What Happens if You Miss a Dermatology Appointment?
Last updated: October 2021
Life happens and plans change, and sometimes that means having to cancel a dermatology appointment. Fortunately, missing a dermatology appointment is not the end of the world. More often than not it’s a very easy thing to reschedule, but every practice is different. Here are some tips that may help you get that appointment rescheduled sooner than later.
Get it rescheduled in advance, not after
As soon as you know you won’t be able to make your appointment, start working on getting it rescheduled. Canceling and rescheduling an appointment in advance is a much better, and polite, approach than simply not showing up. The earlier you are able to cancel and reschedule an appointment, the earlier you’ll be able to see your doctor. Plus, this allows your doctor to book another patient in your canceled time slot. This helps both the doctor and other patients. So rescheduling early is not only helpful, but it’s just the right thing to do.
Ideally, your regular dermatologist will have availability in the near future, making a rescheduled appointment very easy. However, it’s possible they are booked months out and may not have any immediate availability to see you. If this is the case, try to be flexible. Ask about other doctors in the practice that might be available sooner; you can always return to your regular dermatologist for future visits. Getting in and seeing any doctor is generally better than skipping your appointment altogether, especially if you have any skin concerns. However, I’d recommend you keep it within the same practice if possible. That way, any notes the doctor takes or recommendations they have can easily be made available to your regular dermatologist for future visits.
Many practices now have online booking systems, making it easy to check for availability and book appointments online. However, if the online portal doesn’t show any availability for your doctor don’t quit just yet. Pick up the phone and give them a call. Technology is great, but sometimes speaking to someone directly can really help. The online booking system may not be current and it’s possible your doctor can still work you in.
Pick up the phone
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve checked online to see no availability, but when I call the office they are able to get me an appointment immediately. Don’t be afraid to give them a call. It will also give you the opportunity to ask questions, see what other doctors might be available, or possibly join a waitlist to get a call if they have other cancellations and become available for you.
Message your doctor directly
Whether it’s via email or through an online messaging system, try sending your doctor a message. Be as detailed as possible. If you are asking about rescheduling, make sure you let them know your availability so they can immediately re-book you without having to wait for a response. And if you have any concerns, make sure to mention them. If it’s something your doctor feels should get addressed ASAP, they will tell you so and can let you know how to proceed.
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