Lessons from the Waiting Room

My appointment was for 9:30am. I got in at 10:30am. Not bad, because my expectation is so low that I brought two hours of reading materials. This was a smart move, as the most current magazine in the waiting room was published in July 2006.

After waiting five minutes the nurse came in, asked me my height and weight, and then told me to strip down while handing me a glamorous turquoise paper gown. Not sure why, as this was just a consultation. She left in a hurry.

After sitting somewhat exposed for another ten minutes, the doctor finally charged in through the door. We had never met.

He confirmed the name of my family doctor, the one who ordered the colonoscopy two months ago. He confirmed my age, which has been correctly increasing every year since date of birth on my file. He confirmed that I have a family history of colon cancer, which again was clearly on my file.

He pulled out a stethoscope and confirmed I was breathing.

We wrote a few things down. I wonder what possibly he could be writing down.

Then he turned to me all serious-like and said, “Yup, at your age it’s a good idea to get a colonoscopy. They’ll book you in at the front desk and they will give you instructions on the prep that’s needed.”

He smiled, politely said goodbye and left the room.

I looked down at my beautiful paper gown. I felt exposed and defeated. I felt ashamed for the incredible waste of time and money and waiting time and lost productivity that just disappeared during this “consultation” that provided me with absolutely no value and that surely undermines the abilities the family GP who was very capable of providing me with an instruction sheet.

After booking the first appointment available three months out, I headed back to the office. Someone asked, “Hey, where have you been.”

I answered, “I’m really not sure … but I think I found that $7 billion the Premier is missing.”

One thought on “Lessons from the Waiting Room

  1. Fantastic post Brad. Your capture of the pathetic nature of elements of “the system” is outstanding.

    If I started to comment on reasons, and solving it, I’d be here for a week!

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