Implement a Timesavings Plan: Communicating Effectively with Your Physician’s Office

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  • By Michele Howe.

    Reminding myself here… to be an advocate for those on both sides of the medical arena with my attitude and my actions.

    With time at an all time premium, it only makes “cents” to learn the best ways to communicate with every physician’s office (for your sake and that of the office staff). Just about everyone has had at least one experience when they’ve felt frustrated waiting longer than they anticipated. This waiting too long can be felt in both in the scheduling department and the literal waiting room itself.

    While everyone’s time is valuable, it appears that mutual understanding is not nearly so equitable. Patients grouse and complain about not getting their needs met fast enough. Physicians and their staff grow weary trying to explain and accommodate these same patients. Individuals from either position end the day exasperated and feeling misunderstood.

    The remedy? Examine the cure-all (for every disagreeable bone in your body) listed below and see if they don’t cure what ails you in the attitude department.

    When Scheduling Physician’s Appointments Always:

    1. Be realistic

    Society in general tries to cram 30 hours of work into a 24-hour day. Patients often schedule appointments on top of other appointments and then become frustrated if something gets thrown off track. (Always leave enough wiggle room.)

    2. Don’t wait until the last-minute

    People frequently wait until the last-minute to call for an appointment or prescription refill and then become frustrated when they are not accommodated accordingly. From an office standpoint, extenuating circumstances are understood. However, it is very frustrating when a patient calls the last-minute with a request that should/could have been addressed sooner.

    3. Be understanding of others and their situations

    It is difficult when someone is in pain or in a hurry to think of other people, but patients need to realize that doctors often run behind because they have had an emergency add-on or someone else needed a longer appointment. If patients would step back and understand that somebody else was in greater need on that particular day, it would ease tensions all around.

    4. Communicate effectively

    This goes both ways, for patients and office staff alike. People can get so much further if they just communicate in an effective manner. Common courtesy and honesty goes a long way (in the doctor/patient relationship as well as in life in general). Unfortunately, some patients think being difficult is what works.

    While this may produce a desired immediate result, it is not worth the long-term compromising of one’s relationships and reputation as a reasonable patient.

    Photo Credit: Ramsd

    Michele Howe

    Michele is the author of fourteen books for women and has published over 2000 articles, reviews, and curriculum to more than 100 different publications. Her articles and reviews have been published in Good Housekeeping, First For Women, Single Parent Family, Christian Single, and many other publications. Michele’s single parenting titles include Going It Alone and Still Going It Alone. After having undergone six shoulder surgeries, Michele saw the need for a women’s inspirational health-related book co-authored with her orthopedic surgeon titled, Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life’s Challenges with Strength (and Soul), released in 2010 and from which Prescription for Life, their health, medical and surgical informational book is based. One Size Fits All: Making Healthy Choices, Stepping Into a Meaningful Life, a women's health/inspirational devotional by Lighthouse of the Carolinas was released late 2012 and Faith, Friends, and Other Floatation Devices will be published in 2013 by ACTA Publications. Michele's newest release is Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy Happy Life, published by Bondfire Books. Read more of Michele's work at and contact Michele at:

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