Thursday, September 27, 2007

TIME STOPS AT MESSINA - 2

I went to the doctor this morning to get some repeat prescriptions. I do like the notice you see as you enter the waiting room, asking you politely to munirsi - literally "arm yourself" - with a numbered disc. Of course, everyone ignores the instruction, even if the room is full: they simply ask "Chi è l'ultimo?" [= " Who's the last one?"]. I have a theory that the comune doesn't bother to put up notices or signs when bus routes are changed because they know full well that nobody would look at them, for a similar psychological reason: why take an official-looking disc or read a notice when you can be sociable and ask someone? Thus the Italians will always be a sociable nation whilst the British will always be reserved. Now, if you enter a doctor's waiting room and you are the only one there, you would not expect to have a long wait, would you? Wrong! I could hear that a lady was in the consulting room having a good chat so I got my book out and patiently waited 40 minutes or so. When it was my turn the prescriptions were printed within a few seconds but then my nice doctor started to talk about his summer holidays. "There's no one out there, is there?" he asked. I said that a man and a couple with a baby had just arrived, at which he made the pazienza gesture, said, "Oh, well, ...", set up his laptop and proceeded to give me a 30 minute slide show of his holiday in Greece! This kind of interaction is pleasant, it helps your relationship with your GP, you feel like a person, not a statistic and you leave feeling better! Isn't that what a visit to the doctor should be about?

13 comments:

PinkAcorn said...

Boy, that sure wouldn't fly in California, although it would be nice. Since I work with most of the MD's we talk socially about 5 minutes max and then he's out the door to the next patient.
Maybe because they need to pay for their increases in malpractice insurance, workmans comp for employees and medicare/welfare doesn't come close to paying for the actual costs. The office I go to has three MD's and eight or more office workers...

Ellee Seymour said...

We don't have a ticket system at our local doctors. We can either make appointments at the main surgery in the next village, or if we go to the one opened for one hour a day in my village, we just sit and wait our turn while the receptionist makes a note of the order of arrival before calling out who is next.

And yes, if you like your doctor, it would be fun to see their holiday slides. They could be dull if the doctor is a bore.

Where in Greece did he go?

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Wasn't Messina the capital of Sicily.

I believe the Straits of Messina were the ancient Scylla and Charybdis.

Liz said...

How lovely to have an unhurried doctor! The house we live in was built for a doctor who had his surgery in what is now my study. I remember when I was little and we had Dr Fred and then his son, Dr Peter, who held surgery in their home and you just turned up and waited and were seen.

These days I am convinced that when I am waiting to see the doctor, everyone else is in with him for ages, but when my turn comes, I'm in and out in a flash. But maybe that's a good thing, meaning I'm not seriously ill!

jmb said...

Nice visit indeed Welshcakes. Wouldn't fly here however. The doctor (GP)has to book every ten minutes to make any kind of a living, unless it's for a check-up and then you book longer but have to wait a couple of weeks for an appointment. Even though I have known my GP for more than 20 years and knew him at the hospital as well, we have never had a personal conversation. Always very clinical discussions, so I guess that's who he sees when I come in, the pharmacist.
Always have your book as I do here too, because they are seldom on time.
regards
jmb

Lee said...

I think that kind of attitude is wonderful...sure would put you at ease with your doctor. Gone are the days of the good old friendly medico, sadly. Although, I must admit the doctors up here on the mountain are pretty laid-back.

Lord Higham- Murray said...

...This kind of interaction is pleasant, it helps your relationship with your GP...

Yes but does it solve the thng you went there for?

Good luck on the trip and we'll destroy your blog for you - no, no, I got that wrong - we'll look after it for you. Yes, that's what I was trying to say.

Winchester whisperer said...

Only in Italy...

Sharon said...

I love the picture I have in my mind of all this. How many folks actually take a book to read when visiting the doctor? Well, I do and I get lots of stares. It really is a social place when it is filled with folks. I like the whole post!
Sharon

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Now 2 North Americans have used the expression "That wouldn't fly! which I've never heard vefore in this context. See how much you learn by blogging? Very interesting to know how it is over there, pink. Hi, Ellee. That sounds a good system. My dr is an interesting man, so it's OK. He went to Athens. Ciao, Crushed. Messina has been important to all Sicily's conquerors and was the 1st city to fall to the Normans. Yes, Charybdis. Hi, Liz. Yes, a change from UK surgeries these days! I have to say my UK docs were wonderful - it's just that the health service is overwhelmed. Yes, it's probably a good sign that you're out quickly! Jmb, fascinating to know what it's like where you are, too. 5 mins is often what you get in the UK. Always got my book! Hi, Lee. Yes, it's so nice.. Buona sera your lordship. Actually I've found my Ital dr to be a wonderful diagnostician. You scared me for a moment there! WW, that sums it up! Thanks, Sharon. I never go anywhere without reading matter - especially in Sicily!

marymaryquitecontrary said...

Two of my children are doctors; one in a hospital and the other is a partner in a General P. I know they both would like more time to spend with their patients. While on a visit to my son we were out shopping together when a stranger rush over to tell me what a wonderful doctor he was. I did feel proud.

Gledwood said...

How very odd!
In this country did you hear how they retwiddled the NHS contracts for both GPs and dentists...
Now doctors make over £100k a year and the government expresses surprise that dentists are keener to do a cheaper shorter job than a longer more involved one as the new contract says they get paid the same anyhow!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, MM. You must, indeed, be proud of them. Ciao, Gleds. I hadn't heard about that - will look on news sites tomorrow.

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