The doctor’s office wait time explained…

HopenewcrossarmBy Dr. Hope Mitchell, FLT News Columnist

At Mitchell Dermatology our staff and providers service each patient as an individual, every patient with respect and dignity and each situation as unique. It can seem like an eternity when time ticks by and you have a list of things to do and places to be; yet, others are called into the exam room before you in a busy practice with many providers. From a customer service perspective you may feel frustrated. From a business perspective, we respect everyone’s time and strive for complete customer satisfaction.

A complete history and physical exam is required to give patients an accurate diagnosis. Many times unplanned procedures or biopsies are needed in order to accurately diagnose medical conditions and skin cancers, requiring unplanned delays. Not all procedures needed are timely or go as planned. Furthermore, although many of these procedures could be rescheduled — requiring another visit — our goal is never to inconvenience a patient that way.

Unfortunately, there are times when our providers have to deliver untimely grave news. Our most common patient visit is for a full body skin exam. This is comparable to having a comprehensive physical exam with your primary care physician. We examine your skin, hair and nails from head to toe, talk about the warning signs of skin cancer, educate on sunscreen use and even discuss preventive skin care if desired — in addition to doing medically necessary procedures — to give you the complete evaluation and treatment you not only scheduled for, but also deserve.

Our most difficult job is balancing in-office patient care with patient calls we get during the day — many are returned calls to our office in which we unfortunately deliver news that we have diagnosed a patient with melanoma. This news, when discovered, must be delivered with compassion. It is our goal to thoroughly explain the diagnosis and answer every question patients may have regarding this life-threatening cancer.

Customer service at Mitchell Dermatology goes well beyond the precursory patient/doctor professionalism. When giving untimely news, our perspective on time disappears. We ask our patients to understand, because if one of their family members were addressing issues concerning life and death health news, they, too, would want a little more time to be spent with the provider. In our practice we hope our approach to customer service offers several avenues of being served.

Should you experience a delay in seeing your provider in our office, we ask for your understanding as we practice our thorough, compassionate approach in serving our patients.

Call Mitchell Dermatology at 419-872-HOPE (4673) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hope Mitchell, a Board Certified Dermatologist. Visit the website at, or email