In my long and turbulent life, I’ve faced multiple medical problems, despite being a model of good health. Three times I’ve lived through pneumonia. I survived lung cancer and the surgical removal of the upper lobe of my right lung. Twice I’ve collapsed from exhaustion. And I went through knee replacement surgery.
The physicians who cared for me were, for the most part, better than capable. I wouldn’t be here today if they had failed at their mission. But their office staffs—the people who make appointments, answer the phone, and maintain the files—have so often proven to be incompetent, rude, and clueless that I have several times been forced to seek another practice.
To be clear, I’m not referring here to the medical staff, the nurses, aids, and physician’s assistants. They, like the doctors they serve, are more than proficient.
Why are medical office staffs so often inadequate? I can only guess. My life experience has taught me that often people talented at an art or vocation lack management skills and haven’t any idea of how to lead. Their attention is focused on their calling. They seem to be unaware of the practicalities that support their mission.
The primary care doctor I’m now seeing is a master of his profession. He provides me excellent care. And his office staff is outstanding. It consists of a single person, a woman who has worked for him for years who is a model of accomplishment. My perception, based on fleeting inferences, is that she sees to it that he doesn’t overlook or forget tasks. She’s a marvel.
Is my portrayal of medical office staffs wrong and unfair? I have no idea. I encourage readers to chime in and let me know their experience.