I am a huge proponent of better care coordination. This means doctors have to talk to each other. When I need to talk to a doctor who’s cell phone I don’t already have, I cringe. It means I will have to face their office telephone system and I am so DONE with this.

  • I appreciate your telling the patients, “If this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911” although, given how long I spent on hold, I am sure the patient will figure that out.
  • I love it when your recorded message does not have an option for “another doctor’s office calling.”
  • I love it when your  recorded message DOES have an option for “another doctor’s office calling” and it takes you right back to the start of the recording.
  • I love being disconnected multiple times.
  • I love finally reaching a human and then being transferred to someone’s voicemail to leave a message.

I have been at this all morning, trying to reach doctors about really sick patients, one of whom is now in the emergency room. On average I give up after about 5 minutes, but last week I spent 20 minutes trying to reach a doctor in a nationally known multi-specialty clinic. I was curious whether it was even possible to get through. I finally wrote him a letter to tell him I was referring the patient elsewhere and he needed to speak to his administration about the phone system.

If you are a doctor, call your own office and see what happens.

And please don’t make me listen to 2 minutes about how COVID sucks. I know that. It does not suck as bad as your phone system.

A doctor trying to reach you about one of your patients