Dear Doctor ___________ (just fill in your name if the shoe fits):
This may come as a surprise to you, but I'm a busy woman. When I'm at a hospital, nursing home, or a patient's home, and I make a call to you, I am not doing so for my health. I am doing so for the health and comfort of your patient. The least that I think you could do, out of courtesy, even curiosity, is return the call.
When doing so, please try to be patient with me. I promise I'm not wasting your time, I'm clarifying orders. If I had prescriptive powers, believe me, I wouldn't be calling you. I'd be writing the orders without your input and you'd be superfluous.
Last night, I threw in the towel after I'd waited two and a half hours for you to return any one of the four pages I made to your number. I called my hospice doctor instead, who by the way, answered on the fourth ring. That's what I call service.
On Monday night I called you, but your service said you were unavailable until Tuesday at 3:30 PM and I should call back then. Again, I called my hospice doctor who answered on the second ring and gave me some orders I could write. When I called you Tuesday at 3:30 PM on the spot, your receptionist tried to give me orders. I'm sorry to tell you, I can't take orders from a receptionist. Since you're an MD, you should know she can't give orders-it's against the law. When I told her this, she hung up on me! I want to let you know about this, but hell, you probably already do. She is one of your staff members and from what I know of private practice, behavior at the bottom of the pecking order is a reflection of what goes on at the top. When I had my boss called her back, she was as nice as could be and explained you're out of town until next week Tuesday. In that case, you can't be my patient's doctor until then-no matter what orders your receptionist gives me. What really burns my arse though is that in between the time I called her and then my boss did, she called my patient's home and tried to bully his wife out of selecting our hospice services. Now really, is that behavior necessary? We weren't trying to get rid of you, in fact, we were trying to include you in our plan of care. If it were up to me, I'd tell the patient's family this-just so they could know how unscrupulous you really are. To my mind, there is only one reason to behave that way, and it's all about the green.
Finally, just a note to my personal doctor. For God's sake, would you fix your phone lines already? They've been on the fritz for a few days now. Don't make me drive all the way over there just to book an appointment now-I'm way too cranky.
Just A Nurse