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Psychology of the waiting room July 26, 2015

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry.
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There’s a psychology in waiting for a doctor.

They intend to be late.

Sure, they are saddled with admin work

once relegated to staff now they write scripts

and send them to the cloud while you sit there.

The script pad isn’t gone, it’s rarely used.

As your paper file is still fat,

the doc must now upload it to the cloud,

again, while you sit there, and time passes.

As you wait, the lateness is intentional,

the doc – playing his own admin – struggles to be on time.

And he struggles, I believe, with the government

then insurance companies then vagaries of his own staff.

You’ve seen it, too.

One staff is a model of efficiency while another can hardly locate your file

even though you’ve been coming back three times a year for a decade.

The psychology is built on anticipation, sprinkled with worry, dotted by fear.

If the worst place for the sick is a hospital,

the second worst is the doctor’s waiting room.

We placidly accept the first fifteen minutes,

we reason that anyone can get behind.

But as we see pharma reps come and go and

thirty, then forty-five minutes pass, empathy is displaced

and restlessness bordering on anger move in.

“I’ll bill him for my time”, we defiantly say to ourselves.

Typically followed by “Who do he think he is, anyway?”

As people filing in cough, hack, sneeze, or show other signs of disease

we begin to get queasy, hoping to be called next.

The intent takes full bloom when we are finally called!

Like a woman who labored and new life is safely in her arms

we are grateful the wait is over and all is quickly forgotten.

Afterwards I hear, “He’s such a good doctor, isn’t he, honey?”

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