It’s Only a Matter of Time
“The big hand points to the minutes, and the little hand points to the hour.”
You might think that this statement was addressed to my eight-year-old or one of my elementary school students, but it is actually something that I would really like to say to several of the doctors I know. Apparently, Handwriting was not the only subject they missed in their vast education.
“The doctor will be with you in 5 minutes” quite often should be translated into, “The doctor will join you in the freezing exam room where you are sitting and looking forlornly at your drained cell phone battery icon as soon as the big hand has traveled all of the way around the clock.”
It’s good they take my blood pressure reading way before the doctor actually enters the room, because I’m pretty sure they would check me into the hospital right away if they took a reading at the time of his appearance.
The thing is, the doctors appear to be wearing watches. Digital ones, even. So they don’t even have the complication of those confusing hands . Yet, the concept of wandering into the room at the actual time of an appointment seems completely foreign to many of them.
I have plenty of time to rehearse my speech about the fact that my time is just as important as theirs. And how would they feel if I meandered in an hour after my appointment time and demanded immediate treatment?
But, inexplicably, as soon as I catch a glimpse of the white coat, I am so eager to get the whole thing over and done, that I can barely remember what brought me there in the first place.
The opening some doctors give when they innocently ask, “Do you have any questions?” temptingly invites the response, “Yes, do you mind donating your Rolex to my medical expenses since you obviously never use it anyway?”
But I just mutely shake my head as I longingly reminisce about the 105 degree reading on my car thermometer as I arrived for my appointment. I mentally push the doctor out the door so I can put on my clothes and leave.
And thus I bypass another teachable moment and another opportunity to stand up for the rights of busy patients everywhere.