Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Bad Business Practice

by Pa Rock

I remember years ago, while sitting in a college class for aspiring school superintendents, hearing the professor caution us to "try and keep doctors off of your school boards."  His reasoning was that doctors were used to getting their own way and did not take well to being rebuffed or told "no."  And while doctors tend to be well educated and perform a necessary and valued service to society, some do appear to operate in a rarefied air of arrogance and interact with their patients in a detached manner that seems to be flavored with just a pinch (or more) of contempt.

Friday evening I received a telephone call from a local number, one that I did not recognize.  Upon answering, I was connected to one of those annoying recording messages.  It was from a doctor's messaging service, and it informed me that I had an important message from my doctor, one that I could only access by calling a certain number and then providing a password.

Three problems:   1.)  I don't respond well, or politely, to recorded messages;  2.) the only passwords that I create or learn are those few which are absolutely necessary to do my job;  and, 3.) people of a certain age, like me, tend to have multiple doctors.  So, the call itself pissed me off, I didn't have no stinking passwords, and I didn't have a clue as to which of several doctors was trying to contact me.

The first thing I did was to call the number back.  It was, of course, answered by a recording which informed me that I was probably calling because I had received a call from "this number."  The recording informed me that meant that my doctor was trying to get a message to me, and not to worry because the machine would keep calling me until I responded to the message.

The second call came yesterday, and the third this morning.  Number four will surely get my blood pressure roiling tomorrow while I am work.   Perhaps during my lunch hour tomorrow I will be able to start calling all of my various physicians in an attempt to find out which one needs to get a message to me.  I hope I can identify the miscreant because there is a message that I would certainly like to get to him.

Doctors, get over yourselves.  If you need to get a message to some poor bugger who pays good money for your advice and services, pick up the phone and call him.  Direct communication is a good business practice.  And if you are honestly too busy to call people who put their lives and their checkbooks in your hands, assign the task to one of your numerous office staff - like the young man at the appointments desk who keeps people waiting in line while he monitors his eBay auctions!

Treat your patients like human beings.

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