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Why Don’t Doctors Run a Business?

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Treating patients like valued clients would be a wonderful change.

I’m getting away from talking about business when I relay my experience with physicians. But am I?

Why is it that there is no communication when you enter a surgeon’s office except for the person at the front desk who shoves you a form on a clipboard and asks you to complete your life history. Then you wait…and wait…and wait.

Fortunately, I am healthy and haven’t been in many doctor’s offices over the years. On this particular occasion, after I handed in my paperwork and waited 15 minutes, I went to the front desk and asked how long I had to wait. They didn’t know.

When I was finally called 45 minutes later, I spoke up. Why did I have to wait? I was told there had been two emergencies, and the doctor was behind. Could they have told me that when I arrived, or even called and let me know to arrive a little later? Of course not, because they’re physicians. They believe that patients continue to return—no matter what the service. We’re jaded. It’s now the norm to wait.

None of us would have our companies if we ran our businesses that way.

In some “physician wait” cases I’ve threatened to charge the doctor’s office my hourly rate. (A lot of good that would do.) I’ve decided that surgeons are “A practice with patients, but not a business catering to consumers.”

I’m not going back to this particular medical practice, and I don’t think they care. I’ll find someone who believes being on time is respectful to his patients. I don’t care how good a surgeon you are, if you don’t respect my time, you won’t get that scalpel anywhere near my body.

What’s your Rx for good business? Write it here and let’s continue the conversation.

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