8. “Don’t expect me to renew a prescription over the phone. There may be a reason why I need to see you again.”
One doctor was blunt, saying, “I don’t get paid to provide telephone service.” Other GPs stressed the importance of a follow-up appointment to make sure a medication is working correctly. “A lot of patients say, ‘I feel fine, I don’t see why I should spend the time and effort to see the doctor just to get a prescription,’” says Jay Danforth, MD. “But it’s not just to renew the prescription. It may just be five minutes to say, ‘Are you feeling okay?’ Or we’ll check your blood pressure if that’s what the problem is. We have to look at patients, how they walk in, the state they’re in and so on. There’s a lot more to an office interview than asking questions and receiving answers. You assess how they’re dressed, how they’re behaving. You do that instinctively. Patients don’t see that.”
What you can do: Make sure you understand how many times you can repeat the medication, and be understanding when your doctor won’t fill a prescription over the phone.