Dr Malpani discusses the commonest complaints patients have about doctors - and what you can do about them
Patients complain that doctors make them wait forever. Well, if you select a busy doctor, you should expect the long waiting periods. Remember that you always have a choice to go to another doctor.
It's true that both doctors and patients are under enormous pressure these days. Patients have very high expectations from their doctors and expect an instant diagnosis; low costs; and efficient treatment. Doctors are finding it hard to meet these unrealistic expectations, with the result that both patients and doctors are getting increasingly unhappy with the status quo.
One of the commonest complaints patients have is that doctors make them wait for ever and ever, for no good reason. It is true that some doctors are very disrespectful of their patient's time; while others just have poor time management skills. It's also true that the reason some doctors are so super-busy is because so many patients flock to them. If you select such a doctor, you should expect to have to wait ! Remember that you always have a choice - if you are not happy about waiting, you should be happy to go to another doctor ( who may be as good, but may not have such a high profile brand name !)
Rather than complaining ( which doesn't really help anyone !), what can you do to help ?
- Reframe your expectations. Understand that the doctor is human; he is doing his best; he does have other patients to see; and that complications can occur. Give him the benefit of the doubt and be charitable. Rather than get angry, you should admire how hard he works ! And while waiting, rather than losing your temper, you can use your waiting time productively
( perhaps by reading more about your medical treatment options !)
- Make more effective use of your doctor's precious time. Try to do your homework before you see the doctor, so he does not have to waste time explaining the basics to you. If you can learn about this online, prior to your visit, you can improve the quality of the questions you ask your doctor - and thus, the quality of his answers as well !
Rather than be a complainer and a blamer, try being a fixer - remember that both you and your doctor are on the same side - yours !