Staff Affects Physician Practice Image
Mark was waiting to be seen by his physician in a multispecialty
physician office practice. As Mark was waiting to see his physician, he
observed a woman, most likely in her late 70s, limping into the office.
She had a large leg brace that ran from her thigh to the calf of her leg.
She struggled to push her husband in a wheelchair into the office. She
carefully parked the wheelchair and approached the check-in counter.
She apologized for being late for her appointment as she was late
getting out of another physician’s office. The patient was told, “You are
late for your appointment. The office has a 15-minute late arrival rule.
You will have to reschedule your appointment.” She apologized for being
late but said that she did tell the office staff she would be late. She was
then told, “You can wait, and I will try to squeeze you into the schedule,
but I don’t know how long you will have to wait.” The lady said, “I don’t
want to bother anyone. I will reschedule my appointment.” She was
directed around the corner to another desk to reschedule her
appointment. Mark got up out of his chair, walked over to the scheduler,
and said, “I don’t believe this. Her husband is sitting in a wheelchair, and
she is having difficulty walking. She can have my appointment, and I can
reschedule.” The lady suddenly turned to Mark and gave him a big hug.
The scheduler asked, “Who is your physician?” Mark told her, and she
said, “I am sorry, but this lady has a different physician.” The lady, now
a bit teary eyed, continued to reschedule her appointment.
1. Mark saw what he perceived to be a wrong and tried to make a right.
Discuss his actions.
2. Discuss why healthcare workers, patients, and visitors should
consider themselves, when appropriate, patient advocates.