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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pet Peeves #2 & 3

Excuse me while I rant. Today I had to face my other pet peeves (see September's entries for my first one).

Pet Peeve #2
When you go to a doctor's office, do you expect to be in and out in a matter of 10-15 minutes? I'm talking about any human doctor. Of course, this is a pretty ridiculous expectation. When I go to the doctor, I take a book and consider myself phenomenally lucky if I get out in less than 30 minutes. Yet for some reason, people expect this speed from veterinarians. I can't for the life of me figure out why.

Today I had a client scheduled for a 2:00 appointment. She came in at 1:30 and was checked into the computer shortly after. We're at lunch from 1-2, so she had to wait until we came back. She was back in the room at 2:00, and came out complaining about the wait at around 2:10. By 2:15 the pet nurse was in the room. She came out and was putting her notes in the medical record when I came out of another room. She and I were discussing the case, when the receptionist came to the back saying that the client was asking if anyone was coming in the room. The pet nurse had just gotten out and was telling me what the pets were there fore! I was getting ready to go in the room when the client got fed up at the wait and left. She was furious that she had been waiting for so long without being seen by a doctor. This was all less than 30 minutes after her scheduled appointment and after a pet nurse had been in the room! And I was getting ready to go in and see her pets! Anyone else think that she was being really unreasonable?

Pet Peeve #3
When can you go to your own physician and expect to be seen just before closing? And do you as patients or clients realize that doctors have lives and families also? At about 30 minutes until closing today someone we had never seen before called up and said that they had picked up a stray that had a problem with the leg. We said that by the time they got there we wouldn't be able to do any x-rays or lab tests if they were necessary. We recommended taking the dog to the emergency clinic or come in tomorrow morning when we had the time. The client hung up and called back 10 minutes later wanting to come in. This was now 20 minutes until closing, and the client was still on the phone with us. We kept telling her that even if she came in, we would only have time to do a brief exam, and then would have to refer her to the emergency clinic or get the dog back the next day. At 6:45 (we close at 7:oo) she insisted on coming in, despite our warnings and recommendations. We told her that she needed to be there within 10 minutes in order to be seen. I walked out at 6:58 without her having shown up. My wife, kids, and I had planned a "family movie night" for when I got home. Is it really so unreasonable of me to want to go home to my family on time after having been at work for 10 hours?

I wish I could say that these were rare occurrences. Unfortunately, they're not. Things that people would never ask or expect out of their own doctors, they routinely ask and expect from vets. We work hard and really try to be there for their pets, but sometimes there are people with totally unreasonable expectations that want us to be a drive-thru doc.

So here's the lesson for the day, folks. Be nice and patient to your veterinarian. Realize that they are highly educated and skilled doctors that deserve common courtesy and respect. And don't expect to walk in just before any business closes!