Will I be doing the right thing? Rather long

Today I called my urologist office(there are three doctors together). I have been afflicted with kidney stones and accompanying infections. The last few days I have been experiencing some discomfort again and this morning I felt really bad. So I called from work and asked to speak with Dr. ***'s nurse, and the receptionist told me this was their day out of the office. I was still feeling really down so I told her how poorly I felt. I had hope to be able to go there(the office is right across the street from where I work) pee in the little cup, and call back tomorrow to find out what the doctor might have learned, once he returned. All the receptionist would say was, “Im sorry, they won’t be back until tomorrow.” And I took it because I felt bad enough not to have any fight in me.

So I called my mother, told her how upset I was, and said I would change doctors if it was the office policy not to have a contingency plan for when a patioent became ill on their doctor’s day off. She asked if I got the receptionist’ name. I hadn’t, so I decided to call the office back. When the phone was answered I asked her if she was the person I had talked to earlier. She said she was, so I asked for her name. Rather reluctantly she told me. I then asked for her surname , and when again she replied rather warily I asked her to spell it. Then I thanked her and hung up.

Fifteen minutes later I get a call at work and lo and behold, it’s from the urologist office. A different woman spoke to me and explained again how Dr. *** and his nurse were away. But this person told me I could come in and give the sample. When I asked why the receptionist adn’t told me that she said that they were supposed to ask first before committing to let me come in. And why hadn’t the receptionist told me that? She said she didn’t know, but she DID apologize, espcially after I said how upset I was. I’ve never made waves as a patient, showed up on time for appointments, paid my bill promptly.

So tomorrow, when I go to the doctor’s office, I’m going to have this whole incident written out and present it to the nurse and/or doctor. I don’t want anyone to lose their job, I don’t want the receptionist’s head on a silver platter. But I don’t want to be treated like that again, when I am feeling sick. Am I doing the right thing?

I think that there is nothing wrong with filing a complaint. Keep in mind though that the receptionist actions might have been in accordance with office policy and nothing might be done. However, if her actions were not in accordance with policy then I’m sure the doctor would be gratified to hear about behavior that could cost him customers. So even if you don’t want to do it for yourself (which I think you do) do it for the doctor.

For some reason, the reply count on this thread was zero, even though there was a reply. I am adding another reply in hopes that it will be counted, so that Baker will be able to see that there has been a reply to the OP.

Absolutely! You have a legitimate complaint, and having it written down, as facts, while it’s fresh in your memory, is a good way to present it. Someone in charge needs to know what happened.

Be sure to put this in your written account. Your complaint, and the actions you want taken, seem perfectly reasonable to me.

Good luck!

Thank you all for the encouragement. I am hoping it isnot office policy, because if it is I will change doctors. But I suspect it is not policy, because the receptionist obviously felt concern about my second call, when I asked for her name. I am going to get a good night’s sleep and try and feel good for tomorrow.

I have a dumb question- is it possible that you were speaking to an answering service? If the doc isn’t in the office, either way the person who answered the phone should have put you through to the doctor on call or instructed you to visit the emergency room if you were in pain. Saying “he’s not in- sorry” isn’t acceptable in my book, either.


I did go in to the doctor’s office today and produced the required “sample”. Everyone was very polite, and my file was already sitting aside waiting for me. I had written the account of yesterday but forgot to bring it with me. I will mail it in. as I wrote it up as a business letter anyway. Zette , I know it was the office because I had first called before office hours and got a recording. Actually the recording gave more info than the receptionist originally did because it told me who to call if it was a real emergency.