What’s up, doc?

I’m sure everyone experienced that waiting game with a doctor. Having read a forum here on “Why are doctors always late?”, I realized that so many patients also share the same sentiments as I do.  Therefore, I wonder if their tardiness is based on either culture ( Filipino time),  they are just innately inconsiderate, or, indeed,  they are just really busy.

Let me site an instance with my pulmonologist Dr. Lydia Lua.  On my last confinement day at Medical City, Pasig on January 25, 2010, due to pneumonia, I asked the nurses what time she will  arrive to discharge me, the nurses on that shift answered that they will call her cellphone.

When my husband arrived at 9am from his night shift  work, he asked the same question so that we can plan our itinerary on fetching our 9-month old baby from my in-laws in Fairview, go back home to Taytay, and with it, he still needs to catch some sleep then get to work at 2300 H.  Since my doctor was incognito, I said maybe anytime now. Nine hours and several calls and texts later, the nurse’s station finally got a reply from her saying that she’s on her way. I was discharged at 1900H!

A week later, I had to go back  for a follow-up consultation. Since Dr. Lua was in a convention abroad, I waited for her reliever.  After  two hours of waiting, and  still no sign of the doc, I decided to leave.

I went back again on February 9, hoping to get  checked already.  I arrived at 10:00H,  the start of her clinic schedule.  Her secretary said the doc was still out, but that she was on her way to the hospital already.  Since I really wanted to get it over with,  I decided to wait for her.  Three hours later, Dr. Lua finally arrived!   After seeing her first two patients,  the secretary informed us that our pulmonologist had to go to an important meeting, and there was no information up to what time it will end.  We were obliged to understand!  Patient # 14 was so upset her skin color almost turned into lava, while I was patient # 4 who just waited three hours for nothing.

Was I being impatient?  Was waiting 2-3 hours not enough? Or are doctors becoming so arrogant these days that they are playing god even to their patient’s time?  They should understand that these patients are not feeling well, or have other plans too.     I thought technology will somehow improve communication for everyone’s benefit! Since  that is already a given, then it’s all about the doctor’s test  of character.  And it amazes me how apathetic most of them have become.


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