As I was sitting and stewing today in my doctor’s office this topic slapped me hard. How many times have you arrived on time to your doctor’s office, only to be left waiting 15, 20, or even 45 minutes before you are even seen?
Adding insult to impatience, have you noticed that your seemingly inefficient medical practitioner has also posted that should you arrive late that not only can you lose your appointment time, but may indeed be billed for the appointment you were tardy for?
Finally, these same practitioners complain about rising costs, loss of income, and the unfairness in the medical field these days, right before jumping in their Porsche to race off for an on-time tee time.
One of the most blatant signs of disrespect in business is tardiness. A person’s lack of appreciation for another’s time has the potential to create a negative ripple effect for multiple lives and businesses. When will the medical world begin to teach its practitioners the fine art of clear communication and business time management?
The cost of these rampant inefficiencies is also a tremendous drain on families and commerce, where the only winners are the practitioners themselves. Today, as I sit here writing this blog, my appointment is 42 minutes late and I am already shifting appointments and reducing my company’s revenues. Further, my clients, who rely on me and others, who require direction from my personal team are all required to accommodate the inefficiencies of this profession.
Some may argue that technology could solve my problem; in fact I am able to write my blog while sitting here stewing about waiting for my doctor. But why should a person have to rely on technology to resolve something that most people do right day in and day out? Are we not raised to believe that doctors are some of the most intelligent people in our society? Don’t we as a society look up to doctors? All while we can call our plumber Joe, our accountant Jane, and our lawyer John, we still address these people as Dr. So-n-so. Having called a doctor by his first name, only to have been reminded that he was Dr. So-n-so, not Jack, I have personal experience with the arrogance our doctors can project.
Arrogance can affect any profession. But when that arrogance begins to infringe on the time and money of others, there needs to some sort of restructuring in the way that profession is taught to deal with the public. Maybe the current changes in health care is karma’s way of reminding doctors that they too are just one part of the human experience and in the end do not have the right to act in such a self-serving manner.
As a management consultant, I have helped countless medical professionals with office efficiency, and other business management issues; however we still do not see an overall industry push to help train doctors in a practical manner, the act of shelving their arrogance and learning the fine art of customer time management. Perhaps someday there will be a time when patients strike back with small claims actions to be reimbursed, or mass firings where doctors lose patients in large numbers. A better solution is to have doctors learn time management and gain some respect for their customers.