Monthly Archives: July 2013


What do you do when you go to see a medical practitioner and nothing goes as you expected it to? Do you become irate? Do you express your concerns to whomever is in the room with you be it nurse, PA, ARNP, Elmo? Do you scream, and holler, and make threats? Do you quietly make notes? Do you make things better or worse for yourself? There’s a lot to think about in a short amount of time, but what you do could have serious consequences for you and your future health care.

I caution you, no matter how much you want to, DO NOT LOSE YOUR COOL. Most likely whomever you are dealing with is not at fault. For instance, if you expected to see your doctor, arrive and find out that you will be seeing another practitioner, it’s not the end of the world. It may be a waste of time. It may be frustrating. It may inconvenient. It may even anger you. It is not a life and death situation. Try to remember that.

Next, decide if you will remain for the appointment, or if you will need to reschedule. You may need to think about this because some practitioners will charge you for the missed or changed appointment. You have your own reasons for your choice, just be sure you think about the decision.

If you decide to leave, make sure that the people at the front desk (aka – those in charge of the physician’s world) are treated with respect, but also that they know how you feel. Then reschedule and have them assure you that you will see who you want and expect to see.

If you decide to stay, remember, it is your decision and everyone you come in contact with at the office is not your enemy. Treat them with respect but also make sure that whatever you are there for is handled. Just because you are seeing someone you didn’t plan on does not mean that you should not get the treatment you expected. If you need a refill of medication, you should receive it. If you need an answer from your physician, make sure whomever you see speaks to your physician while you are there and that you get your answer. Don’t take the – “I’ll speak to him and call you later” answer. Your time is important too.

If you show up for your appointment only to be told that your appointment is not for that day or that time, hopefully you have a copy of the appointment card they gave you. If you do, show it to them. If they made a mistake, they should accommodate you. If you made the mistake, laugh it off. We’ve all done that, once or fifteen times.

Remember that you have the options here. If you don’t like the options offered, simply ask for an appointment at a different time. It’s not often that the office personnel will argue with you, but if they do, remain calm and firm. It’s not necessary to make demands, simply tell them what you will and will not do, then get them to accommodate.

I recently had an appointment to have a procedure done by my physician. When I arrived I was told the procedure would be done by another physician. I had experienced the same procedure by this other physician and was unwilling to do it again. I told the office personnel this. They insisted that they had told me who I would be seeing when I made the appointment. I told them I had not known and would never have consented to it. I also told them that I would not be having the procedure done by this physician. They told me that my doctor could not see me that day. I told them that was fine, but schedule me when he could. I was not happy. I had been inconvenienced. I was in pain and would not get relief that day. I wanted to commit homicide upon someone, anyone, perhaps the first person I see. But I handled it and saw my physician two weeks later. At that time I told him what had happened and left it in his hands. Who better to resolve the issue than the man in charge?

It’s not easy to remain calm when you are living with a chronic condition and are
inconvenienced. But it’s better to let them see your good side, than your bad side. Remember, they control the doctor’s world and you need and want to be a part of that world.

© 2013 Wanda M. Argersinger & The Lupus Support Network