The Law of the Two Hour Waiting Room

I wish there was an inverse relationship between the amount of time ahead an appointment is scheduled and the time waiting on the doctor once you arrive. For instance, make an appointment four months in advance, then the doctor should see you immediately once your foot is in the door. If you have to rush to MediHelp after demonstrating your new Ginsu knife, then you can expect to wait a while (assuming you’re not bleeding to death).

Sound reasonable?

Well, we know that physical laws are immutable and its as silly to break the Law of the Two Hour Waiting Room as it is to travel faster than light.

Or is it?

Some laws are meant to be broken. The Matrix taught us that much. And Pittsburghers are resourceful people—that goes in the bank. But can any force on earth move a doctor to schedule a reasonable number of patients one could SAFELY see in a day so that a trip to their office is not an agony? Most people have to take off work to attend to their health concerns. Doctors act like their time is made of gold and ours is as cheap as a low rent parakeet.

Still, what annoys me is the Waiting Room—that spiritual retreat, that unpleasant sojourn, that claustrophobic haven where various forms of entertainment try to amuse the least jovial among us.

Speaking of laws of the universe, why is it that:

No Play Area = Well-Behaved Children Managed By Their Parents To Be Quiet, Respectful, And Still


Play Area = Screaming Children Running Around The Entire Office Hitting Each Other With Plastic Hammers While Their Parents Blithely Talk To Each Other?

One can well ponder what came before the BIG BANG, but this mystery we’ll never crack. Like Einstein, we’re standing outside the watch trying to discern the mechanics of a system we can never open, much like a box of Cheez-Its.

Waiting rooms have evolved on pace with Coelacanthus, yet there have been modern introductions. Go to your cardiologist and have a cookie. The endocrinologist mesmerizes you with twenty-two varieties of fish in a cylindrical aquarium taking up half the floor. Your gynecologist gives you—well, I have no idea what you get at the gynecologist except the dreaded yearning to have it over with (or so I’ve been told).

In the south, no waiting room is complete without a copy of the King James bible, just in case you’d like to pray for a more considerate doctor. And then there’s the television. Why must the doctors’ staff play their waiting room soap opera at volumes meant to drive terrorists from their compounds? That’s one answer Morbius never found.

If we cannot alter the doctors’ creed that Patients Must Wait Two Hours Or They Will Not Appreciate Your Two Minute Service, then why can’t doctors provide a wait environment suited to the average citizen? I’m talking about issuing a Game Boy as you enter, or giving chair massages while you wait, or better, hand out the vibrating pagers that restaurants use to let you wander on your own, knowing that you’ll return once you feel the pulsing in your pants. At your convenience. But not too late or they’ll give your table away. And you have to give the pager back. Yes, you do.

Just a little consideration is in order from our health care providers. Sure, they save lives, they cure disease, they diagnose that strange lump behind your ear, but must they do it so annoyingly? Can you hear me over Days of Our Lives?

Stay friendly and healthy.

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