Five Minutes of My Practice Time Is Hard to Find

February 28, 2011

Sometimes your "easy" practice days get very difficult and finding five minutes for others is not as easy as it seems.

Why does it feel like bad days just get exponentially worse as the day goes on? Case in point – Friday is supposed to be my short day, my get-all-the-paperwork-and-phone-calls-done day. This Friday, I was exhausted before I even got to work. I had been out late the night before, and realized at the last minute that I hadn’t packed for a weekend conference trip I was taking. I got to work later than planned so that cut into my paperwork time. I had two very complicated follow-up patients back-to-back that put me behind schedule. 

Meanwhile, one patient was making a scene because she was half an hour late for her appointment and couldn’t understand why I’m “so busy that (I) can’t take five minutes of (my) time” to see her. Then later, another patient, who works across the street was late because she got lost. Oh, and did I mention that an hour into our day the toilet got stopped up for the second time in a week?

And just when the madness had died down and I was finally able to sit down and go through the 25 messages I had waiting for me (including 2 wretched prior auths), a drug rep pops in. Now, I don’t mind the sample drop-off, but when he started to talk and was clearly planning on being there for more than 30 seconds, it irked me. I told him I couldn’t drop everything I was doing to have a conversation with him, that I had to leave in 15 minutes, and I had a million things to do before then. He said he understood, and yet started talking, so I went about making my phone calls. He hovered. It ticked me off more. I think when he saw me dial the phone for a third time without even looking up at him, he finally got the point. He asked my secretary if he could schedule something with me - with lunch. There you go, now you’re thinking.

I’ve said in earlier posts, I’ve got this love-hate relationship with reps. I benefit from their presence, as do my staff and patients. But despite the patient education, samples, and lunch that they hand out, one thing they cannot give me is time. And I deplore when they do drop by details, because, quite frankly, I’m so busy I “can’t take five minutes” of my time to deal with them.