Thursday, 10 July 2008


I’ve had a couple of appointments with Doctors this week. Both were to decide what to do about my swollen left hand.

The first appointment was with my Primary Care Physician - the wonderful Dr. Kristin Paulus. The second was with a specialist in infectious diseases, with the thought that I might need more aggressive treatments for the infection which is causing the hand to swell. (That is yet to be determined).

In each case I arrived at the Doctors’ offices in good time. And in each case I was summoned to the examination room “on time”.

So far, so good. But again in each case I was greeted in the examination rooms by staff who did not identify themselves. I had no way of knowing who they were, and why they were taking my temperature and blood pressure.

I had to ask each of them who they were, and what they did!

Then in both cases I was left in the examination room with the words “The Doctor will be with you very soon”.

And in both cases I was left alone in those rooms for 30 minutes, expecting the Doctor “very soon”.

So I have two wee observations which have to do with courtesy.

First, when we are meeting a stranger, it is our job to identify ourselves.

Second, if we are likely to be more than 5 minutes late for an appointment, it’s kind to alert the other person, and to tell them why we are “running late”.

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