Saturday, September 17, 2005

How To Get Whatever You Want From Your Doctor's Office

Have you ever gotten screwed by your doctor's office? Does it take weeks to get your prescriptions filled? Do you wait on hold for hours, only to hear someone chuckle something about your mom and hang up?

Congratulations. Today's your lucky day. I'm about to spill the proverbial beans on the basics of how to get your doc's office to actually DO THEIR JOB for you. That's right people, advice straight from the fruity, doctors-office-working, horses mouth.

First and Foremost
If you have a doctor whose office doesn't want to help you, get another doctor. Those "we're closed from 10AM-2PM for lunch" offices piss me off too. Goddamnit, nobody gets a four-hour fucking lunch.

Tips and tricks
Leaving ONE message is completely sufficient. The other 58 just piss me off.

You catch more flies with sugar than bitcherade. Be pleasant.

You are not the only patient in our practice. Be patient. If a 24-hour turn around for non-urgent matters is unacceptable for you, go be seen in the ER (which may actually take more than 24 hours) or go spend some time in a country without healthcare. See? 24 hours doesn't seem that bad. BE PATIENT, DAMMIT!

This is awful, but if you bring something tasty, we remember you better. If you're sick and in the hospital, put the tasties in your room, and you'll have people checking your status all day. Think about us like a bunch of 2 year olds. Cookies grab our attention.

Things to avoid
Don't yell at me. I'm rightfuckinghere on the other end of the phone reciever.

Don't yell at me (see above) if your insurance sucks and doesn't authorize something. I'd loooooove to let my doctor cut you. Trust me. I would. How about calling your HMO and telling them they're a bunch of pirates on the seas of healthcare. Wait. That's an insult to pirates.

Don't lie to me about ANYTHING. It comes back and bites YOU in the ass. If you lie about your insurance, you'll probably have to pay the difference on your bill. If you lie about your alcohol intake, don't blame me if you get DT'sand have a heart attack in the ICU when you get out of surgery. Lying is wrong. In the immortal words of Grandmaster Flash, "d-d-d-d-d-don't do it"!

If you are pleasant and just a little patient with a good doctor's office, you WILL get what you want. Most people who work in a medical practice, like me, want to help you. Especially if you have cookies.

P.S. Don't put poison or crystal meth in the cookies. We'll have you arrested once we get our stomachs pumped.
Random Fruit Fact: The Jaboticaba

"Jaboticaba, pronounced in five syllables just as it is spelled, is a member of the Myrtaceae (Myrtle) family and is known botanically as Eugenia cauliflora. ("Cauliflora" means that it flowers and bears fruit on the trunk, mature branches and exposed roots.)"

A good picture of the Jaboticaba's cool fruiting habits can be found, here and here. Go Jaboticaba!

Posted by Spurious Nurse at 9/17/2005 09:12:00 PM


  1. Blogger Ern posted at 12:49 PM  
    "Bitcherade" made me lol!
  2. Blogger Nilbo posted at 2:00 PM  
    Our health care system is different in terms of payment, insurance, and whatnot - it's free. But the rules for doctor's offices are universal.

    I have baked (my world-famous) bread for the folks at my doctor's office, brought them cookies, regaled them with stories that made them laugh, brought in treats ... did stuff I would do for any friend who was in a job where they were under fire constantly from a public who had needs and wants those needs met RIGHT NOW.

    And when I phone, and they know who it is ... they move Heaven and Earth to help me.

    I don't adjust my behaviour as a quid pro quo thing. I just know that if I were behind the desk, I'd want to be treated extra nice by SOME people as an antidote to the rude, thoughtless masses. It makes me feel better to treat people well.

    And if I have a memorable name and my chart slips to a spot higher in the pile ... that's just fine by me.
  3. Blogger mrtl posted at 3:40 PM  
    I wish this were true for military medicine, but that's just incompetence and lack of communication.

    I'll try the cookie thing, though. Fudge even.
  4. Blogger Squirl posted at 5:54 PM  
    Maybe I'll do that when I finally get a new doctor. I'm not too sure mine really knows what he's doing. Plus you usually have to wait way more than an hour past your appointment time to see the doctor.

    Sounds like some really good tips.
  5. Blogger Caroline posted at 8:08 PM  
    The plum is back and you're gonna be in trouble (hey la day la the plum is back).
  6. Blogger Jen Spedowfski-Martin posted at 12:51 PM  
    From one Medical Secretary to another....RIGHT ON! personal favorite was when I was calling patients to remind them of their upcoming appointment and I got a man who yelled at me for "talking like that!" Huh? Yeah, that was my reaction too. He says, "You sound like a rabbit!" Which only made me think, 'What DO rabbits sound like?' Turns out he had Alzheimer's which made me feel real guilty about cussing him out (just kidding). I did however need reassurance from all my co-workers that I didn't actually sound like a rabbit.

    Then there was the lady who we had to have the police escort out of our office.

    Yeah....good times, good times.
  7. Blogger uglyagnes posted at 6:14 AM  
    I love my doctor, shes sassy and latina, however, her staff SUCKS. The first time i ever had a migrane, i called and told them i thought i had a migrane, it was severe, and i couldn't open my eyes. They told me they had an appointment tomorrow, but i could come in and wait, i asked if i came in and waited, how long it would take, the girl SCREAMED AT ME ON THE PHONE. Come on. I said i had a migraine. bitch face!
  8. Blogger Torrie posted at 12:04 PM  
    Dude, I know I'm married to one, but doctors suck. Thank god for PA's and RN's.
  9. Blogger Aurora posted at 12:25 PM  
    Woohoo your back! Offices in general are evil.
  10. Anonymous kalki posted at 12:40 PM  
    The Plum is back in tow-ow-ow-own! Missed you, girl.

    I've always wanted to work in a doctor's office. Truly. Do you like it, or does it just suck a big one?
  11. Anonymous Daphne posted at 1:23 PM  
    Whoa, the Jaboticaba is strange and cool, but what does the fruit taste like???

    I nearly called my doctor this morning about my rash, then realized it was just dumb soap. Should I make her some cookies anyway? I haven't seen her in a while.
  12. Blogger LadyBug posted at 1:49 PM  
    So, the fruit just grows right out of the wood?

    Heh. Wood. Teehee.
  13. Blogger Sarah's Mama posted at 5:18 PM  
    God bless you! After working in an office for years I understand AND agree with you.
    But....I did wait over an hour 1/2 to see a doctor today. I cancelled the appointment and left.
  14. Blogger Southern Fried Girl posted at 7:50 PM  
    You are such a hoot. I will some day write a similar post on how not to get your food dumped in the trash while being "packed to go" by your server. I waited tables for 5 long ass years and the public, as a whole, sucks big giant donkey dicks.
  15. Blogger ~*ERY*~ posted at 9:08 PM  
    I have to change doctors. Not because of the staff but because my doctor is a pediatrician...and she told me it was time to find a "big girl doctor" Now I know that it is ok to go to the pediatrician until you are 21...but if she can't tell me to go to a freaking gynocologist outright then we are havin gissues in the communication area.

    Meanwhile the staff was suprised that I was all alone. Good grief.

  16. Blogger echrai posted at 11:16 AM  
    My latest issue is that I got a prescription from my doctor for 3 month batches. I didn't notice this while I was at the doctor's office. I get to the pharmacy and they insist that they can only provide me with 1 month at a time. okay, no biggie. Until I get my filled prescription back. Now, suddenly, instead of 4 refills of 3 months each, giving me enough for 12 months, I get 4 refills of 1 month each. Now I've got to TRY to get my doctor to call into the pharmacy and get them to fix this. Ugh. At the same time, I sympathize with anyone in any of these office positions. Trust me, I just had someone chew my ear off over a termite report.
  17. Anonymous lawbrat posted at 6:34 AM  
    I love my Dr; and his office. All the people there are just wonderful and nice and quick.
    They always call back, even ifs its a detailed message. Yes, sometimes it takes a day...but like you said, if the kids or I were bleeding out of our eyes or ears...we'd go to the ER.

    Thanks for the treat tip. My dr.s office sure deserves it, without a doubt.

    Sports physicals wernt covered by Brennens insurance. it was 30.00. It was so tight that month I needed to borrow it. I go to pay....and X tells me dr. is not charging me for it. This was just a couple of weeks ago, and I adored the office before that.
  18. Blogger spoonleg posted at 2:33 PM  

    And dammit, I never get fucking cookies from my patients! Maybe that's because none of them even have insurance and are not going to pay one red cent of their $800,000 medical bill. STILL, can't a sista get some cookies?
  19. Blogger Nessa posted at 11:19 AM  
    sending FFTVS over here to read - she's having issues with a brand new doctor and I told her to be patient and kind and let the doc get to know her and she'd win in the end! Am I right? Can I getta YESSA!
  20. Blogger FutureFoodTVStar posted at 11:22 AM  
    I understand patient, I understand not the 24 hour turn around on phone calls, I understand one message should be enough. Just wondering how many messages would piss you off when you are dealing with a three week turn around on phone calls?
  21. Blogger Annejelynn posted at 10:26 PM  
    hey busy busy girl -when you get around to it, you've been tagged - I was tagged by Ern and you're it (when you get the chance to play, that is - again)

    hope all's well n' dandy!
  22. Blogger marybishop posted at 1:29 PM  
    Like Ern, I loved bitcherade! Very funny and very true - the insurance companies have made patients and medical staff enemies when it should be patients and medical staff against the insurance companies!
  23. Blogger laurenbove posted at 4:14 PM  
    Hey plummy. Missed you. I've been undert the mental weather in crabbyland. Part of it has to do with your topic. I love going to ONE of my Dr. b/c the office folk are FABULOUS and I've done all of the above to please them and make them remember me fondly. Sadly my main Dr. has retired and I can only go there for Primary care crap which isn't that often. My new rheummy isn't bad. He's actually really sweet. The office staff is terrible. Unprofessionally laughing in my ear when I make a call, obviously interrupting something funny...they never pass on my messages to the doc. and I just can't find my "in" with them to and get a nice dialogue started.

    What do you do when the doc is great but the staff is self-absorbed, lazy and/or careless giggly teenie boppers?

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