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I hope I don’t die before October

My doctor, who I like, canceled a recent physical because her schedule changed, but she could not reschedule that physical until October, which is, of course, horrendous.

How does she or her office not see this as abhorrent, disrespectful, and unprofessional treatment?

I hope I don’t die from something easily corrected before October, or I will be beside myself.

On the same day, one of our family’s dentists called to confirm an upcoming appointment and left a voicemail asking me to call back to confirm. I did, even though I wondered why they didn’t simply text me like every other of my healthcare professionals.

When I returned their call, I was asked to hold. I waited on hold for seven minutes before finally speaking to someone to confirm an appointment I already knew existed. When I said that I was confirmed for the next day, they asked me to state the time of the appointment. Since the appointment wasn’t actually for me, I wasn’t sure. “I don’t know,” I said, scrambling to open the calendar app on my laptop. “Sometime in the afternoon. After school. I have it on my calendar. Don’t you know?”

They did. They just wanted to hear me say the time. Like I was a damn child.

The next day, eight hours before the appointment, I received a text message from the same dentist reminding me of the upcoming appointment.

So they can send text messages to patients. They just annoy them over the phone first.

I like my doctor. I also know that the dentist in question is a good one. They are excellent medical professionals who have treated our aches and pains quite well.

But in both cases, their customer service sucks. It’s disrespectful, unprofessional, and unacceptable.

At least this week.

It needn’t be.

I know that we are beholden to these people to keep us healthy and alive, and I also know that, in many cases, they can’t take on many new patients. They have full caseloads already.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t delight us with reasonable customer service.

That doesn’t mean they can’t honor our time and treat us with the same respect as other professionals.

If you’re a healthcare professional, there seems to be a window of opportunity in customer service:

A means by which you could distinguish yourself from the competition by doing the bare minimum by way of treating your patients well.

It seems to be a very low bar.