Some Patients Just Don't Get It.
A hypothetical conversation:
Random Person: The thing I hate most about my family doctor is that he's always running behind. I have to wait at least an hour every time I have an appointment. It's so inconsiderate.
Me: Yeah, that's rough. But people frequently come into their family doctor with 3 or 4 problems that they expect to have managed in one appointment, even if their appointment was just for a prescription refill. It's hard from the doctor's point of view as well.
Random Person: So then the asshole doctor just rushes the patient out the door. It's so rude.
Me: Which would you prefer... to have the doctor allow you as much time as you need to deal with all of your problems and not feel rushed, or run perfectly on time?
RP: I shouldn't have to choose. These doctors are only in it for the money. They schedule too many people. If they'd just schedule patients further apart, like every 20 minutes or so, they'd run on time and wouldn't rush me out the door. But they're too greedy, and want to make more money.
Me (trying to supress hysterical laughter): Actually, very few doctors in Canada (in urban centres, anyway) are still paid on a fee-for-service basis. So they get paid the same regardless of how many patients they see per hour. They're paid based on the number of people enrolled in their practice.
RP: See? So they SHOULD be booking less.
Me: How long does it take you to get in to see your doctor?
RP: If it's urgent, within a day or so. But for other stuff I have to wait 1-2 weeks. And for general physicals, sometimes I have to book a couple of months ahead. It's awful.
Me: (no longer able to avoid sarcasm) Well, when your doctor starts seeing half the number of patients a day so that you don't feel rushed and don't have to wait, I'm sure it will be much easier to get in to see him quickly.