Medical Receptionists, please take note.

There’s a certain cruelty in finding a message on your telephone answering machine when you get home on a Friday evening after a particularly odd day’s business from the receptionist at your family doctor’s office, especially when she has stammered her way through the message that they’ve received some test results and, if there has been no follow up from your oncologist, the doctor would like to see you in his office.

It’s a Friday.
End of business.
Not open again until Monday.
No way to get in touch with her to ask for clarification, to ask which results from which test.
No way to get in touch with the doctor unless you wave the emergency flag. And even then there’s another doctor on call this weekend who is not familiar with your case.
And your wife has hardly slept through the night, risen early on Saturday, and by 9 AM has determined not only the diagnosis, but what the prognosis is, and has announced it to both daughters.
And your eldest daughter is a nurse who is calling the house every fifteen minutes with updates on how she has been trying, unsuccessfully, to get the doctor’s personal cell phone number, further freaking out your wife.
And the youngest daughter has decided that babysitting your grand daughter Saturday night may not be such a good idea anymore.
And your wife is having second thoughts about having friends for dinner on Sunday.

Cruel. Just plain cruel.

Just a word to the medical receptionists out there: please don’t do this. If I leave you my cell number, please use it! Call me! Leave messages on my cell phone! Don’t give my wife and children (drama queens, the bunch of them!) the excuse to wind themselves up. And for crying out loud, don’t leave that sort of message on a Friday!

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