Yesterday I took my preschool children to the doctor, and I was reminded of why I do not like doctors. It's not the pain, or the cost. It's the wait. It is bad enough when you have to wait and wait and wait as an adult, reading year-old magazines in the waiting room--but add bored kids bouncing off the walls and it becomes an intensely excruciating experience.
We waited for two hours. Two! And, of course, when we finally saw the doctor he was all happy and simply said, "Thanks for waiting!" Like I had a choice. It was my children's health on the line, that's all, so what could I do? Walk out?
As my father is fond of saying, there are only two professions in the western world in which the customer is told, "I can help you, but I don't know how long it will take, and I don't know how much it will cost." Those two professions, of course, are law and medicine. Possibly accountants too. Try running an ordinary business on that model and you will be out on the street in no time. Yet doctors and lawyers get away with it--although increasingly there are both time and cost pressures, and in the field of law there is a long overdue movement to flat rate billing.
But as frustrating as lawyers are for their clients, lawyers generally cannot leave their clients sitting for two hours waiting for a scheduled meeting. If lawyers do that, they will (and should) lose their clients and be out on the street. So perhaps lawyers have some moral advantage over doctors. Although doctors do not typically charge by the hour, so perhaps not.
In either case, one thing is for certain: for the next kiddie doctor appointment, it's my wife's turn.