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.

6 comments:

SeaSpray said...

Hi Throckmorton - This post hits a hot button with me. (Regarding physician dissatisfaction ) I actually wrote a lot,deleted and deleted again. :)I'm writing some posts when I am ready to get into it. As you know, I think very highly of and have written about my main docs (pcp and uro) - especially uro because of all I had been thru (feels good to refer to it in past tense), but last year had some negative physician experiences. He may be a specialist, but he can't come anywhere close to the quality physician my urologist also a busy specialist,is. Different specialties ..but the urodoc would n-e-v-e-r treat me that way. Matter of fact ...I am so used to the superior quality of care I've gotten from urodoc, and some other docs that this just took me aback.

I did look the doc up (he had low ratiungs)and gave him all poor grades in one site. I would never write negative words in those sites tho. I will never refer him either. A nurse did tell me he is the one you want to operate on you if you need his specialty. So it may've been chemistry ..a bad day for him and he took it out on me..whatever. But I sure don't want to be afraid of or feel bad around a doctor I am coming to for help or entrusting my body to for care. TRUST is key. Plus he did not remember what he said and TWICE. But then turned it on me. Weird actually.

I actually feel the Dr rating sites aren't fair to doctors. yet, helpful to patients if info accurate. problem is - how can anyone really know? Some doctors encourage their patients to write on them. (read that in Kevin MD - post on the topic) I plan on writing about those sites too. I do read them. I have mixed opinions.

SeaSpray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chrysalis Angel said...

That's sad, and we wonder why good doctors are burning out?

He did the right thing, and yet people don't understand. It's good there are doctor bloggers that can write about what it is like on the other side. Patients just don't know.

SeaSpray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeaSpray said...

This is interesting:

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/02/patient-reviews-improve-google-rankings.html

Throckmorton - I'm sorry about the lengthy comments and why I deleted them. Obviously your post triggered a rxn because of recent experiences.

Perhaps there could be some kind of pt education when established as a new pt? I know - should be common sense - but I do believe some patients at least - get used to one doc's style ..perhaps pcp since spend most time with and are likely to cover a myriad of topics with them.

Personally, I feel frustrated and sad at the thought that I should not feel free to ask questions or talk to the specialist, beyond the specific reason for being there. I understand - don't want/mean to be selfish - just sincere feelings. Pts should be able to bond. Perhaps different for surgical practice. Although, it is what got me thru all the uro stuff I had to do. It really did and forever grateful for that.

Speaking of reviews, I plan on writing one heck of an excellent rating comment for this doc. I just wonder ..can I put the exact same comment in all sites. :)

SeaSpray said...

Off topic and delete if you wish. Don't know if you'll see this TM, but I saw red when my son's friend had a pic up in Facebook of Michelle Bachman and said, "Believes Jesus healed the sick free of charge ...thinks universal healthcare would ruin the country."

Prayer is free. Providers can't work for free. So many people just don't get it. I had to comment. And will probably get attacked, but I had to speak up.

I miss your informative posts telling it like it is ..and your titles. Hope all is well. :)