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How Long Are You Willing to Wait for an Appointment? [Poll]

Flickr user paulswansen

It’s happened to all of us, you have an appointment for, say, 10:30…politely, you show up a few minutes early to check in. You notice a number of people in the waiting room, which makes you nervous, then you hear those fateful words, “we’re running just a little behind this morning, please have a seat”.

I understand, it happens. There are many variables out of anyone’s control. And let’s be honest, especially with healthcare professionals, we want to have as many questions answered as possible, so a few extra minutes that a doctor may spend with us is appreciated. But when does “a little behind” become too much?

Have you ever actually stopped waiting and left?

I did that once. I usually try to get to appointments around 10 minutes early, I figure that way I can check in, do any paperwork that needs to be done, etc. This one particular time there was a full waiting room and I could almost feel the tension in the room when I walked in. From overhearing other conversations, I gathered that there was not one but two people ahead of me who had been waiting for their appointment times that had already passed. So I already knew there was going to be a problem.

My appointment time came and went. 20 minutes after my time, the first of the people ahead of me was called in.

And the clock kept ticking.

And ticking.

And ticking.

Finally, 45 minutes after my original time, the other person in front of me still hadn’t been called in, so I finally went up to the receptionist and said, politely, “I’m really sorry but I’m already late for work and I know there’s still someone else ahead of me, I’m going to need to reschedule”. She was understanding, apologized, and rescheduled my appointment.

So today’s question is, how long after your appointment time are you willing to wait until you reschedule and leave? Vote on the poll below and feel free to leave a comment and tell us more!


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