Everyone at Your Doctor’s Office Is Secretly Judging You for Doing These 15 Things
No all that long ago, The Cheat Sheet took a look at behaviors and sayings that your doctor may be judging you on. As it turns out, your physician isn’t the only one at their office that could be passing judgement about your mannerisms. Receptionist, fellow physicians, and even other patients are taking note of how you conduct yourself. Want to fly under the radar and not be a point of gossip at the doctor’s office?
Here are 15 things you should avoid doing. (Pages 10 is a no-no that applies to more than just the doctor’s office.)
Making a big entrance
It’s a doctor’s office, for peat’s sake. Why are you waltzing in like you’re on the catwalk at Fashion Week? Walking in and giving a friendly hello to the office staff is perfectly acceptable — and quite frankly, all you have to do. Believe it or not, office staff and other patients are usually judging others as they walk through the door. And barging in like you’re the most important person in the room can put others off.
Next: On that same subject …
Showing up late like you’re too important
Heck, we all run late sometimes. A simple apology — or even a call before you arrive — will suffice and help the office regulate the flow of patience. However, showing up late as if your scheduled appointment is low on your list of important tasks gives the impression you think you’re too good to be there. This may annoy the office staff — and your doctor — to the point that your needs will not be so readily met. (You’ll get judged even more if you waltz in bragging about your busy schedule to the person behind the front desk.)
Next: Speaking of which …
Being too chatty with the receptionist
Yes, being cordial to the receptionist — no matter unpleasant he or she may be — is a must. On the other hand, having a full-blown personal conversation like you’re at a best friends’ brunch is excessive. It’ll possibly irk said receptionist — who is trying to get work done — and definitely rub other patients in the waiting room the wrong way.
Next: Speaking of rubbing other patients the wrong way …
Talking loudly on your phone while you wait
We get it. Sometimes, you get an important phone call while you’re at the doctor’s office that needs your immediate attention. But whether this call is professional or personal, taking it in the middle of the waiting room is rude. It shows you lack awareness of your surroundings. If it’s a call you simply must take, it’s better to politely excuse yourself and step outside.
Next: On that same note …
Talking on your phone instead of to the receptionist
Checking in for a doctor’s appointment isn’t brain surgery. However, that’s no excuse to gab on the phone while you should be giving the receptionist your attention. This shows that you don’t respect them or the job that they do, and there’s a chance this will irk your doctor as well. It’s better to politely ask the person you’re on the phone with to hold.
Next: This behavior gets old very quick
Complaining about having to wait
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve gone to an appointment when the doctor has been running behind. And sometimes, their backed-up schedule can put a dent in your own plans. However, that’s no reason to loudly complain to the front office staff that you’re in a hurry and can’t possibly wait any longer. (Especially if there are other people waiting ahead of you.)
Next: This isn’t just bad behavior, but it may tempt your doctor to show you the door
Bad-mouthing the doctor
Maybe you’re frustrated about the wait. Or perhaps you’re having a bad day. But going off on a rant about your doctor is in poor taste. It puts everyone around you in the awkward position of being forced to agree with you. And if you’re doctor overhears you trash-talking them, they may decide that you need to leave.
Next: From trashing the doctor, to trying to be the doctor
Giving unnecessary advice to fellow patients
Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with striking up a conversation with a fellow patient. However, small talk crosses a line when you start asking what the other person’s ailments are and then trying to diagnose them. There’s a reason this person is there to see an actual doctor, and not get medical advice from you. Long story short, it’s not up to you to give strangers advice.
Next: If you don’t want to make a scene, you shouldn’t be …
Speaking loudly about your bill
Having a discrepancy when it comes to your medical bill happens to the best of us. But there’s no reason to shout at the top of your lungs when you have a question or issue with what you should be paying. Like with your medical diagnoses, what you pay isn’t something that other patients need to know. And starting a fight over it is only going to upset the receptionist — who may not have any control over what you are being billed.
Next: Something you will definitely be judged on
This doesn’t just apply to going to see the doctor. This applies to just about every public setting there is. Showing up to a doctor’s appointment unwashed and unkempt will draw judgement from other patients, the office staff, and possibly from your doctor as well. Unless you are going to an appointment that specifies that you shouldn’t shower — like washing before an OB-GYN appointment, or wearing deodorant before a mammogram — you’re better off showering.
Next: Another major no-no …
Eating in the middle of the waiting room
Heck, sometimes you’re trying to squeeze in an appointment during your lunch break and don’t have enough time to eat. That being said, the doctor’s office is not a restaurant. Shoveling food in your face, especially in a crowded waiting room, is frowned upon. (And it’s even worse if you eat something pungent and try to throw it out in the middle of the office.)
Next: When it comes to controlling someone else’s behavior …
Letting your children run wild
Having to keep young children well-behaved in a waiting room can be very difficult. And it isn’t always easy finding a line between being a disciplinarian and letting kids be kids. That being said, letting children run wild in a doctor’s office is disruptive to everyone around, and judgement for their behavior can point back at you if you aren’t at least apologetic.
Next: From being too lax, to trying to do too much
Trying to scold someone else’s children
Let’s say it’s someone else’s children who are running a muck in the middle of the waiting room. That isn’t a cue for you to step in and be a parent on their behalf. The other patient is less likely to see you as being helpful and more likely to think that you’re being a know-it-all.
Next: A surefire way to tick off other patients
Interrupting someone’s conversation
This is especially bad if you interrupt another patient while they’re trying to talk to the doctor. It gives the impression that you don’t value the doctor’s time with anyone but yourself, and can create animosity between you and other patients.
Next: Last, but not least …
Leaving a mess in the waiting room
OK, so you had to wait a long time to see the doctor and ended up reading three tabloid magazines and checking out a couple medical flyers. That doesn’t mean you can treat the waiting room like the food court at the mall and leave the waiting room a mess for someone else to clean up. (This also applies to if you have children that played with toys that are left out.) If you leave a mess in your wake, there won’t be a single person in that doctor’s office that won’t be judging you.
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