Saturday, May 21, 2011

Weekly Whine: No shows

I bet you think this whine is going to be about patients not showing up to appointments. But it isn't!

In rehab, there are a lot of meetings. Actually, I think in medicine, there are a lot of meetings. I know attendings who seem to spend their entire day just going to meetings.

It's not quite like that for physicians where I work. But there's a reasonable number of meetings.

What annoys me though is people who don't show up (or are extremely late) for meetings. If it's a huge meeting with like a dozen people and nobody truly cares if you're there, then whatever. But if it's a meeting with just 3-5 people and you're an integral part of the meeting, please show up. If it's a small meeting and you're the one who arranged the meeting, PLEASE show up.

I went to a recent hour-long lunch meeting that was arranged a couple of weeks in advance and all the four physicians who were supposed to be there confirmed they would show up. We also got email and text page reminders. This was the roster:

1) One physician showed up on time (me)

2) The physician who called the meeting was thirty minutes late

3) A third physician was 45 minutes late

4) A fourth physician was text-messaged when he was thirty minutes late. He replied fifteen minutes later and wrote, "That was today?" Then (obviously) didn't show up at all.

I've taken to bringing my notes to every meeting so I can get some work done while I'm inevitably sitting there waiting for everyone else to show up. I'm way too anal to show up late myself, or god forbid, not show up at all. I'm sure in ten years, I'll be blowing off meetings with everyone else.


  1. I can understand that sentiment. The worst is when someone confirms for a meeting scheduled a month ago, but flakes out for a last-minute b-day party for a friend...Not that i'm bitter or anything.

  2. I think its funny, because if you ask a doctor about patient being no-shows, they get furious. While a lot of them at one time or the other have done the same. I think its just another example, how we in the medical field forget that we make the same mistakes as "the others," and in doing so only confirm that we are as human as everyone else. Something to keep in mind when "The god complex sets in"..I am talking to you Surgeons.

  3. Oh, this is a common scenario in every meetings especially if the people that will attend on the said meeting are very "busy", eh. But though this is common, this annoys me. Whew!