Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How to talk on the phone while watching a tennis match and not piss people off!

Solo practitoners face challenges that are unique to our breed. Coverage is always an issue and we must continuously balance self-time with availability.

Yesterday I spent the day at The US Open watching tennis. My office remained open and staffed and the phones, as always, went answered. My staff are non-medical types and will never answer medical questions. They simply take messages, prepare e-scripts for me to finalize, schedule patients, and track down claims. When doctors or patients need to speak with me, my staff knows to contact me immediately. But when I am court side at the US Open, cell phone etiquette often makes doctoring problematic.

Here's how I did it:
  • Phone set to silent mode
  • Staff sends text messages with pertinent information
  • Blue tooth in ear enables talking on the phone in an inconspicuous manner
  • Text messages back to staff with instructions on how to respond
Easy stuff. When I become the USTA touring urologist (Billie Jean, if you are reading this post, consider it my application for the job), I'll get an i-phone so I can be even more connected, yet more remote.