through the culmination of challenging projects. She feels It is through interaction that awareness, integration, and success in finding solutions to mutual problems are constructed. She sees adaptability as her best characteristic, and modesty as her worst. She currently lives in Florida with her youngest daughter and her chihuahua. She has professed in words life lessons such as learning the day is scarier than the night, for you will see the harm that befalls you, and betrayal is painful. She's learned unconditional love is never stronger as seen in the very young and in the very old. She's learned no matter what emotion a person is experiencing a cuddly puppy can make you re-evaluate so much. She's learned the only certainty in life is death- so, be ready. She's learned the most experienced emotions are forgiveness, grief and hope, and that patience is the most taught virtue. She often finds nature as deeply overwhelming and has come to realize how important grounding is for the body and soul. It’s the fleeting moments people don’t take advantage of like when caught in a rainstorm, when snowflakes begin to fall and melt as soon as they touch the warmth of your skin. AUTHOR'S WORDS~ "Have you ever watched over a cocoon, as it changes into a butterfly, or a rose bud as it blooms? It is almost like watching your children grow, all too quickly, they aren’t children anymore, and neither are you. Live life while you can for you do not get a second chance.”

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