A friend of mine used to be a receptionist for a doctor’s office. When I recently mentioned that I had a doctor’s appointment that conflicted with a work engagement, she urged me to call right away to reschedule. She explained that patients often cancel at the last minute or don’t show up for their appointments at all, which isn’t just rude and inconvenient—it makes things tougher for others who need medical care.
If I know I’ll have trouble making my appointment, I can call and cancel or reschedule it for a more convenient date. That then frees up the doctor’s schedule, allowing him or her to book another patient instead. If I keep the appointment but don’t show up, I’ve shown a lack of respect for the doctor’s time and needlessly delayed another patient.
It’s also important to give yourself enough time so you don’t arrive late. Coming in late has a domino effect, pushing back everyone else’s appointments. It’s really not fair to others.