The long wait at the doctor or the lab

Are you tired of waiting on long lines at the doctor’s office? Are you frustrated when you go to a lab for tests your doctor has ordered and you wait hours just to get into the room for the test. I have suffered these same indignities, which have led to tremendous frustration on my part. Over the years, I have developed some strategies that are helpful.

When making doctor’s appointments, many doctors are now charging you for a missed appointment but think nothing of keeping you waiting for hours in their office. Obviously their time is much more valuable than yours. When I am going to make an appointment, I first speak with the receptionist with whom I schedule an appointment. I ask for a day when the doctor does not have morning rounds at the hospital and does not have surgery.

This is important because either of these activities can make the doctor run much longer than he/she planned and thus keep me waiting for hours. Then I schedule the first morning appointment the doctor has on his schedule. I make sure I show up 15 minutes early to get any paperwork done. Often while you are filling out paperwork they will slip in another patient (as double booking appointments is a common practice). I want to ensure that I will really be the first patient the doctor sees.

A similar strategy works well for lab appointments. I schedule the first appointment of the day and I show up at least 15 minutes early. I find labs often schedule more than one person for the same time because of “no shows” and/or because they have multiple technicians. However, often there is only one room with the equipment needed for your test, therefore being the first on line can be essential to being taken first.

These strategies are not fool proof because a medical emergency or a bad weather conditions can always throw off scheduled appointments. However, I find that these tips help keep my blood pressure down. I also gain a feeling of control over my life and my time, when I do a little planning.

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