Doctors are service providers.
Remember this discussion, from about 3 weeks ago? It got some interesting comments and dialogue going, and people had opinions across the board. You can read through it for reader feedback, but essentially my position was that when I visit a doctor, I expect some semblance of customer service. After all, a doctor – in my view – is a service provider like a waitress, plumber, electrician, etc. We pay, and we expect service in return. My post illustrated an example of questionable customer service I received from a doctor I had recently visited.
Keeping that prior discussion in mind, you may not be surprised that I was happy to come across this article from US News detailing when you should replace your doctor. I like the thinking! Again, as service providers, their job is to help you and treat you like a customer. Since you’re a customer, you should be listened to and treated with at least a basic minimum level of respect.
Here are the article’s 9 signs of when it’s time to move on from your current doctor:
- You don’t mesh
- He doesn’t respect your time
- He keeps you in the dark
- He doesn’t listen
- The office staff is unprofessional
- You don’t feel comfortable with him, or wonder about his competence
- He doesn’t coordinate with other doctors
- He’s unreachable
- He’s rude or condescending
All good reasons to move on. Actually, they used the phrase “fire your doctor”, which is really what you’d be doing.
What’s interesting about this list is that many of these could be applied to other service providers. These could be a checklist for evaluating a plumber. Or, maybe a mover. Perhaps even a lawyer.
I’ve experienced all of these at one point or another. I’ve also dealt with doctors that were great, and didn’t fail on any of the factors above, or maybe just one.
Bottom line is that when we are spending our money, we have the right to expect at least the most basic service. The same rules apply to doctors or any of the aforementioned professions. Sure, you may have fewer alternatives to your current doctor as opposed to the wide selection of choices for other professional needs. However, it doesn’t change the notion that you’re the customer. A well meaning customer should always be treated with at least a minimum level of decency, right?
If you’re spending money, and if service is horrific, don’t just take it. Rather, take action!
The article makes great points about how one’s health could actually be affected by some of these issues. It’s actually moreimportant for a doctor to provide good customer service, as the downside to it could be far worse than it would be with those other service providers. In particular, competence is extremely important!
My Questions for You:
What do you think of this list? Have you ever experienced any of these issues?
Have you ever flat out fired a doctor for such reasons, and moved on to another one?
Note: I really do like and value doctors, despite these last 2 doctor-related posts. It’s the bad apples and arrogant/entitled ones that are just unbelievable. Good doctors out there, no offense!