Doctors and medical professionals, listen up: I am not your ordinary patient. I am most likely someone who has seen, first-hand, more than you.
Your experience with disease has most likely been across a wide swath of people; mine has been personal.
That experience should give me a better seat to all things medical and me.
So when I stop by the office to pick up the results of a test that the tech said would be ready, I expect to leave with the written report.
I do not wish to hear that my doctor will be out for the week, and I can leave her a message, which she will return after she returns.
I know enough to know that message will never be returned. The best that will happen, should I follow that advice, is I will have to call upon her return to make my request again.
But I should not have to wait a week for results that are available today. Not me. I am part of the medical elite, the hard-bitten, who have lived through medical bad news. That bad news is often the reason you keep on seeing me under these circumstances--wanting the results of some test or other that is always related, in some way, to that first ominous result.
Front desk people, please learn to recognize my face and do not attempt to tell me to wait a week. Instead, make the offer to do what you should so I don't have to ask.
Because I will ask. 100 percent of the time. I will say that there's no reason I should have to wait a week. I will ask you to ask the on-call doctor to approve releasing those results. I will ask for a call today.
And I will expect a call today, or I will call and follow up. 100 percent of the time.
And doctors, if you are the one on-call who inherits me, don't ask your office person to call me and tell me to wait until the lab results come back and I can get everything together--when that might be you will never mention.
All I hear when you instruct someone else to tell me that is that you're punting and don't want to be troubled to do your job. Yes, this is also part of your job. 100 percent.
The only other thing I could hear is that something is wrong, according to the test. If it's all good or nothing significant, why wouldn't you just let someone call and tell me that? They're going to make the call anyway.
So either you're lazy, or I'm in trouble. Don't play it like that with the medical elite, the hard-bitten.