referrals again

This comment from Sparkler on my post a few months ago about referrals just appeared. 

…  A visit to the doctors office takes approximately 90 minutes – I see the doctor for maybe 2 minutes. That means that means nearly all of my care in that office is with staff who are great at common issues, but iffy on uncommon ones. I adore my doctor; he is excellent. This is not a criticism of him, but if I have anything uncommon I skip the gatekeeper visit and see the specialist. If you want to understand why patients demand referrals take a look at the entire experience of visiting a specialist versus a family doctor

It's interesting and disheartening that the physician is adored, yet the time with the physician is only 2 minutes. 

I would suggest that the patient needs a new physician who can spend more than 2 minutes with the patient — since if 2 minutes really is the am't of time spent – the care is certainly substandard.  No physician can provide adequate care in 2 minutes. 

One Reply to “referrals again”

  1. Agreed that the doctor should see the patient for more than 2 minutes. But normally the 90 minutes I spend waiting (2 hours last time) for the 5 minute visit with the doctor is what creates the disillusionment. The feeling of waiting, not knowing why you haven’t been seen but your appointment time was an hour before, it is very stressful on a person who is already having some form of physical/mental affliction in the first place. I never understood why the physician does not communicate (through staff) with the waiting room when behind. I little communication would go a long way.

    Also, if you are not going to be able to see the patient at the appointed time, and it is going to be an hour wait, maybe you could notify the patient so they don’t have to sit and wait for long periods of time but could arrive when the doctor can actually see them.

    I would rather just wait the 90 minutes for the specialist to see me, instead of waiting 90 minutes for the primary care doc to tell me to go wait 90 minutes for the specialist. America just does not move at that pace, except in doctors offices and the DMV. Actually, the DMV has improved greatly over the last few years. SO I guess it is just the doctors office.

    If it only took the few minutes to see the primary care doctor to get the referral, that would be one thing. But the way it really works, this adds a great deal of time and stress to the patient which neither helps in caring or encourages the princple of the primary care doc preflighting the situation.

    By the way, my last wait time of 2 hours to get my eyes checked following PRK laser eye surgery was absurd. 2 hours. no communication, I got up and asked if they had forgotten about me, but no they were just that far behind and didn’t care if I knew or not. Finally, 2 minutes with the doctor.

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