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Rude GI Office Manager! What would you do?
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Rude GI Office Manager! What would you do?

I am at my wits end with the way the Office Manager at our GI conducts herself on the phone. We have only been to the office one time at this point. He is recently Dx, and yes we are being pro-active about his care, but we don't call everyday. Should it be a crime to inquire about blood work that is very important to the treatment?
Any suggestions on who to speak to about her behavior?

Strike one: Hubby calls Hospital to schedule Bx. They call the Drs. Office and it is a 3 way call now. She(the offfice manager) is not aware Hubby is on the phone also. She tells the Scheduling person."He already called here this morning! What a nucense." The Scheduling lady was pretty appauled, and said she would call him back.

Strike two: He called this morning to see if HCV RNA blood work was in, and Bx results. He asked to speak to so and so, and the OM asks to take a message for her. He gives his name, and she makes the snide remark "didn't you call last week?"

Now I am mad :(, and my Hubby feels that he shouldn't call them.
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27 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
I was a legal secretary for 8 yrs. and I guess that training has led me to also like paper trails.  I would combine the suggestions of two people who posted.  I'd make a list of dates, times, basic conversations.  Keep it as concise/accurate/factual as possible and try not to drift off (we all do at times) when we are angry.  While handing the list to the Doctor I'd verbally be telling him what transpired.  The written word is in front of him/her in case he/she should forget something you have said.  This Doctor absolutely should be told what kind of an ignorant........his OM is.  A client, patient or customer's first impression is often made before they even meet the MD, Lawyer, Vet or whatever, by the staff in these offices.  Whether a person decides to stay with a particular office in the face of rudeness, sloppy work or whatever, again, in many cases is determined by the ongoing behaviour of  the staff, and of course the actual person you went to see.

Things can't be fixed until the problem is addressed and perhaps your Doctor has never been told of his rather rude, to say the least, Office Manager.

Lastly, remember this.  She works for the Doctor.  The Doctor works for you.  So, on the list of importance, she is at the BOTTOM of the heap.
Good luck
GSD
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Avatar_f_tn
Another thought I just had, if the office manager, nurse, receptionist, or whoever you come in contact w/prior to seeing the doctor, is rude, it sort of makes you get in a bad mood before you ever get to the doctor. So, that particular person in the forefront, needs to be nice, in order to make the patient feel relaxed.  Otherwise, the doctor gets to face a patient who is already annoyed and the whole doctor/patient relationship is affected.  

Also, I've had rude physicians before and guess what, they were fired, by me.  I just real politely, canceled my next appt. and transferred my records to the next physician that took over for my case.  Or, in a couple of cases, wrote the doctor a very in detail letter explaining why I would not be back to their practice.  I might give them, a bad day break, on the rare event that they treat me rudely, but if it gets repeated, that Dr. is history as far as I'm concerned.  Bedside manner is very important!!

Susan
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Avatar_f_tn
I get a copy of my labs at home and sometimes I get them before the doctor's office does. But that is terrible to have to put up with such rude behavior. Maybe she was having a bad day. If I liked my doctor I would probably stay in the clinic. But I have changed chiropractors because of a rude receptionist.  

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163305_tn?1333672171
The only thing I would add to the above suggestions is to mention to the doctor how you are pleased with him and would hate to have to look for a different doctor based on the inappropriate behaviour of his office manager.
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Avatar_n_tn
Excellent posts and ideas.

I am not really sure I like the Dr. ........ So I would have no problem leaving. Now, Hubby on the other hand is ready to get things rolling. Tired of the stress of the unknown. He is ready to treat even with minmal damage. He feels the sooner treated the better.
We have only seen the Dr. one time. He sat us down asked Hubby some ?'s. Asked Hubby if he was interested in treating, Gave him the slip for lab work, and got the paperwork started for ins. approval for the Bx.
I figure this must be something he sees a lot, since he was so nonchalant.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've reported such behavior to the doctor directly as have several others who have posted such here. Best to do it in person at your next visit unless it can't wait. Also best to do it in as calm a manner as possible but don't mince words. Tell it like it is with as much detail as possible and don't forget to mention how badly it reflects on his office as a whole, etc. The couple of times I went out of my way to do this I found a complete 180 degree turnaround in the offending behavior. Real sorry you're having to go through this, as if you didn't have enough on your plate.

-- Jim
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Avatar_m_tn
I like letters stating clearly what has occurred, who did it and exactly how you feel about the behavior. I'm a lawyer and I love paper trails or documentation just in case the situation digresses. I also believe that when people read a well reasoned complaint they are less defensive than they would be if you were there in person. They can reflect privately and hopefully adjust their behavior accordingly. It also demonstrates you're not going to silently tolerate the behavior. If it were me, I'd probably write the offending party or parties directly. You wouldn't have to threaten that you'd bring this up with the doctor because only an absolute idiot wouldn't conclude that you would if things didn't change. And often the person you will have to coordinate through is the one you are complaining about and I try to cultivate that relationship if it's possible. Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
How sad that this seems to be more common than I would have thought.

Thank You Both for the speedy and informative posts.

At this point they should be happy they are treating my husband and not me. I am not as tolerant of this sort of behavior as my husband, ok I don't hide it as well! LOL. I am having to learn that patience is a must. I do not want to comprimise the care that my Husband will receive. The girl that does call with results is very sweet.  However I will now be documenting the incidents and the Dr. will know how his front office manager treats his bread and butter on the phone. I am sure that for every patient that says something, there are more that just don't call :(

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Avatar_f_tn
You have to weigh all your choices. We have to fight the virus not the people in the doctor's office. I try to avoid ANY negativity in my life. I know sometimes it is very difficult. Maybe the OM's behavior will change once the doctor is aware of it. I hope so. Best wishes to you and your hubby.
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173975_tn?1216261375
First of all, I'm sorry you experienced this.

Especially the 3 way conversation and the snide remark that didn't your husband call before.

The doctor may be unaware of the attitudes of his staff.

I had a similar problem when I first started TX.  After 2 weeks of what I considered rude behavior, I faxed a letter, which I knew was CERTAIN to be read by his office staff, first, and which they would be required to forward to him as it requested medical info, and stated that, while I was pleased with the Doctor's skill, knowledge and expertise, I felt as though I'd
there had been some communication problems.

I went into great detail about the specific issues.  I stressed that I understood how very busy they were and how many patients they'd no doubt seen and how my particular condition, although new and terrifying to me was probably routine to them, but emphasized I would appreciate having my concerns addressed.

The next time I saw the Dr., he, the receptionist and the office manager couldn't have been nicer.  I think that faxing my concerns rather than calling and complaining on the telephone, or in person, gave them a heads up I was serious and made them check themselves without my having to throw a tantrum.  

Better for all involved.

It's not so easy to just switch Dr.s, so if your husband is satisfied with his, then it seems to me it might be worth the effort to try and straighten out the
office staff issues.

I'd try to resolve the problems politely but firmly as those people have a LOT of power and control with regards to that all-important paperwork.

Good Luck.

Wyntre
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Again I can't thank you all enough!

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Avatar_n_tn
Some really good posts.  My only  addition  is you need a really good fit with the team that is treating your husband - if he is a Genotype 1, he will be going on a regular basis for at least a year.  You want to feel comfortable with your doctor, NP, and office staff - not like an inconvenience.  This may be more of an issue when your hubby gets riba rage#$R%!   Just a thought....I wish you both good  thoughts.
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Avatar_n_tn
Some really good posts.  My only  addition  is you need a really good fit with the team that is treating your husband - if he is a Genotype 1, he will be going on a regular basis for at least a year.  You want to feel comfortable with your doctor, NP, and office staff - not like an inconvenience.  This may be more of an issue when your hubby gets riba rage#$R%!   Just a thought....I wish you both good  thoughts.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too would write a letter and describe the office manager's behavior in objective terms and unemotional as possible.  (like Dragnet - Joe Friday - just the facts )let the Dr. make his own judgement.

Or ask when visiting the DR if there could be another person in the office who could serve as your contact and again describe the OM's behavior in objective terms. Good Luck!  It is always awful  to get poor service especially a person's health is iinvolved!  
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148987_tn?1287809526
I have had similar experiences but I let it go and I'm glad I did. I chose the 'internal' path. That is, I adjusted my expectations. It would have to be pretty bad for me to say something.
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Avatar_n_tn
I think I like your take on this.
My Husband kind of did that already :D By telling the "nice girl" that called to give him the genotype and VL. Even though this is routine to all of you, it is very serious to me.Then explained the "rudeness" he has experienced. I should probably stay out of it. I will be writing it down and letting the Dr. know though.
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96938_tn?1189803458
I like your theory and I generally agree.  I had a follow-up appoint with the colonoscopy doc and thought about bringing flowers to the office.  Decided that it might be sending the wrong message.  Brought Tootsie Rolls for the staff instead.
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173975_tn?1216261375
OK.

I confess the other REAL reason my relationship with the OM and receptionist and, by default, the Doctor, improved so much is coz I started bringing them Dunkin Donuts, coffee and bagels.

Those times I was scheduled for an appointment during a winter storm and I showed up bearing hot coffee, I racked up big time points!

But, seriously, after the faxing back and forth and the initial animosity and then the olive branch extended, I learned it was me, too.

When I tried to be more considerate and understanding of them, the favor was returned with interest.

SO, the moral of the story is, if honey doesn't work, try Dunkin Donuts.  :)

Flguy

Flowers for a colonoscopy!  And you opted for tootsie rolls instead?  

I'm wondering what kind of message that sent, especially to a GI!  hahahaha



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Avatar_m_tn
Goofy: How would David Caridine..
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I saw "Kill Bill" too. The David Caridine character probably would have done in the office manage with a poisoned dart. On a more serious note, I agree that your 'contrarian' approach can often be effective, if one has the time and inclination, but I still see nothing wrong with reporting gross rudeness and inconsideration to the boss, in this case being the doctor. If not for you, perhaps for those patients that follow. The one or two times I made those calls the problem cleared up immediately and dramatically. I do agree, however, that "nice butt" and
"nice ****"  must be used with discretion. Not speaking of which, isn't it around time you had one of those benchmark tests?

-- Jim
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Avatar_n_tn
Maybe I've just been in dogs too long, but when training dogs you don't reward bad behaviour.  If you inform the Doctor of his OM's bad behaviour it is up to him to deal with her as he sees fit.  IF she is nicer after that, then perhaps a plant or something nice (donuts are good) for the office to show there are no hard feelings.  I think that idea pretty much compiles all the suggestions.  Sometimes people are just full of their own self worth.  God complex I call it and nothing, but nothing, will change their attitude.  Then I guess it boils down to, if you like the Doctor, you have to put up with the OM.  Maybe OM stands for OBVIOUSLY MISBEHAVED!!!

Appreciate the "Kung Fu" jokes.  Funny.
tata
GSD
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Avatar_n_tn
You are to funny, but I agree I learned along time ago "kill em with kindness"
and it usually works! When I get the reponse I want I will say "Thank you you very much, you've been very helpful" and they are pleasantly suprised and remember the rewards of their job, after all we all get overwhelmed and just want to know others appreciate us.  

But if it doesn't work, then reem her a new a.., no offense intended!


FL Guy - Tootsie rolls, too cute!
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Big tootsies or little tootsies?
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92903_tn?1309908311
I'm in the catch-more-flies-with-honey mindset. So the OM is in the wrong. Fine. Why not compasionately explain to OM that this is a very stressful time for you, ackowledge that you're adding to her workload, tell her you need all the support you can get, and ask if she can try to be understanding during this difficult time. Throw her a compliment if you can, but take it from me, comments about the derrierre, event when meant to be flattering, don't seem to pay dividends.

Sure there's a temptation to clash against her combativeness, but she probably doesn't realize or hasn't considered the pain she's causing. By reaching out, maybe you can have a positive impact on how she views her job and how she treats other patients. Think "How would David Caridine (as Kung Fu) or Mrs Partidge, or Mr. Brady handle this?" There lies your answer grasshopper.

PS Taking a nice coffee cake, or flowers, or something always brightens up a medical office.  
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181549_tn?1277211196
I as well have just recently experienced similar behavior.  
I will be directing to my Dr. basically if this is how are relationship is going to be in the future YOU'RE FIRED!  
We don't deserve this!  and  I AIN'T GONNA TAKE IT!
Although, I will do my best to behave.  I will stick to the point in a calm and pleasant manner.
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Avatar_f_tn
What do you do if your an office Mgr and have to deal with a rude Doctor who has only worked there for 1 1/2 months
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179856_tn?1333550962
Unfortunately you are probably going to have to deal with him as nicely and sweetly as you can.  Most of us have had superiors who just suck but have to do the same thing - in this economy a job is a job is a job and if you can't quit........

Does he treat everyone the same or just pick on you?
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Avatar_m_tn
Nygirl is probably right.
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