Saturday, February 25, 2012

Buffet patients

One of the issues that we have to constantly deal with are buffet patients. When a patient is referred to us it is for a particular reason. The referring doctor sends the related studies and labs and our staff also sends for anything else that may be needed. Time is then alloted in the schedule for that problem. It is like someone ordering a cheeseburger over the phone. You know what you need to make it and about how long it will take to cook. Then comes in the buffet patient. They not only want to discuss and be seen for what they were referred for but also ten other things. They also ask questions like Aunt Bessie has a bump on her head, what is that. You try to be understanding but also know that there are now other patients who are mad because you are running late. The office staff is mad because they are having to call all around to track down stuff that I'd unrelated to why the patient is scheduled. One of our docs starters telling buffet patients that he would address the reason they were referred and that their other concerns are just as important and would schedule another visit for those. Ofcourse he got called uncaring and inconsiderate all over the internet and patients told the referring docs not to send people to him.