You’re kidding, right?

It’s like a bad joke.

Ages and ages ago, I wrote about my OB/GYN office and their really annoying habit of cancelling appointments either the day of or the day before.  Basically, they make office appointments even when they’re the on-call doc at the hospital.  So I was always getting calls that my doctor was in a delivery. It happened for nearly 2/3 of my appointments when I was pregnant.  Sometimes they could see me later the same day, sometimes it got pushed off as much as a week. That was plenty bothersome when I was still working and 30-odd weeks pregnant.  Now, while I don’t have a typical 9-5 work day to deal with, I do have two 13-month-olds.  Who take two naps, and who don’t like sitting still in a stroller for mommy’s doctor’s appointments.

When I went for my six-week checkup almost exactly one year ago, I went ahead and made my appointment for my annual exam.  It felt so funny, knowing that I’d probably still be a SAHM, and not entirely knowing what that means.  Well, here I am.  The appointment is tomorrow.  Though the time is technically in the acceptable window between AM and PM naps, I know that it’s a whole lot easier to just go by myself, so I had M ask his boss if he could work from home in the morning.

You obviously know where this is going.  They called at about 2:00 this afternoon.  Less than 24 hours before the appointment.  My doctor will be in surgery tomorrow.  They can reschedule me for October 28.  Yeah.  Six more weeks.  Because they cancelled an appointment I made a year ago.  Don’t most doctor’s offices have policies about 24 hours notice cancellation?  Maybe they should pay my co-pay this time, since they didn’t honor that.

I am beyond frustrated.  Not that I was so looking forward to a pelvic exam.  Bleh, no one’s idea of a good time.  But seriously.  I arrange things so that I can honor the appointment I made.  Why can’t they?

And yeah, I understand that obstetrics is an unpredictable thing.  Sort of.  But it’s not even like she got called away an hour before my appointment (or 10 minutes into it, as once happened to me post-miscarriage).  She scheduled a surgery.  What’s the first thing to go?  Obviously, the routine annual exam on someone who isn’t pregnant. ARGH!!

Part of me is so mad, and I just want to find another practice.  But part of me likes my doctor, and figures I only go about once a year, and am unlikely to be needing her actual obstetric services anytime in the near future, so maybe it’s no big deal.  Except that, today, it is a big deal.  It messes with my day, which messes with my kids, and my husband, and even by extension his coworkers.  Yeah, I’m being a little overly dramatic.  But come on. Don’t treat me like my time isn’t valuable and isn’t deserving of the same respect that I show your office.

Alright.  I’m done.  Rant over.



Filed under Just me, OB Appointments

14 responses to “You’re kidding, right?

  1. Uggh! That is annoying!
    That totally sucks!
    But like you said, it is 1x a year.
    Too bad they didn’t reschedule on a Wednesday (my day off). I could have helped you out.

  2. Lisa

    I honestly think you should find another OB/GYN. Go get some referrals from the moms you know. Their practice demonstrates little regard for their patients and if you ever have to question something from them, that would lend me to believe they will not see things your way. Your time is valuable, just as theirs is, so go to someone who respects you.

  3. Rebecca

    New OB. New OB. Seriously, that is one of the most annoying things I’ve ever heard. AND, all OB practices don’t do this.

    If it’s the 28th between about 10:30 and 3:00, drop them off at my house. As I learned last week, two babies plus a doctor’s office does not equal a happy mommy.

  4. Switch to a gyn (not an ob). That’s unacceptable. I loved my ob, but I left right after my 6 week appt for the same reason.

    Of course, I’m annoyed with my gyn at the moment and will probably look for a different one so I can’t give you a recommendation. Maybe I should post on the MOT board.

    And yes, leave the babies at home. I had to go to one gyn appt when my husband had to go on last minute work-related travel. I still have nightmares about that day!

  5. Eva

    That sounds really disrespectful of your time. How does she keep patients? It’s great she’s nice, but other people’s time is valuable too. I’ve had my practice delay appointments by a couple of hours for emergency c-sections, but that’s it. They have office times and hospital times, and they respect the difference. I’m just kind of blown away that you have to deal with that for every appointment. And what happens if you ever need non-routine care, where you’re really worried about a health issue? Will they delay you by 6 weeks?

  6. kimbolina

    You got calls! I would have loved a cancellation call! My ob/gyn is one of the premier multiples and high risk docs in our province, so I often got the shaft for general office appointments. One time during my second trimester I waited at his office from 10:00 in the morning until 7:00 pm because if I left I wouldn’t get back in for a month. I went into hospital at 25 weeks and stayed there until my twins’ delivery at 36 weeks and I used to joke with the nurses that I was only there so for the all on call doctors visits, that and the jello. I go to my family doc for regular check ups now…it’s a lot less stressful, and I know that I can always go to my ob/gyn if anything serious comes up.

  7. You know how I feel about waiting. I’m dreading my 6 week exam coming up – I wonder how long they’d make me wait with screaming twins in the waiting room? Actually, I was hoping to leave them at home. I agree with What a Card – switch to a GYN. My kids Pediatrician office has a sister practice that I am considering switching to – across the street.

    Giovanna lives nearby? She’s my new favorite Blog Celebrity.

    I’d love to come by and visit some time soon – our meeting tonight was too brief. Kids were cranky tonight but finally asleep (after 3 hours).

  8. I don’t know if this is a choice for you but I get mine done at my primary care dr’s office once a year during my physical.. it works because I won’t get cancelled on for a delivery and I get the physical done and out of the way at the same time.. I can definitely understand how it’s annoying and I don’t blame you.. if they expect 24 hours for cancellation then I think they should hold the same for you and let you know 24 hours in advance especially if it’s a scheduled surgery.. Good luck

  9. Oh, that really bites. And after you asked M to work from home, too. 😦 I’m sorry.

    For what it’s worth, I think it’s infinitely harder for SAHMs to schedule appointments. People who know I stay at home now always assume I can be somewhere at a moment’s notice, anytime, with Jack. HA! What with naptimes, mealtimes and general intolerance for sitting still, toddlers don’t make appointments easy.

  10. That is simply reprehensible! This is worded so well:
    “Don’t treat me like my time isn’t valuable and isn’t deserving of the same respect that I show your office.”

    How tempted I’d be to send them a li’l handwritten note to that effect!

    (and thank you for your veggie drawer ‘fess up! 😉 )

  11. awiley

    I agree you’re totally justified in giving up on this one & trying someone else, but if you want to stay it might be worth a call to the doctor/his nurse/office manager to say ,”I really like Dr. X, but have had a number of appointments cancelled and that’s not acceptableto me, so am considering moving to another doc. Can you suggest a time/alternative setup (like seeing his/her partner who’s less busy or likely to cancel you)/alternative days that will avoid this problem?”
    My doc does evening hours one night a week, and for some reason (probably because he’s ready to get out of there!) he’s almost always on time and the whole process seems less rushed/stressful b/c the number of people around is much smaller than in would be mid-day. I just call way in advance and snag one of those late appointments.

  12. Damn. ya – I agree. New OB/GYN. I’ve only had one cancellation with mine, and I was called about 3 days beforehand. They have hospital hours and practice hours…it’s a rotating schedule of docs, but you can usually request a “favorite”

  13. Find a new doctor. Seriously. The only time anything remotely similar happened to me was them calling to see if i could see another midwife/doctor in the practice because the person I had an appointment with was out on a family emergency. The doctor and midwife who are on call never have appointments scheduled that day.

  14. I’m with everyone else on this one…I love my OB/GYN, but it took a while to find this practise. i actually switched at 20 weeks because the first practise kept cancelling, or changing things, or messing up lab work, and I felt that it was becoming dangerous to the baby.

    Plus, think of it like this: if it were the pediatrician doing this to the twins, you would never put up with it, right?

    I like the idea of calling and letting them know how upset you are, that would be a good first step. But then if they don’t respond appropriatly, its time for a new one.

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