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  • 15 September 2012 05:47
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I don’t mind waiting.

As long as it is done by somebody else and it is done for meeting me.

I never realized that waiting for a doctor is an art that I was not endowed with. That was until last week. Last week, my wife had a gynecology checkup and in those ‘very vulnerable making up moments’, I agreed to accompany her. I went with her quite reluctantly (please don’t tell her) and after the preliminaries found myself sitting, waiting for this elite gynecologist with an injured pride. (As a cardiologist, I just never had to wait). Already I started repenting that I went.

Then, the thought occurred to me. How to wile the time away while waiting for the doctor? I checked my mail, made same senseless remarks on face book, tweeted nonsense and checked all the news, accomplishing all these tasks in just over 15 minutes. Now what to do? The magazines on the table were stale and so were the TV programs spewed at us.


After thinking for some time, I came up with this waste basket solution: I will write down what went through my mind while waiting. Alright! But before you shoot down mine as a silly idea, please acknowledge your best idea to pass the time spent waiting for a doctor.

On a more serious note, waiting in a doctor’s room is a nightmare: To start with, you will be anxious to know what’s happening to your health and each passing moment will increase the anxiety. Also, none of the other patients in the waiting room will be in a mood to socialize. Even worse, you may be not be sure about the time it will take to meet the doctor, and uncertainty kills you and lastly, when surrounded by sickness, you don’t mind not waiting.


While it is never easy to wait in a doctor’s office, these are a few tips to lessen the pain:


Schedule an appointment on a ‘lean’ day. Avoid Mondays and Saturdays for meeting doctors. Similarly, don’t take appointment on the day after a festival. Not scheduling another appointment immediately after the present one is a good idea. Resenting the time spent will only make the pain more.


Doctors on the other hand should understand that though emergencies are real, most patients have long ago realized that the excuse called ‘emergency’ has been grossly overused by doctors. The doctors should also realize that apologizing for a patient (and explaining her why she was made to wait) does not lower a doctor’s dignity, it only augments it. Patients genuinely appreciate a doctor’s sincerity in trying to avoid the delays. Finally, pretending to be busy to maintain the waiting queue will keep the doctor pretending forever.

In the early 1980s, my mother had decided that her son will become a doctor, after getting frustrated about waiting in the emergency room while her son was not in control of his neck movements. In her anguish, she did not realize that her logic was not right, but she ended up making me a doctor for whom in turn, patients have to wait sometimes. I hope that many more ideas to become doctors germinate in the waiting rooms, but not out of frustration but out of respect and love.

I am sorry for my opening statement. I do mind waiting


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