Thursday, October 14, 2004

MORE FUN WITH THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY. What do you suppose they teach in those "colleges" for doctor's-office assistants?

Yesterday: I was told the dermatologist is available every Wednesday from 1:30 to 3:30 to remove stitches (she sliced off a couple of moles two weeks ago). I call at 1 to make sure, and the recording says the office is closed till 2.

So I arrive at 2 and am asked to write my name on a sticker. I write WILLIAM WALSH in my anal-retentive seventh-grade-drafting-class block lettering. A few minutes later the cry comes, "William?"


"What is your last name?"

Uhh . . .

Today: I call to reschedule an appointment with a different doctor.

"I'd like to reschedule an appointment."


"William Walsh." I usually spell it out, but I decide to simply speak clearly and trust a fellow human being for once.

Long pause. "I don't see a Welch."

We settle that, after grilling about birth dates and such, and then:

"So, you're a new patient?"

"I said reschedule."

"It says in the system that you're a new patient."

"Then how could I be in the system?"

"It shows you canceled your only appointment. Could you be in the system twice?"

"I was, and I've told you guys that a dozen times."

"Well, we can't change it. It's the whole hospital."

Of course. This would be the whole hospital that forces me to provide every little bit of information anew every time I drop in. Yep, those records sure do stick around forever.

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