STOP With the Excuses Already!

doctorThe gynecologist (whom I have seen four previous times since my other doctor retired) walked into the examining room. He looked at his computer and after a moment said, "What is your name again?"

Huh? What is my NAME? We are about to get up close and personal and you don't know my NAME?  The conversation went downhill from there.

Me: "Linda Larsen." 
Doc: (while still looking at his screen) " Okay and let's see here. Fibroids, right?" 
Me: "Um. Yes, thirty years ago."
Doc: "Oh yes. And here it says you had a hysterectomy in 1988. You still have your ovaries."
Me: "No. They're gone."
Doc: "Oh right. Let me just update that. And what medications are you taking now?"
Me: "I gave that information to you last time I was here. Do you need it again?"
Doc: "Oh no, it's in here somewhere. See the system is new and we don't have the exact information from your previous doctor in here. My computer is also very slow."
Me: "When I first saw you a year ago, you indicated that you were uploading all that info from him at that time. Are you still in the process of that?"
Doc: "Well, it's a long process…the transcribers can't always read his writing…the technology is new…some of the girls in the office get confused. blah blah blah blah."
Me: "Can you understand why I am feeling a lack of confidence right now?"

The doctor proceeded to give me another LONG list of who was to blame for all this.  And somewhere in his list of excuses, I checked out. I started making a list in my head of the people I would call to give me a recommendation for another doctor.

What could he have done differently? First of all, he could have read my chart BEFORE he walked in the room to see what my flippin' name is! Secondly, he could have also reviewed my records before he walked in the room. And third, he could have STARTED the entire conversation with me in the following way:

"Hi Ms. Larsen. How are you feeling today? (Wait for actual answer). Before we begin, I want to tell you that we are still in this process of uploading information from your previous doctor's records about you. It's been an absurdly slow process and I apologize in advance if I have to ask you for information that you've already given us. I know it's very frustrating when you feel like we should already know what we are asking you for. I really am sorry for this inconvenience, but I want to make sure every single thing in your chart is accurate so we can give you the best care possible."

Ahhhh. I smile just imagining such great patient care in action. And yes, I did actually give him the above script. Word for word. I told him that if he had communicated this to me immediately upon entering the office, my confidence never would have wavered.  And guess what he did? He made some more excuses.

Motivational speakers on customer service are not very good at keeping their little mouths shut.

Gotta run. Must go find another gynecologist! 




Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. As a motivational speaker you must feel very good about inspiring so many people with messages like this one.  Your messages are funny, comical and also have great content. I left one doctor because the office just did not seem to care about me.  But my new doctor is great.

  2. You are so right Ms. Linda!!!! You'd better know my name before you ask me to scoot down! 

  3. Beautiful said, and I'm thrilled you gave him the script. Perhaps next time he'll listen, rather than make more excuses. Keep speaking your truth!

  4. What a beautiful world it would be if your script were passed into the hands of all the folks we trust with our bodies and minds!!!  And the beautiful thing you point out is, that it is SO EASY to make a drastic improvment in customer service.  For your (former) doctor's other patients, I hope he subscribes to your blog!  

  5. I hope he doesn't use the line, "I'm not good with names but I always remember a 'face' ". Teehee

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