Appointment When?

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John thought his head would explode. No one had better check his blood pressure right now!

He was standing at his doctor’s office, trying not to bite the head off the receptionist.

“What do you mean the doctor is not here?” he asked. “I have an appointment.”

The receptionist was annoyingly calm, explaining that the doctor was on vacation, and surely someone had let John know that his appointment was cancelled.

No, he hadn’t been told any such thing. He had taken the day off work, and he had his list of issues he wanted to discuss. It was rare that he got to see his own doctor, and he had planned to take advantage of this appointment. But now he was told that the doctor wasn’t even in the office.

“You can see one of the physician assistants,” the receptionist offered.

No, that was not a solution. “I would like to see my own doctor,” he said. “Can we make an appointment for that?”

The receptionist clicked some computer keys, finally offering, “He can see you in 3 months. I’m sorry, he doesn’t have anything sooner.”

John sighed, frustrated. No, this wasn’t acceptable.

Maybe it was time to see his wife, Donna’s, doctor at Pine Creek Family Medicine. Donna had been exclaiming how easy it was to get an appointment, and she would usually spend an hour with Dr. Herrington. When she had the sinus infection, she was seen by the doctor that same day. The one time Donna needed to reschedule, she was offered several appointment times within the next two weeks.

Donna paid a reasonable monthly fee, in exchange for unlimited office visits and communication. Dr. Herrington didn’t bill insurance, so she wasn’t stuck in front of the computer, checking off boxes. It was more personalized care, his wife emphasized.

Yes, it was time to make a change.