Doctor's Accessibility

Melissa Dawn
By Melissa Dawn Latest Reply 2009-05-23 20:43:31 -0500
Started 2009-01-15 22:44:41 -0600

I made a recent post about some problems I've been having with middle of the night highs. I contacted my doctors office and faxed in my glucose numbers.

My doctors office books about 3 months out. Whenever I call, I usually have to leave a message (that has changed some because they moved to join in a clinic instead of having their own office, and the clinic's office staff is a bit more helpful). I think wait for the nurse to call and get the details of my questions/problem. She then consults with my doctor and then calls me back (this process has taken a few days this time). When she called me back in this situation I had a follow up question. Now I have to wait for her to get back to my doctor and then get back to me… with the weekend looming overhead, it was looking like I might not get a response till Monday.

Well, she told me it'd be easier if I just came in. The only appointment they could give me was for 9:20 tomorrow morning. I'm a high school teacher and tomorrow is the last day of the semester. Its a little busy to take off, especially at the last minute. After debating it over, though very frustrated with the situation, I finally decided to check around and see if some of my coworkers could cover parts of my classes. I feel bad inconveniencing them at this busy time of year, but I really felt I needed to be able to have an actual conversation with my doctor — person to person, not through another individual.

My question is this: Do you have difficult getting access to your doctor? On this short of notice I won't be able to have blood work done, so I'll still probably need to go in again in February when my appointment was really scheduled for. I fear I'll get there and it'll be a big guessing game (that's how it felt over the phone talking to the nurse) with few solutions or conclusions. I have no doubt that 5 minutes on the phone would have answered enough of my questions to know if this appointment was even worth the stress…

Anyway, is this typical for doctors or should I be looking for one that's a little more customer service oriented? Just curious if I'm alone on this.

13 replies

alwaystryin 2009-05-23 20:43:31 -0500 Report

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Meridian - 26751
Meridian - 26751 2009-01-17 04:25:10 -0600 Report

I have one doctor and she takes care of my wife, son, daughter, and me. If we call her in the morning she will always see us that afternoon. If we call in the afternoon, there's a better than average chance she will fit us in that very day. We have no complaints about her or her staff, it is when she has to send us to a specialist. Sometimes a month or more to get us in.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-17 07:03:00 -0600 Report

That definitely seems to be the norm, it appears. When I was referred to a gastroenterologist for severe tummy pains, it took a month or so to get seen. Fortunately I was not dying! Being referred to the endo recently took a while too, but not quite as bad. I suppose they're all just overloaded, but, boy, it can be frustrating. My appointments were ones I made myself. I think it might be less of a problem when your doctor actually calls and makes the appointment for you, which is what I should have requested at the time, as I look back.

sparkysmom 2009-01-16 20:22:09 -0600 Report

I have 7 Drs and everyone of them tries to fit me in the day I call. Now I may have to wait when I get there, but they do try to get me in. I have been blessed with a GREAT medical team.

Melissa Dawn
Melissa Dawn 2009-01-16 15:59:28 -0600 Report

Thanks for all the responses. It ended up being (it seems) a good thing I went in. After explaining everything that's been going on he's having me go in to have my gallbladder checked — he thinks it might be inflamed and that may be causing some of my struggles. Who knew? It does run in my family, I just hadn't thought of that before.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-16 09:44:21 -0600 Report

My primary doctor's office stafff is very good about getting back with me, getting me in last minute if needed, etc. I like that I can email them to get prescription renewals and have questions answered too. I have been seeing the endo only a few months now, and so far am very pleased with that association. I've been fortunate over the years to have no real problems along these lines. I hope you can get to that point too, because it is extremely frustrating to be given the runaround and to have to be put off for a long time, etc. Keep trying. You need to have doctors that you feel are working with you and that are accessible when needed. The last thing you need is the added stress that comes from lack of cooperation from the doctor and/or his staff.

Anonymous 2009-01-16 09:08:58 -0600 Report

I am so lucky to have a wonderful doctor. If I am having a problem, I can call in the morning and be seen that afternoon. If I call in the morning and leave a detailed message, his nurse will call me back that afternoon and let me know what to do or to come in the next day.

2009-01-16 05:21:02 -0600 Report

Yes, all the time. But not with my family physician, usually I hear from her the next day or get a message that she will call me at such time. She is excellent.

It is the specialists! The last two years I have gone from one to another and another. Have to wait about 4 months for the appointment; try to get answers takes forever. And then they send me to someone else, and it starts again. I have been to 5 specialists. Two of them this week (amazing) but, now the feel I need to see someone else.

I am now, so depressed and so ill that I do not want to call this specialist. I just want to forget about it all. However it ends, it ends.

Melissa Dawn
Melissa Dawn 2009-01-16 07:00:09 -0600 Report

Don't give up! I've got to believe that eventually we can all find the specialist who isn't quite so… difficult. Keep at it!

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-01-16 09:49:25 -0600 Report

Come on now. You can't give up. You're tougher than that! I do understand how you must feel, however. Just one more frustration to deal with, when you already feel overwhelmed. I sometimes wonder if they're all not in a conspiracy of sorts when they contiuously refer you to someone else (LOL), but hopefully they're really trying to get you to someone that can help you. It's important to express your frustrations to the doctors and their staffs when they occur. Stand up and be heard. I know that sometimes the doctor is not aware of the issues with their staff, so give them a chance. Discuss your problems with the doctor. Hang in there!

Avera 2009-01-15 22:54:23 -0600 Report

I am a retired high school teacher. I can remember how difficult it seemed to just go to the doctor without moving the Earth at times. lol BUT,,,,to answer your question,,,,find another doctor. If this were happening to me, I would have already caused a stir at the office. Be sure when you go in to tell the doctor about having such a hard time contacting him and ask if this is going to be a problem in the future. It could be an office staff problem and he might not know about it.