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DR running late for exam

Hi guys, I love my doctor and office. The problem is he LOVES LOVES LOVES to talk. It takes 15 minutes for him to come over and do an exam, then 30 for the exam itself! No matter how many times I try to hurry him up he just keeps talking. The patients talk with him and laugh, but as soon as he leaves they get mad that the 1 our hygiene appointment took 1 and a half-2 hours and give me attitude. Not to mention the next patient thats waiting for me is upset too. BTW we do not have hygiene floaters in our office. How can I run on time and reduce stress? He also does not want me to move on to my next patient because he prefers if the hygienist chart treatment. But 90% of his conversation is social. What should I do?



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13 Answers

Be honest and tell him what you stated to us in your question. I will sometimes move my patient to another room for the exam part and get started on the next patient. I also would leave the treatment notes with your findings on the previous patient for him to go over while he is completing his exam. I’m sure he would like to hear of a better way to do this process. Make sure you have several ideas of how to make the appt go smoothly. Make sure when you talk with him you do not accuse him of anything! I have found if you are successful at diagnosis of periodontal disease and recommending needed treatment and scheduling the patients for return appts the doctor is more than happy to give you as much help with hygiene assistant or work out of two rooms. I’ve got all the help I need, but the exam part is still an issue sometimes. I don’t think it will ever not be a problem in the world if dental hygiene. Hope this helps.

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I don’t know if this would work in your office but maybe schedule your appointments for 15 longer than usual? That will give you a little bit more buffer time in your schedule but I am sure not all offices would allow this. Maybe spin it in a positive way by saying even though less patients may be scheduled in a day at least each patient can have more individualized attention and less wait time for all patients. That will make them happy and in turn they will be more likely to return and refer friends and family to your office.

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I totally sympathize with you on this! I work in one office where the doc comes in not only once but TWICE per patient. The first time he comes in to say hello, chat, find out what, if anything, is bothering the patient, takes a quick peek in their mouth, tells me what xrays to take and THEN he comes in again at the end to look at the exams and do a full exam. Then many times, he will sit and chat for ten minutes. Meanwhile, I only get 45 minutes per patient. So I will be sitting there, trying not to tap my foot and give him death looks, knowing my next patient has been rotting in the waiting room for 20 minutes! I’ve tried telling him he talks too much but he absolutely does not care, he values the relationship he has with his patients and in the end, somehow, they all love him and forgive him the wait. Of course, then when I haven’t turned the room around in five seconds flat, he wonders aloud why I’m so slow. *smacking my head with my hand*

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It can be very stressful waiting for an exam, and then having it take so long. In my office, we have an extra operatory for the patient to wait, and I leave post it notes of anything I would like the doctor to check specifically. Otherwise, maybe you could schedule longer appointment times. In any case, I would talk with your doctor, and see how he feels. He may not even realize he’s putting you so far behind. Sometimes, they’re great doctors, but can be like the absent minded professor about other things. Good Luck!

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I’d just tell him…keep it short lol

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I’d just tell him…keep it short lol…definitely speak up…if you ask for an exam and your behind tell him your behind when you call him…or if he takes to long getting to you twll him when he arrives your next patient is here…keep him moving 🙂 My boss jokingly tells me I’m bossy but my patients appreciate that I’m always on time…We also only bother the Dr for a courtesy check for patients who haven’t seen him within the year…

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I agree with some of the other post about having an open conversation. When you do being a couple of suggestion to help with the flow so he doesn’t feel attacked. In my office we use card system. I have laminated cards that have patients name, what all I did/will do during visit, any patient complaints, time I give the card to doctor and time appointment is over. After I’ve taken X-rays I give him the card. He is then able to come in when he gets to a breaking point. I rarely have to wait.

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I think you just need to take your concerns to him and just explain by running behind it isnt allowing you all the time yiu need to properly educate your patients and provide the best care possible..maybe you two together can come up with a better system together 🙂

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I completely understand, one thing I do as soon as Doc enters the room is give her a rundown consisting of chief complaint if any, period status OHI we might have discussed etc. And one or two personal tidbits about the patient or their family. This has majorly decreased the exam time!!

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I agree! My doctor does the same thing but he doesn’t take too long. I would just simply ask him if there was anyway for him to allow you more time or a way that you can both be more efficient on keeping time frames. Just tell him you are concerned with making the next patients wait and you just don’t want to upset any of them. Just keep it professional and surely he will understand. 🙂

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This is such a stresser! Talk to him and work on a plan to cut the exam to an acceptable time frame. Maybe a signal you can give him to cut it when he goes over!

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We use a Communication sheet. After we take BW, do perio chart, intraoral photos etc., we take the sheet to the Dr. It has pts name, time their appointment ends and any other info Dr should know on it. That way, the Dr can come in when they have time and you won’t have to wait at the end of your appointment.

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This happens at mu office too…I say to the next patient “Im going to get you started so you don’t have to wait, the dr still needs to do the exam in the next room, so when shes ready, Im gonna leave you for a minute, but Ill be back”…then I return to the precious patient to chart for the dr.

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