BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — We reported last week how one area doctor — Jonathan Wideroff — apparently decided the best way to make up for running late was to cancel the appointments of patients waiting eight weeks to see him, offering at least one patient an appointment four to five weeks later or the option to see other doctors in other practices altogether.
Our reporting generated reader email — ranging from those who believe Wideroff’s actions were abhorrent, to those who say he has the healing touch of Jesus and, just like Jesus, it’s okay that he keeps people waiting.
Thirteen weeks may be shorter than, well, eternity, but it’s still a long time to wait to see a mortal being.
While emergencies certainly happen, canceling appointments without apology and adding five weeks to an eight week wait because, according to a staffer, “the doctor only wants to work a few days a week” is unacceptable. Patients are customers. That’s just bad customer service. In most professions, a backlog of work yields longer hours for the worker. For doctors like Jonathan Wideroff, a backlog apparently means just canceling appointments so that a few-day-a-week work week can continue.
To be clear: When Wideroff does work, he is apparently great at what he does. But if he doesn’t want to work, he shouldn’t accept appointments. Making appointments only to cancel them for extra vacation time is just wrong.
We hear stories like this about doctors all over Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton. Doctors who, while good — and potentially excellent , have lost sight of one simple fact: an appointment with a doctor is often the focal point of a patient’s day.
From geriatric patients who rely on tightly scheduled medical transit services to arrive on time, to parents of young kids who try to lock in what is at best 15 minutes with a doctor while balancing drop-offs, pick-ups and actually working, a doctor canceling an appointment because he is just over booked displays a special level of self-adoration that is difficult to comprehend.
Sometimes, and perhaps this is Wideroff’s issue, it’s the office staff. Staffers make unilateral decisions that make doctors look bad. If a rogue scheduler and office manager took matters into their own hands without consulting the doc, we’d be thrilled to update this story. So far, we’ve heard nothing from his office, but we have heard from angry patients.
For docs who routinely run late and just don’t care, this is your emergency page. We are calling on our readers to take part in our new feature, “Code Rude.” If your appointment is delayed by more than 45 minutes without a reasonable explanation or alternative, we want to know. Email us at news (at) bocanewsnow.com, or use the form below. We will verify events before publishing.
Emergencies happen. Medical rudeness should not. Let us know what you’ve experienced, and the doctors involved.