Back in the late 1990s when my asthma was acting up I would call my asthma doctor, and his secretaries would have me in his office in a heartbeat. If I called, I was seen within three hours.
Fast forward to 2012 and I can't get an appointment at the same doctor's office. I find this odd because on their door there is a sign that says: "Open appointments daily from 2-4 p.m."
I was having a true asthma attack, and I could have died. Surely I could have gone to the emergency room, but I don't want to do that. Why would I go to the ER when my doctor's in his office? Why would I go to the ER when I could be saved by a prednisone pack my doctor would prescribe if I could just get in to see him?
I explained to the secretary I didn't even care if I saw one of the other doctors, she still wouldn't let me be seen. It was frustrating. Thankfully I work with my doctor and he got me an appointment.
It seems there's a lot of medical office secretaries that are the same way. It seems to me there should be some kind of medical training medical secretaries have to go through. They should know if someone calls and says "I'm having trouble with my asthma," that he should get in ASAP.
Yet such common sense seems to elude some folks. Either that or they are told to be strict screeners. Either that or doctors are busier for some reason these days, and really don't have open spots on their daily schedule.