All Plastic Surgery Patients are Special, but some are more Special than Others

I recently had a very frustrating day of cosmetic plastic surgery.  It wasn’t that the cases were difficult, or that it was too many hours of surgery, it was a patient and her attitude.  Unfortunately, this is not the first time that this has happened.
I do many surgeries in a single day, so only one patient gets to be first.   Not everyone can get here at 6:45 am, and so I always ask patients what their time preference is.  I have learned to beware of the patient who insists on being the first case.  They often think they are entitled to extra privileges.
I am in the OR at 6:30 am, getting ready.  At 7:10, still no patient.  We call, she answers calmly that she is still a distance away.  When asked if she knew she was supposed to be in the office at 6:45, she said she did.  No apology.
We called in the second patient to come early and proceeded after losing over an hour of time.  For that hour, I have to pay anesthesia, 3 in or personnel, and 2 recovery room people.  No one is reimbursing me for that.
My special patient comes in at 8:45, a full 2 hours late.  She is told she must wait.  I call in the third patient, who was on time, and the first patient gets upset that she is going before her, as she got there first.  We explained that her time has passed, that it is unfair to make an on time patient wait because she was late.  She sat there with a frown.  No remorse.
Finally, she went fourth.  I asked what happened, she said she came from Long Island and there was traffic.  I told her my anesthesiologist lived in the same place, and he was there on time.  No apologies.  She had her procedure, recovered, and was discharged.  Five minutes after leaving (she had been in the office for 8 hours) she calls the office and says she lost her prescriptions and needs new ones. She said she could not turn around, and we should call them in to her pharmacy.
Isn’t she special?


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