How Long is TOO Long?

03 November 2011

Yesterday, I had my follow up appointment with the surgeon.

And I never saw him.

Why?

Because I sat there for an hour and fifteen minutes and I decided not to waste another minute of my time.

I packed up my things, informed the nurse that I was not wasting any more of my time and that I was leaving.  Another nurse came running out to my car and I told her the same thing.

Waiting for an hour and fifteen minutes to see a doctor for a SCHEDULED visit isn’t just excessive.  It is absolute bullshit.

The thing is, he is an amazing surgeon.  Amazing.  But, he or his office manager, have zero respect for his patients if they are running more than an hour and fifteen minutes behind.  For all I know it could have taken another half an hour to actually see him.  I wasn’t going to sit there and find out.

My only regret is that I didn’t leave sooner.  If I add in drive time, I wasted TWO hours of a gorgeous {and very rare in these parts} 70 degree November day.  THAT makes me even more irritated.

I don’t know if I will even bother making another appointment at all with his office.

Have you ever left a doctor’s office after being made to wait?  How long do you wait before it’s considered unreasonable?

24 comments:

Yostee said...

But you are always the asshole if god forbid you get stuck in traffic and are 15 minutes late. They act like you personally pissed in their cheerios that day and make you reschedule!

Kelly said...

I agree with Yostee..so frustrating. I'm taking the kids to the doctor today and pray that this doesn't happen..it really sucks that it happened yesterday too, what a ridiculous waste!

seriouslysassymama.com said...

I am a nurse, and have worked in a doctors office. The secret is they are booking pts every 10-15 minutes, and seeing them longer than that. Some pts will keep the doc for over 30 minutes. Do the math. That pushes everyone else back. Also, no one ever tells the pts if the doctor is running late. Pts just assume the doc is on time. I wait, usually because I know the drill.

Michelle said...

Sassy Mama, last time I waited for an hour, so I purposefully asked the receptionist to check with the nurse how far he was running behind, I would have just rescheduled. They assured me that he wasn't too far off schedule! And if they see patients for a half an hour, they should be scheduling them every half an hour, not 10-15 minutes.

Mommy Lisa said...

I left one time after driving in a blizzard and then being made to wait for over an hour. AND my ob/gyn is notorious for running late - last year I got there for his second appt. of the day, and the first had yet to arrive so they took me back. THEN made me WAIT for 45 minutes because the first showed up JUST as I was being put in a room. I was so pissed off that they made ME wait when she couldn't show up on time. It put MY appointment late because when they put me in a room it was technically MY scheduled appt. They should have sent her home or made her wait, not me...and I told them as much VERY sternly and left. My doctor called to apologize, but I will NEVER go back.

Megan Hemphill said...

I don't think I've ever had to wait that long! I worked in a doctor's office before having kids and I have very little tolerance for making patients wait longer than 15 minutes. I feel the same way you do: its rude and shows a lack of respect to the people for whom you're supposed to be caring. Total bullshit - I'd have left, too.

Jen said...

I once waited 4 hours for a GI appointment. I don't really remember why he was running so late. But I had scheduled the appointment months prior and wasn't going to start over. I can understand if an OB is delivering a baby or something, but that's seriously excessive. That's why I rarely show up on time to doctor's appointments anymore. :)

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, working in surgery, I understand when they get tied up in surgery. Usually, surgeons will book office in between surgery, but if an emergency comes up, there is nothing they can do about it. I find that if the office staff is competent, they will make sure to contact the surgeon in situations like that, and reschedule the office appointments. I know that it sucks, but I see the other side that many patients do not see. For instance, I had a case recently that was booked for 1 hour, and took 8 hours.
Kelly T

Sam said...

It would depend on why I was there. I'm pretty lucky to have my family dr, I never wait more than 15 minutes or so. I'm pretty patient when it comes to that though, but I think it can depend on the feel of the office too.

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Anonymous said...

I waited about that long with an orthopedic surgeon once. They started calling people up to reschedule. I waited. I'm like I already took off work for this and I can't go back there and say I didn't get anything accomplished and then ask off again. This was just to get a shot in my knee that took less than 10 minutes.

Two Normal Moms said...

That is ridiculous. I worked in a doctor's office for 14 years, and anytime he was running later than 5 or 10 minutes, I was updating patients, keeping them informed and apologizing profusely. It made ME uncomfortable, and having been in those shoes, I knew how irritated they were. That said, my OB/GYN was notorious for running really late, until she stopped seeing OB patients and only does GYN now. No more babies interrupting the schedule LOL (at least those were UNDERSTANDABLE delays :)

Oh, and just to let you know, I've been partially inspired by an old post you did on the 30th Birthday Beer Tasting party. I'm doing a Pub theme party for my husband and using some of your ideas AND the Guinness cupcakes! :)

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

Good for you! I'm so glad you left. I have never done that but wished I could. Although, I've never had to wait that long. That's ridiculous! The office staff should know if it was going to be that long, or if there was an emergency surgery or something.

Karla said...

I have always wanted to leave. I would wait for 45 minutes for my prenatal check-ups and the doctor would come in for about 5 minutes. I wanted so badly to leave......There is no excuse for the office staff to not notify you that the wait was going to be longer than normal. You could have gone and got a coffee and then headed back--instead of wasting time in their windowless rooms in a gown.

Sarah said...

The SAME thing happened to me yesterday!

Well, except I had been seen by the nurse to take my vitals and was sitting in a room waiting for the doctor to show up. FOR AN HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES!

Ridiculous! I actually got up to leave the room and as I opened the door I saw the doctor at the nurses station. She gave me an annoyed look (I didn't even say anything) and said, "Yeah, I'll be right there ok?"

Seriously?

Congrats to you for up and leaving!

Michelle said...

I had been seen by the nurse already too!

Jennifer said...

I was newly pregnant with my first baby and waiting for an OB appointment. I LIVED for those appointments every month. I took off work to go to the appointment and waited and waited and waited. Finally after waiting for a hour, I got to get to a room. After waiting another half hour, they told me I wasn't going to be able to actually see a doctor that time. She was busy. I was pissed and when I peed in the cup, I didn't wipe it off like I usually did. And I slammed the bathroom door. I felt really badly about it later and wrote a note to apologize about the slammed door. A few months later I was peeking in my chart and they put the note IN MY CHART! I took it out.

~*Jess*~ said...

That's horrendous. I hate that, completely unacceptable. From an ob/gyn maybe, but they should be able to explain that the doctor is at a delivery.

Anonymous said...

I'm pregnant with my first and every single time I go to my OB's office I end up waiting at LEAST an hour. Why do I put up with it? He's the only OB within 30 miles of my house and gas is just too damned expensive now. I always waited patiently..until my last visit. It took 40 minutes to get into a room and the nurse told me he would be there in a few minutes. Another forty minutes later, I was still waiting. I got my things together and told the nurse I had another appointment and was leaving.. SO frustrating.

Anonymous said...

I just waited an hour for my orthopedic appt. When I told the nurse I was leaving she seemed surprised. I asked her if this kind of wait was typical and she said that doctor usually ran late. A woman standing next to me told me that she had sometimes waited 2 or 3 hours for her appts. The biggest joke was they had told me to arrive 15 minutes early for my appt. to handle paperwork.

Ellen Wolfson said...

I have done the following:
waited 3/4 hour in outside waiting room for dermatologist, then over 1/2 hour in exam room, then CALLED the receptionist from the exam room on my cell phone to bring me a magazine - HAHA - never went back

Today I was at a cardiology office where I had had to wait way too long the past 3 times I had gone. This time, I called ahead of time, was told I would probably have to wait a half hour because there were three people ahead of me. My appt was for 10:30 am. I waited in the outside waiting room for 3/4 hour, and there was STILL one person ahead of me, which meant I would be at least another 1/2 hour - 45 minuted. I left and will not be returning. I live in a big city, and it is a HUB for medical care. I don't wait like this.

Anonymous said...

Had 12:15 appointment today with pain specialist. At 2:30 I opened the door to room I was placed in and watched patients with later appointments than mine going in and out. Also watched my doctor meet with a pharmaceutical rep. At 3:35 I asked when it was my turn and was told doctor was doing a procedure but I would be next. (Nope, she was still in the room the pharmaceutical rep.) Door of the procedure room was open and nothing going on in there (which I also already knew because she only does procedures on Thursdays and today was Monday). At 3:55, 20 minutes short of 3 hours, I walked out with no apologies from indifferent staff. What's the longest you've tolerated? Can't wait to see how I get billed for walking out.

Anonymous said...

came in early for an ultrasound, and after waiting ah hour from the appointment time, I left without a word. I am tired of this attitude the office staff has. The receptionist is in her 80's and this is Florida, where everything is slow and slower! I told myself long ago, one hour max and if the staff isn't telling me something, I just leave. Of course if it is just too important sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do! so you end up waiting and waiting and....

Kyah said...

I'm sitting in the OB office now for a prenatal check up. Been waiting an hour and 10 minutes and I'm pissed. They tried to tell me my appointment was a last minute schedule but I made the appointment 3 weeks ago at my last appointment. The only reason I haven't left is because they're suppose to be scheduling my cesarean.

Unknown said...

It's been over 4 hours at the obgyn. Still waiting. I'm in tears. I've never had to wait so long just to see someone to tell them my problem.

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