Category Archives: Navagating Healthcare

7 Strategies to wait less at the doctor’s office

                On Monday I gave a brief overview of why you wait in the doctor’s office.  Today let’s be practical.  Here are 7 strategies to lessen your wait time:

  • Schedule the first appointment of the day or the first after lunch.   Pretty simple.  In the morning there’s no appointment ahead of you to run over.  And after lunch gives the doctor and staff time to catch up from the morning.
  • If you have an afternoon appointment, call ahead.   An hour or so before you’re due, call the office and ask if their running on schedule.  If they’re running late, ask when you should show or if you can reschedule.
  • Arrive early.  Give yourself time to fill out any necessary paperwork and if the office is running ahead of schedule, get in early.  Are you chronically late?  Well, then you’ll probably be chronically waiting.
  • Ask about the office’s scheduling policies.  Find out how they allocate their time for appointments, how they handle same day appointments, when is the best time to schedule an appointment, etc.  Just ask what you need to do to help ensure the best chance appointment times are kept.  Believe me, they’ll tell you.  They may even do back flips just cause you asked.
  • Consider rescheduling.  If your issue isn’t urgent and you’ve been waiting too long, ask to reschedule.  Typically, they’ll give rescheduled appointments priority times.
  • Change doctors.  Some doctor’s offices run better than others.  Sometimes it’s the office staff’s fault, sometimes the doctor just habitually runs long.  If they are ALWAYS late and you’ve asked how you can help and nothing changes, consider switching doctors.  Really like the doctor?  Well, not having to wait isn’t everything.
  • Get a Smart Phone.   Seriously, all those apps and games?  I can wait at least 3 hours.  Ever play Angry Birds?  

 

Finding the “Truth” in Health Advice.

Eat like our Paleolithic ancestors, meat, meat , meat!  Red meat will kill you!  Eat carbs, they’re fat free! Carbs make you fat!  Vitamins improve health!  Vitamins are a waste of money! Do cardio first!  Do cardio last! Alcohol is terrible for you!  Wine protects from heart disease!  I’ve gone cross-eyed….

These days when it comes to health, especially diet, there are so many confusing messages it’s hard to make sense of what is good advice.   Why isn’t there consensus on this stuff by now? How can health opinions be so polar opposite?  I thought health was a SCIENCE!    

Yes, health is in essence a science.  But oftentimes, science can be much like religion and politics.  Very smart people have steadfast beliefs that color their view of the world.  One doesn’t have to look any farther than the debate on global warming to see how different viewpoints can come to radically different conclusions from the same set of scientific data.

Add the innumerable variables related to an individual’s health and we’ve got ourselves a raging debate.  Differences in gender, age, genetics, race, culture, social preferences, emotional tendencies, physiology, experiences, education, etc, (going a little cross-eyed again…) affect how we perceive, challenge, learn about, and manage our health.  It’s a wonder there is any consensus at all.

Of course, the vast majorities of opinions on health and diet are based on science.  So what is the truth?  What ARE the right answers?  I’ll weigh in with my opinions throughout the blog.  As you’ll discover, I tend to believe the “truth” is somewhere in the middle. 

You must discover your own “truth”.  To do this you must educate yourself and trust your instincts.  This blog will help you with the former.  The latter is up to you.

Incidentally, after I decided on this topic for today’s post I read a wonderful article by Deepak Chopra on the differences between professional and public opinions on health. Check it out here.