The Asthma, Allergy & Sinus Clinic
Roberto Di Nicolo, M.D.
353 North Clyde Morris Blvd.  Daytona Beach, Florida 32114    tel. (386) 252-6622
Life is peppered by stereotypes. Here
is a medical tale of some time ago that
might just prove one such stereotype
wrong.

Just like other patients, doctors loathe
waiting at the doctor's office. While
waiting is time consuming, boring and
downright upsetting to all of us, we often
fail to realize that the reasons behind
doctors' delays are almost always
related to the unpredictability of caring
for ill people, and have little to do with
entertainment.  

Once upon a time I was waiting in a
local physician's waiting room. I had
scheduled my appointment at noon,
during my lunch break. I figured that I
had plenty of time to get back to my
office on time, and I did not need to
rearrange my busy afternoon.  The
doctor proved me wrong.  I got there
early, about ten minutes ahead of
schedule, imagining that I would be
received immediately.  

Upon greeting me, the receptionist
warned me that the doctor was running
a little late. While I did not enjoy waiting
at all, I must confess that when I passed
the thirty minutes waiting time (20
minutes after my appointment time), I
was ready to leave.  I wondered if
anyone else was getting impatient but
as I looked around the waiting room, I
noticed that two other people ahead of
me were reading calmly.  I could not
help wondering why the doctor was so
late.  The idea that a fancy lunch with his
wife or even possibly a golf game must
have been the cause of this great delay
started to take shape.  
Was my physician and ex-good friend
playing golf knowing that I had an
appointment to discuss medical matters?
 Was his game so bad or was he so
careless not to remember that I was
waiting and that I had patients of my own
waiting to discuss serious medical
problems?  Were my medical problems
less important than his lunch, or his
putting?  At this point, his nurse kindly
announced that the doctor was running
late due an emergency at the hospital.  
"Sure", I thought: "He is probably jumping
in the shower at the club right now".  A
little later I even thought I heard the cleats
on the tile floor near the back door.

At the 45 minute mark I was ready to ask
for my medical records, so that I could
take them to a more caring physician.  
While I was approaching the window, the
nurse finally called my name.  My
conversation with my doctor was less
than excellent.  We hardly talked about
anything medical.  I was too angry to even
remember why I was there, and he was
too apologetic about the emergency at
the hospital, which I figured never took
place (and I was wrong). Ironically my
waiting in the doctor's lobby created an
interesting chain reaction. The more I
waited for my doctor's appointment, the
longer I kept my own patients waiting at
my office across town.  When I finally got
back to my office, I sneaked in the back
door. I felt a little guilty about being late
but I certainly had a good reason for my
delay.  I was at least 45 minutes late
when I walked in the exam room.  As I
greeted my first patient, jokingly she
asked: "How was your tennis match?"   
Waiting     by Roberto Di Nicolo, MD
 The Asthma, Allergy & Sinus Clinic
  Roberto Di Nicolo, M.D.
Daytona Beach News-Journal circa 1994