The Wait

I was sitting waiting wishing . . .

– Jack Johnson

I have tried to be patient, which isn’t the easiest thing for me. I have resolved myself to the fact that the fertility clinic’s waitlist is 4-6 months. It sucks, but what can I do?! I had heard stories before of the clinic not receiving the referral or there being an error with the phone number on their end, so they may call for an appointment unbeknownst to you. So to assuage my fears of that, I called the fertility clinic to see if they received my referral. The receptionist said she didn’t have me on file, but it could take a couple weeks for the doctors at the clinic to review it and decide my spot on the waitlist. She said to try back the middle of the next week. Instead I decided to call my doctor’s office first, just to make sure that the referral was sent. I had this fear that my doctor would get too busy and forget all about me. So, I called my doctor’s office and that receptionist told me that my referral was pending. I wasn’t sure whether she meant pending on their end or over at the fertility clinic, so I asked. She said that it was pending on their end. Apparently there is one referral clerk (I had assumed doctors quickly submitted the referral themselves) for the 25 doctors and 1000+ patients at that practice. I asked about timeline and the receptionist (who I think was getting impatient herself) said that it all depends on the urgency of the issue and where the referral is being sent. I felt really deflated. I assume that the fertility issues of a woman in her 20s with normal blood results who hasn’t yet been TTC for a year don’t rank very high up on the urgency scale. My one saving grace might be that the waitlist at the fertility clinic seems quite long (but not as long as for some other specialists I suppose), so maybe that will mean they should speed up the referral.

I saw my doctor on July 19th. By the time I get back from vacation, it will have been almost a month. So I have decided that once I am back in town, I will call my doctor’s office again and inquire about the status of my referral. If it’s still pending, I will bring up how it’s already been almost a month and even once the clinic receives the referral, it will be another 4-6 months and I’d like a sense of how much longer I can expect it to take. I’m not a very assertive person and in fact I usually make sure others’ needs are met before my own, but in this instance I feel justified in being a bit more demanding in my questions.


3 thoughts on “The Wait

  1. Hell yeah that’s justified! What total and utter BS that it can take that long to submit a referral.

  2. I understand that doctors are very busy and in some places there’s a real shortage so they are overworked (my parents are both doctors), but I was surpised that there’s a referral clerk (and one at that) for all the doctors. I try to be understanding and look at it from the other side, but in this situation that is very difficult!

    It may have something to do with the Canadian health care system too. I LOVE our free health care and I would never want it any other way. I think everyone should have access to quality health care. But, if you don’t have to pay for your doctor’s appointments, you’re probably much more likely to request referrals to specialists, thereby overwhelming some cases loads. For instance, I asked for a referral to an allergist awhile back because I believe I have a shellfish allergy. I could have just continued to avoid shellfish but because it was simple enough to request a referral to get tested so I could be sure, I did.

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