There were no patients in the clinic. I went into the house to get the news paper. (My clinic is in the ground floor and I stay on the first) My wife questioned with her eyes as to why I was back in the house?
“No patients. I will take the news paper”
My phone rang and I took the call.
“Is this dental dispensary?”
I know what it means.
“I want an appointment”
“Who is speaking?”
“May I know your name?”
“No doctor you don’t know me”
“That’s OK, but tell me your name”
“Full name please”
I managed to get the name and asked
“Is this your first visit?”
“Have you come to me for treatment any time before?”
(My wife- through her eyes -“have any one come to you a second time?”)
“No, this is the first time”
“In that case you don’t need an appointment. You please come at your convenience, I will check your teeth and give you an appointment for treatment.”
“I only have a small cavity. There is only a little pain when………”
“That is fine but still I would like to see you first”
“OK, what are your timings?”
“10 to 1 and 4 to 8.”
“When there will be no patients?”
This is where there is ‘clash of interests’ between me and my patients. My patients want the waiting room to be empty if and when they arrive and I want it always full. (Though wishful)
“I hope there will be patients in my clinic all the time”
Most of them do not get what I mean.
“I said that there may be other patients but you please come and I will attend.”
“Can I come at 6’o clock”
“If I can’t come today can I come tomorrow”
“I said you may come any time you like”
“You will be free no?”
There is no use trying to get my sentiment across.
“Don’t worry. I will see you first.”
“Please write down my name.”
“Yes I will”
“Thank you doctor”
My wife is listening.
“Who was that?”
“Someone called for an appointment”
“You make such a big fuss just to give an appointment, why can’t you simply mention a time and be done with it?”
“I can’t fix the time and duration unless I know what is to be done and unless I see them I do not know what is to be done. It only takes a few minutes to see and I can do that any time. So they need not fix an appointment for the first visit”
“Even I can’t understand what you say. You confuse your patients. No surprise that they never turn up”