After missing an appointment with a physician recently, one of us was tongue-lashed by a medical assistant who explained that the practice has a months-long waiting list for new patients. The dressing-down included a threat. Another no-show and the miscreant would be discharged from the doctor’s practice and have all medications cut off.
Wondering if patients really wait months to see this doctor, the delinquent called back, pretended to be a new patient, and asked how quickly he could get in. The first available appointment at the closest location was, in fact, 2 months out. (The wait could have been cut in half by driving to an office that was farther away.)
Two months is a long time to wait to see a doctor. If your auto mechanic or air conditioner repairman told you that it would take a week to fit you in, you’d find someone else to take care of the problem and you’d never go back to the person who told you to wait. Given the transcendent importance of health, why do patients who need medical assistance routinely wait far longer? And if patients with good insurance wait for two months, how long is the queue for those who rely on Medicaid or who have no insurance at all?