Sour Staff

Yes, we have all experienced them at one time or another, and are sometimes forced to encounter them on a regular basis. What’s that you ask? It’s a surly doctor’s staff.  I don’t know if I’m just lucky, or there are an inordinate amount of cranky physician’s staffs out there. As I may have mentioned in other posts, I own a small business and am a fanatic about providing (and receiving) great customer service. My desire to receive great customer service does not stop at a doctor’s office door. In fact, I think patients are entitled to an even higher standard of customer (patient) care. Let’s face it, people typically visit a doctor’s office most often, because they are un-well. There are few things that are more unpleasant than being greeted by a person whose tone of voice and snarly facial expression say, Thanks for the interruption!  I am always surprised that the physicians who we pay to be detail oriented when diagnosing us, seem oblivious to their staff’s behavior toward patients. Now I’m not generalizing about every staff member and often it may be just one rotten apple. Or maybe someone is having a really bad day…it happens. I am talking about the consistently nasty folks who just seem angry and unhappy to be there. I am currently in search mode for a new PCP because of just such behavior. And I’m sure that I’m not the only patient who has done so. It happens daily and in many doctor’s offices. But I happen to think that the part of the Hyppocratic Oath that says: “That above all else I will serve the highest interests of my patients through the practice of my science and my art” should also include the way that patients are treated from the time they walk through the office door, until they leave. I mean, at the end of the day, a doctor’s office is still a ‘for profit’ business. I think that the physician(s) and their staffs who run their offices would do well to remember: 1. Who pays their salaries and 2. “Thou Shalt Do Unto Others As You Would have Them Do Unto You”


About vitalsignspgh

Sandy Burkett is the Creative Engineer, President and Owner of Vital Signs. Vital Signs is a certified Native American/Woman-Owned custom sign and graphics company located in Carnegie, PA.
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4 Responses to Sour Staff

  1. Suzy says:

    As a disabled RN I most certainly agree with you. You should read the letter I sent to the medical staff at our local hospital. It went to the entire staff because the own the practice of the PCP office. I sent it because of how I was treat by either a Nurse Practioner or Physician’s Assistant (It is too long ago to remember which). I now routinely send letters to my doctor’s office or tell my doctor at the end of my visit if staff has treated me in any way in which it has been less than stellar. I always gave stellar treatment to my patients even when I felt like crap and I expect patients to be treated the way I treated my patients, The Oath also states “to do no harm”. Treating a patient poorly when they suffer from chronic illnesses can add to or cause depression. That is causing harm and it is inexcusable. As you can see, this is one of my pet peeves.

    • vitalsignspgh says:

      Amen. It is also a pet peeve of mine, but especially so with medical encounters of the rude kind.

  2. It is unfortunate and unacceptable how common an occurrence it seems to be for patients to experience rude office staff at doctor’s offices. It makes being sick and needing care all the more difficult and trying. I think it is important for patients to speak up when they are treated with disrespect and make their doctor aware if possible. I too wrote a post on this topic and my experience a couple months back.

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