Dr. Goldman's skill = A, Dr. Goldman/some office staff's demeanor = D.
Let me begin the review by stating that Dr. Goldman's skills as an oral surgeon were top notch.
My young daughter (almost 11) needed a frenulectomy and to have two baby teeth pulled.
In between making the appointment and the actual day of the appointment, the teeth fell out on their own. I called several days ahead and let the office staff know that the double-extraction was unnecessary.
When we arrived, it appeared that the staff did not make note of this fact in her chart, and we had to remind several staff members (including Dr. Goldman) that she did not need the teeth pulled.
While typical in today's society, I still find the 30-40 minute wait for dentists/doctors frustrating, but tolerable as long as the care is excellent.
The first staff member that saw my daughter was very kind, and once he realized that my daughter was quite scared, he attempted to calm her.
A few minutes later, Dr. Goldman came in along with a third staff member, and asked that I leave the room. I suggested that my daughter would be more at ease with me in the room, which was met with a somewhat stern "YOU CAN'T TALK!" which I agreed to.
My daughter was still very scared, and was crying quite profusely at the prospect of a needle full of anesthetic and the laser to follow.
Admittedly, she is not the "model" patient and was a challenge, but she was not thrashing about or screaming, just crying and saying "no, no, no."
The first time, Dr. Goldman spoke with her, he was calm, and mentioned that he had a quiet voice, and asked her to quiet down.
She was still scared, and was still crying, when in our opinion, Dr. Goldman's bedside manner went out the window - he raised his voice, telling her she couldn't say "no" and frankly, scared her more.
The other two staff members did a great job of trying to keep her calm (I whispered some things to the female staff member to ask her about - favorite singer, etc) and that seemed to take the situation down a few notches.
I really wish that Dr. Goldman had been better able to control his obvious frustration with the situation (again, my daughter is not the calmest, most model patient, but I can't imagine she was the worst either!) and remain calm, as his demeanor did little to calm her down, and in fact seemed to make her more nervous.
Following the quick procedure, we were of to the billing window, where we were asked to pay an unexpectedly high amount.
I handed my credit card over, and mentioned that it might be good customer service to let patients know in advance if there will/could be charges above and beyond the expected co-pay or deductible.
The staff member's clipped response was "we tell patients if they ask..."
Maybe we caught Dr. Goldman and some staff on a bad day, and while his surgical skills were solid, I can't say that I'd recommend Dr. Goldman to patients who are apprehensive about seeing a dentist/doctor/surgeon.
by Ben Gross
February 03, 2014