Lost a patient today. Well they had hardly become patients really. They were late for their appointment so 15 minutes after the appointed hour the reception staff called them to see if they had forgotten and would they like to rebook. We must have touched a nerve! They had been just leaving and if we wouldn’t see them they would just find another place to go. Since the appointment time booked had been for 20 minutes and there was no way they would be at our office within the scheduled time we though we were being fairly courteous calling them as a gentle reminder that they had forgotten an appointment. Instead we were berated for running on time! Hard to figure some people out.
What really hurt – and at the same time was ridiculous – was the accusation of the mother that we were just being rude to new immigrants. I assured her that actually we expected all of our patients to be on time for their appointments. But I wonder if we missed some cultural clue here? Different cultures do handle time in different ways.