As I invited a little girl clutching onto her mom into her room, they were followed closely behind by ?patient’s dad or her mom’s partner. He was on his phone, loudly yacking away. I was irritated, but chose to ignore him as he seemed to be coming to the end of the conversation. It was only halfway through work, I didn’t want to spoil my day
Few minutes into the consult, I thought he was about to end the call when telling whoever it was that he is at the doctors, but horrors of all horrors, it was just a comment – not to excuse himself. And he seemed to be speaking louder and louder (or maybe I was hallucinating the volume, due to my irritation).
Me : Excuse me, can you continue your conversation outside please. I am trying to have a consult here.
He : Oh ya, of course.
And walked out.
Few minutes later Mr Rude walks in and as I was explaining things to the mom, he was making sarcastic comments aimed at her, or maybe it was towards me I wonder
eg: “Can you remember that or do you need it written down?”. It is my style to give patients things in writing as trust me, they forget half the things by the time they walk out of the practice.
She kept quiet & ignored his comments. Up till then, I too was ignoring him and focusing on explaining to my patient’s mom about my diagnosis & management. And then he said something like “All the doctors hate me anyways”.
Me (to him) : What was that?
He : I wasn’t speaking to you. I was speaking to her.
Me : In case you didn’t realize, this is a consultation and I’m having a conversation with her.
He was wise enough to ignore me & not turn it into a fight.
Continued some yada-yada to his partner (patient’s mom) while measuring his height himself, while I was printing out script and explaining instructions on consuming the medication to mom.
I didn’t hear what he asked her. I only heard her reply “No”.
“Then why do I need to come and wait at the F***ing doctors for 45 minutes?” he stomped out.
Earlier, as mom was coughing as well, I offered to have a quick look at her after the little girl. By then, I was just staring at him.
Mom : How high was her temperature?
I rattled the digits (once again). She thanked me and headed out after Mr Rude.
Now, now this is why manners are essential!
Please inculcate them in your kids as early as possible to prevent them turning into this kind of morons!
I can’t expect anything civilized from a moron who has no courtesy to switch off his phone when in doctor’s consult room, can I?
Usually it is the patient who will be on the phone (fair enough, to kill time while waiting – been there done that myself). Most of them would have enough courtesy to end the call when their names are called, while a handful would continue talking till we reach my room, and a rare few even after being seated – as if my job is to wait for them to complete their call because I made them wait, right. I don’t entertain these kinda nonsense anyway.
Only once recently, the patient said it was an important call and was happy for me to take the next patient in first.
Next time anyone walks to my room without switching off their phone, I’m going to throw them right out! That is my right, no matter how long you have been waiting for your turn. As if doctors purposely make patients wait!
For the records, they waited 30minutes, not 45.
I have seen the patient before. I didn’t record anything about rude parents. I made sure I documented today’s incident in the notes.