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Offline blometti

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wait time at doc?
« on: November 18, 2009, 12:40:58 PM »

Just curious, whats the average time we have to wait to see a Orthopedic Doc????
Yesterday I had an apt with my doc at 115pm, thinking it was right after lunch and cant be that backed up.....
Two and a half hours later I had enough, and left. This includes the two hours in the waiting room and the 30 minutes in the actual patient room.
I had to get to school to take an exam so there was no way I could stay, and was still very nice to the nurses but had to go.(this is also after driving 2.5 hours to get to the doc!)  When I was checking out the lady at the desk gave me back my copay and said they would bill me for the xrays!! I just laughed and said there is no way I am paying for the xrays for an apt close to 3hours ago!

This doesnt change how I feel about my doc, he gives each patient all of his attention and will answer any question you ask. Its great when you are the one in the room with him, but sucks when you are the one waiting....

So my question is how long is everyone willing to wait? and do you leave??

Offline KW

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2009, 01:31:17 PM »
I have walked in been taken right back to see the Doc and there have been times that I have had to wait 2+ hrs.  When I have waited 2+ hrs I would NEVER leave...I'm there and it has taken up my time I might as well wait some more and actually see the Doc! 

Also, I hate the people who whine the entire time they are waiting...My doc spent 1.5 hrs with me on my 1st appt...I hope he is giving someone else the same attention.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 02:06:12 PM by KW »
Right Knee
2000 - 2002 - Scope,LR,TTT,Unscrewed
01-10-12 - PFJR

Left Knee
04/07 TTT/LR
08/07 Bone Grth Stim
10/07 Loose/Bent Screw
1/08 Unscrewed/MRI~NON-UNION
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Offline fraud_ninja

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2009, 02:01:41 PM »
When I have doctor appointments I pretty much plan on it taking the entire day.  If I am done sooner its a bonus, but I know that sometimes things can get backed up.

As Karen said, I have had appointments that I am in and out in 15 minutes and I have had appointments that I wait 2 hours just to be called back to a room.  It goes with the territory.

My knee OS spent 2 hours with me the first appointment I had with him.  I figure that he spends the amount of time necessary for all his paitients and I try not to get restless if it is taking a while.  I would never leave no matter how long the wait ends up being.  Especially if I have drive for a few hours to get to the appointment.

12/26/02 LR R
10/26/06 TTT R
1/25/07 TTT L
12/17/07 TTT revision, MPFL recon R
2/7/08 TTT revision, MPFL recon L
3/24/08 screw removal R
4/30/08 screw removal L

Knees are fixed, training for a triathalon.

9/21/09- Right ankle reconstruction

Offline nev1984

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2009, 03:26:58 PM »

Thats bad you had to wait so long, but like the others say, its just the territory, i had to wait 6.5hours for my 1st appointment but i was firmly rooted, i wanted answers, it had taken so long to get the referral i wasnt going anywhere, but since then i have had a few and been in and out in 15 mins, just depends really, luck of the draw i guess...

Offline mollyc

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2009, 04:19:43 PM »
I'm sorry to hear about your wait. Sounds very frustrating!

Just writing to give the counter example. The longest I've waited for my OS is 10 minutes. I even got there early once and was seen early! I don't know what it is about the office, but it runs very smoothly. 

Now, I had to wait forever when I had my surgery.  Got there 2 hours early, per instructions.  Then actual surgical time was delayed by 3 hours, so I waited in the pre-op area for close to 5 hours. Good thing I brought a book! Apparently, an earlier procedure took longer than expected, so they didn't have access to the operating room. I was SUPER hungry and thirsty when they finally took me and it made for a very long day.  But, it's hard to complain cause I think you can never fully know how long a procedure is going to take and if the earlier ones aren't done on time, they aren't done on time.
Ski accident 2/14/09
Ruptured ACL, MCL sprain, bone bruise
ACLr allograft 5/27/09
Knee now 100% fine...skiing and playing tennis regularly

Offline crankerchick

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2009, 04:59:14 PM »
I've never had a 2 hour wait for an orthopedic doctor. My old GP used to have ridiculous wait times (30 minutes to get called up to pay, then 30 minutes to get in a room, and 30 minutes for the doctor was typical) and I just thought it was normal, until I moved and started seeing a new doctor and never waited longer than 30 minutes to see the doctor, and usually only about 15 minutes.

My current OS I've seen 3 times now and once for surgery and even when his office was full, things were quick. But he provides a 17 commandments to his surgery patients and in it is a reminder that things can get backed up and to be patient. Sometimes the doctor gets delayed in surgery and that can affect subsequent surgery and afternoon appointments considerably. My own surgery took 3 hours longer then anticipated so I can only imagine how the person behind me felt.

Being that I know appointments don't have to run 2 hours behind, I know I would be ticked and annoyed, but if I felt the doctor was worth it, I'd probably wait it out. I can't stand a doctor that shuffles his patients through like its an assembly line, so I think I'd rather have a doctor that is delayed but spends adequate times with his patients, than one that runs on time but always seems like he's in a rush.
Mar '07 - plica excision
Oct '09 - femoral + tibial derotational osteotomy & TTT
Aug '10 - hardware removal
"You control your leg. Don't let it control you." -Smart trainer
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Offline maryc

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2009, 05:17:10 PM »
The only time I had a long wait (almost 1 1/2 hours) was because my OS had been called to emergency for an emergency surgery (big car crash with 8 people injured).  His staff kept me informed and even got me a glass of OJ and some cookies.
All the other times I would arrive about 5 minutes before my time (after going for xrays first), I would see the PA right away for about 15 minutes, then wait about 5 minutes for the OS.
8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline blometti

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2009, 05:34:11 PM »

The way I see it is that my time is just as important. It is unrealistic to expect to spend an entire day at a doctors office, that is the whole point of making an appointment. I know that while I am waiting my doc is giving another patient a great deal of attention and care, and that is great. At the same time though, dont book 15 people for the same time spot if your history is to spend that much time with someone. I would much rather have to make my appt farther out, than sit around a doctors office the whole day, even though I am told my apt is a certain time. When I go to the doctor I expect to see that person in a reasonable time frame.

I see making your patients wait hours on end is a sign of disrespect and because of that I have no problem getting up and leaving. The very least they could do is to inform the patients that the doc is running behind. But to just expect you as a patient to show up and at the agreed upon time and sit for hours is insane. I dont think this is necessarly the doctors fault, the people scheduling should know that this doc takes his time with each patient and as a result cant see to many people in an hour. 150-30 minutes behind I can understand, longer if there was an emergency is fine, but come on 2+ hours and your still sitting there! 

Offline Lizn8r

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2009, 06:32:15 PM »
Wow, timely topic!!

I had to go to the doc yesterday (not my knee OS ... foot surgeon for my heel issue).  I got right through the copay area, waited 5 min before they took me down to the exam room, then waited 1.5 HOURS before the doc came in!!  30 minutes into the wait I had my first contact with another person ... I walked out of the room and down the hall just to talk to a nurse who had no idea that I was even in the room!!  She told me that the doc hadn't even checked in yet!!  So I went back to the room and waited for another hour til he finally showed up.  In that hour I read every one of those informational pamphlets they leave around, I studied the charts and pictures of feet that were on the walls, and I poked and snooped through all the unlocked cabinets in the room.  I figured if they were going to leave me alone for that length of time without coming in to let me know the doc's status, they were giving me free rein to anything and everything in that room.  I did have a chat with the person who escorted me into the room and let her know that maybe in the future she should leave the patient out in the waiting area until the doctor makes it to the office building.  At least in the waiting area there are people to talk to, or magazines to read, or other stuff to occupy your time while you stew about how late the doc is!

Here's the rub, though ... I was the FIRST appointment he had for the day.  That means by the time he saw me he was already one and a half hours late for the remaining appointments he had for the day.  How long do you think his LAST patient had to wait ... til the next morning??????
Sep '99: Tore left ACL (football) - misdiagnosed
Sep '99-Apr '09: Lived with pain and buckling
Apr '09: New PCP (who listened), MRI and OS consult - proper dx
May '09: LK ACL Allograft and 25% medial meniscus removal
Sep '09: Released from PT and OS ... back to things I haven't done in 10 years!

Offline PieceDesigner

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2009, 08:54:07 PM »
Wow! Reading these postings has been en eye-opener. The longest I've had to wait for my OS was 20 minutes. The quickest was 5.  But..... I've only had one appt (out of 8 in last few months) that he was in the room with me more than 5-10 minutes. Yesterday he allotted THREE minutes in the room with me, and was answering one of my questions as he was edging into the hallway. One time I followed him into the hallway trying to ask a question, and he quickly answered (sort of) as he ducked into another patient's room.

I would much rather wait longer in the waiting room if I knew I was getting more of his time in the exam room.  He's a very nice man, and a very good OS, just always seems hurried.


Offline Chappers77

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2009, 11:13:58 PM »
Woweee I am loving reading the thoughts and feelings on this topic. 

My Knee Surgeon is the best, and I am fully aware that if I have an appt with him then it will take most of the day. 

I had a 6 week follow up appt with him last Weds to check up on my surgery.  My appt was at 10.40am.  I arrived at the hospital at 10am (long journey to get there) had a coffee and a cake at the cafe before I checked in.  I checked in and the delay to see him was put on the board as 40mins, I laughed and read my book.  40mins passed and I looked up and saw that the delay had changed to 90mins.  I finally saw him at 1pm for 5mins as he wanted to send me to XRay.  I went to XRay and waited there for 45mins.  Got back to the original waiting room and waited till 3.30pm when he appeared and saw me again and gave me the good news that my TTT had healed correctly!  I left the hospital at 4pm.
I will wait for that guy all day if I have to, I don't get angry about it, I always see him and never one of his lower ranking colleagues.  He talks to me like a human and to me that is important and makes me feel human and not a freak!

My next appointment is scheduled for 23rd December  - just before Christmas, should I take him a present? lol
29 Sept 2009 - Right Knee Realignment.

Offline blometti

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2009, 12:09:39 AM »
I just wanted to add that my displeasure with waiting hours for an appointment in no way means my I wont keep seeing this doctor. He is an amazing guy, and goes that extra mile. That is obviously evident in his spending sooooo much time with each patient. When I saw him a month a go he answered every question I had, gave me extra info and even showed me pictures of what the operation is going to look like. And even after my first surgery he called me two days in a row, at night, to see how I was doing. This how I want my doctor to act!
My previous doc was out the door and down the hall as I was still following him asking question, after about 4 minutes.

This doesnt change the fact though that doctors in general need to devise a better way of scheduling patients.
We should not have to plan on being at the doctor for an entire day. It just seems that doctors offices are just cramming more and more people in the office all trying to see the same doctor at the same time. Thats not the way it should be working. I know there is no clear answer to this, other than to just suck it up and wait. If anything this has taught me is that I need to get that 1st appointment of the day..... no way he can be running late then!

Offline doublemom

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2009, 12:49:47 AM »
I've experienced both ways...  My kids pediatrician was the worst... At least an hour wait in the waiting room, then at least another 30 minutes in the exam room every time.  But he was such a wonderful doc that we stayed for years.  I finally wrote the office a letter, though, and explained why we were moving to a new pediatrician after I spent 2 hours in an exam room with two sick kids bouncing off the walls.  Our new pediatrician's office never lets anyone wait more than 10 minutes, they are amazingly fast, but also very thorough and not rushed.  They just have a great office manager who keeps everyone moving along all day long and it's wonderful.

Some things that help, sometimes... get either the first appointment in the morning or the first appointment after lunch break.  Do NOT be afraid to call 30 minutes before your appointment time and ask if the doctor is running on time or is late, and then ask how late, and realistically what time you can show up for your appointment.  IMO, my time is just as important as a doctor's time, especially if I have to pull kids out of school for an appointment or if I have to take time off of work myself. 

2000 R patella dislocation
2004 - Soccer injury - LK medial and lateral meniscectomies
2007 - Dx patellar tilt, lateral subluxation, grade III chondromalacia
5/13/08 - RK medial/lateral meniscectomies & patellar chondroplasty
4/6/2010 - RK TTT/LR scheduled

Offline Cloudy

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2009, 02:20:53 AM »
I have one to top all....Try showing up for a 3:00 appt. I was an exsiting pt but had not been there for over 3yrs. I was early about 2:40. So the drama begings. I didn't get called back to the room till after 4:00 Then I sat there and sat there. At about 4:50 I hear the Dr. In the hallway say "So that's it were all done". Then I hear someone mumble something he says " Oh Oh man" and the door comes flying open. He spends 2 mins with me sends me to the next room for an x-ray. Reads the x-ray and then tells me he is sending me for an MRI to see him in a week. I go out to the front desk check out and As I am walking to the parking lot there he is racing out the parking lot. Hmm I could have been there for ever.
Then I saw him one time My appt was 4:10 I was there at about 3:45. Didn't get taken back to the room till 5:20 and then didn't see him till 6:00. I had a 6:40 appt with my family doc. The thing that ticks me off is, someone should address me in the waiting room, and even in the exam room. That makes all the difference. I work for a dentist who is always late. The more people I schedule the more he runs behind. If I schedule less people and add more time to the appointments. He actually runs farther behind. I am in charge of the front office. I have already gone back and stood out side the room with him looking at me tapping my toe looking at my watch. He just keeps chit chatting. Most of our patients know this. And some get mad. They will say stuff to me, I always appologize, I tell them to tell the Doctor as well, But of course they never say anything to him. Just me.
The best way to handle this is to always tell the patient the doctor is running behind. If you give them interaction every 15mins they don't realize it's so long. Just my opinion. Since I am on both sides of the fence.
1986-Pain Began Left Knee == PT & Crutches.
1992- Lft Knee Arthroscopy/Debrid.
11/2002- Lft Knee Torn Meniscus
11/2005- Lft Knee Lateral Release w/ Chondroplasty.
06/2009- Lft Knee Debrid.
07/2009- Lft Knee Microfracture.
11/23/2009- Lft Knee Total Replacement.

Offline derek320

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Re: wait time at doc?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2009, 04:56:15 PM »
I have never waited more than 5 minutes at my orthopedic's waiting room. Once in the exam room, its usually never more than another 5 minutes. I am actually really impressed by their wait times, since my regular doctor usually has me waiting longer than that.

The reason they have such short wait times is that the doctor has it very well organized. He usually has 2 residents working with him, so you are brought into an exam room and examined by one of the residents and they tell you what they believe is going on and look at MRI's and X-rays. My doctor then comes in after the resident and does a much quicker exam and listens to the residents diagnose. It makes the whole process much quicker considering there are 3 people doing the same job, plus I get the benefit of having my knee examined by 2 doctors.
-Left knee history-
Oct 06- injured knee, MRI shows torn meniscus, no action
June 09- knee begins popping, MRI shows large OCD lesion
Aug 09- OCD lesion removed, microfracture surgery, partial meniscectomy
Jan 19- biopsy for MACI, partial meniscectomy
Apr 19- MACI implantantion, meniscus allograft