Nothing Available…


My staff asked a couple of months ago if they could take the afternoon before Thanksgiving off, closing the clinic early. I told them no for two reasons: First, we are closed both Thursday and Friday. Adding in another half day is not good for patients. Second, this is the week that teachers get off, so this and Christmas and summer breaks are the only times they can generally get in. I like to try to be available for them.

Suspiciously, the afternoon has remained devoid of patients for myself and the other physician who will be here. When I asked I was told, “Well I guess no one wants appointments then….”

So I had my office manager remind everyone last week that we are indeed open and they needed to schedule accordingly.

Still this morning we had no patients for tomorrow afternoon.

This time I had three secret shoppers call attempting to get appointments. Instead they were told that they could not come in until December because there were no appointments available until then.

I am trying to calm down so that I do not simply fire everyone.

Aw, hell. I just need to fire them.


133 thoughts on “Nothing Available…

  1. This infuriates me to no end. I have worked in hospitals and for physicians earlier in my career and this kind of behavior by employees would never have been tolerated! I once worked for an orthopedic surgeon and actually dreaded long holiday weekends because we knew we would be hit hard come the first few business days afterwards. We ALWAYS answered phones the moment we walked in the door – no waiting until the physician showed up, during lunch hour, and until the last employee left for the day. If the phone rang, we were to answer it – for, in fact, it might be our employer physician calling us from elsewhere. He was always wanting patients “worked in” here and there. It was difficult, but we did it. There is no way we would have considered leaving early, before all the patients were seen and checked out.

    Now as a patient, this clarifies A LOT about not being able to get in for an appointment. I know it’s not the only reason but it certainly opens one’s eyes to the nonsense that is going on.

    Those patients who needed to get in to see you on the afternoon before Thanksgiving, no doubt ended up going to urgent care or the ER and had to pay an even higher bill because of the actions of your office staff. Shame on them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was told by that this occurs very frequently all over the industry. Call me niave, but I had no idea they would try something like that. We looked at scheduling behavior at holidays for several years back and sure enough it was probably going on then, too, just on a more subtle level. You can bet we will be using secret shoppers more often now.

      Liked by 1 person

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