Communication Skills: Medical Profession and Customer Service

If you’ve ever had a doctor’s appointment, you’ll love this story.

 My wife, Marylou, had a doctor’s appointment for 10:00 A.M.

 Because we left for the appointment five minutes later than we normally would and because of some minor traffic delays, we arrived at the doctor’s office at 10:06.

 The receptionist behind the desk said to Marylou, “Oh, you’re six minutes late for your appointment. I’ll have to see if the doctor can fit you in today. We have a pretty busy schedule.”

 Are you kidding me?

 How many of you have ever seen a doctor at the time scheduled for your appointment?

 After Marylou saw the doctor, she told me what the receptionist had said to her.

 I approached the receptionist and asked her why she said what she said and who told her to say it.

 She said her boss told her to say that.

 I asked her who her boss was.

 She said the doctor told her. Then she said her manager told her. Then she said it was UPMC policy.

 I blame all three for this gross example of disgusting customer service.

 Somebody in that organization should have trained that receptionist on how to gracefully and correctly handle that situation.

 But then again, how could anyone expect that from a profession that consistently makes patients wait to see a doctor.

 I should be so stupid as to wonder why they call it a “Waiting Room.”

 Have you ever wondered why you never see a doctor at your appointment time?

 I can understand emergency situations.

 I can understand diagnosing a patient’s illness can take time.

 I can understand taking time to inform, comfort, or console patients.

 I don’t understand the total disregard the medical profession has for patients’ time.

 And I certainly do not understand why that receptionist embarrassed my wife and infuriated me with her totally arrogant comment.

 Now I know why Communication Skills consistently shows up each year as one of the top 10 corporate priorities.

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