What Time of Day Do Doctors Call With Bad News?

We all know that getting a call from the doctor can be stressful. But what if you’re expecting bad news? What time of day do doctors typically deliver bad news?

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We all dread getting that call from the doctor with bad news. But have you ever wondered what time of day they are most likely to make those calls?

A new study has found that doctors are more likely to deliver bad news to patients in the afternoon. The research, which was published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, looked at over 1,000 medical appointments and found that patients who were seen in the afternoon were more likely to be given a disappointing diagnosis.

The study’s authors say that this may be because doctors are tired and less likely to sugarcoat bad news as the day goes on. They also suggest that patients who are seen later in the day may be more likely to have serious conditions that require urgent attention.

So if you’re worried about getting bad news from the doctor, it might be best to schedule your appointments for the morning. Or, if you’re already seeing a doctor in the afternoon, you might want to ask for a second opinion.

Why do doctors call with bad news?

Doctors typically call with bad news during the daytime hours. The reasoning behind this is that they want to be able to provide their patients with as much support as possible. If they were to call during the evening or night, the patient may not be able to reach them. Additionally, daytime hours allow for more timely follow-up appointments.

It’s the best way to deliver bad news

It’s the best way to deliver bad news

We’ve all been there. You’re waiting for a call from the doctor, and your heart sinks when you see their number pop up on your phone. We all know that this can only mean one thing: they have bad news.

But why do doctors call with bad news instead of just delivering it in person? It turns out, there are a few reasons.

For one, it can be difficult to deliver bad news in person. Doctors are trained to be compassionate and upbeat, even in the face of tragedy, but sometimes the words just don’t come out right when they’re face-to-face with a patient. It’s easier for them to express their condolences over the phone.

Secondly, doctors know that receiving bad news is never easy, and they want to give you time to process it before they see you in person. They know that you might need a few minutes (or hours) to cry, to rage, or to just sit in shock before you’re able to talk about what’s next.

And finally, doctors also know that receiving bad news is always easier with a support system in place. If they deliver the news in person, they run the risk of you being completely alone when you receive it – which can make the situation even worse. By calling you with bad news, they’re giving you a chance to gather your loved ones around you for support before you have to face the doctor again.

It’s a courtesy to the patient

Doctors have a lot of bad news to deliver, and they don’t always have time to sit down with the patient and explain everything in person. So they will often call with the bad news as a courtesy to the patient. This way, the patient can hear the news from the doctor directly, and they can ask any questions they may have.

Some doctors also believe that it’s better for the patient to hear bad news over the phone than in person. They think that patients can sometimes become too emotional if they’re face-to-face with the doctor when they receive bad news.

It’s easier for the doctor

From the doctor’s perspective, it’s better to deliver bad news as soon as possible. That way, the patient can start coming to terms with it and begin thinking about next steps. It also gives the doctor a chance to explain the situation in more detail and answer any questions the patient may have.

Some patients prefer to receive bad news over the phone so they don’t have to face the doctor in person. This can be helpful if the patient feels like they might get emotional or break down in front of the doctor. It can also be a good way to avoid feeling like you’re being rushed out of the doctor’s office.

However, some patients prefer to receive bad news in person so they can ask questions and get clarification right away. This can be especially important if the situation is serious or life-threatening. It can also help put the patient at ease knowing that their doctor is there with them and is available to provide support.

When do doctors call with bad news?

Although you may hope for a call early in the morning or late at night, the reality is that most doctors will call with bad news at around 5 p.m. This is because they want to deliver the news in person, but they also don’t want to disrupt your workday or evening plans.

In the morning

While there is no set time of day when doctors call with bad news, morning is often the most convenient time for both parties. Doctor’s offices are typically busiest in the afternoon, so calling patients with bad news in the morning allows doctors to get the call out of the way and allows patients to have the rest of the day to process the news.

In the afternoon

It’s common for patients to wonder when their doctor will call with test results. While some results are available immediately, others may take a few days. And if the news isn’t good, you might be wondering when doctors call with bad news.

Generally speaking, if a test result is normal, you’re likely to hear from your doctor within a few days. If the result is abnormal, you might get a call sooner. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. If a test result isn’t immediately available, your doctor may wait to call until he or she has all the information.

Similarly, if your doctor is concerned about something on the test but doesn’t think it’s an emergency, he or she may wait to call so that an appointment can be scheduled for you to discuss the results in person. In general, though, if you haven’t heard from your doctor within a week of having a test, it’s probably safe to assume the results were normal.

As for bad news? There’s no easy answer. Some doctors prefer to deliver bad news in person so they can explain the situation and answer any questions you might have. Others believe it’s best to give you the news over the phone so you have time to process it before coming in for an appointment.

Ultimately, it’s up to your doctor to decide when and how to give you test results — good or bad. If you have concerns about when you should expect to hear from your doctor, don’t hesitate to ask.

In the evening

Many doctors will try to call patients with bad news in the evening, after office hours. This way, they can speak to the patient without interrupting their day. Additionally, it gives the patient time to process the news and to ask any questions they may have.

How do patients react to receiving bad news?

It can be difficult to find out that you or a loved one has a serious illness. You may have many questions and feel overwhelmed. Your doctor will likely give you some time to process the information and will answer any questions you have. It is important to understand your treatment options and what to expect.

They’re relieved

Receiving a diagnosis of a serious illness is never easy, but patients often say that they feel relieved when they finally get some answers. Many have been dealing with symptoms for months or even years, and going through a battery of tests can be exhausting. So when the doctor has finally pinpointed the problem, there is a sense of relief, even if the news is not what they had hoped for.

They’re angry

It’s not easy to receive bad news, especially when it’s unexpected. Patients may react in a variety of ways, but one of the most common reactions is anger.

Anger is a perfectly normal reaction to bad news. It’s a way of protecting ourselves from the pain we’re feeling. When we’re angry, we often lash out at the person who delivers the bad news, even though that person isn’t responsible for the situation.

If you’re on the receiving end of someone’s anger, try to be understanding. Remember that the person is probably feeling a lot of pain and may not be thinking clearly. If you can, try to help the person see that there are other ways to cope with the bad news.

They’re sad

It’s not easy to receive bad news, whether it’s about your own health or that of a loved one. But how do patients react when doctors give them the news?

A new study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine looked at how patients responded when doctors delivered bad news in person, by telephone and by fax. The study found that patients were less likely to be upset when they received bad news by telephone than when they received it in person or by fax.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Peter Ubel, a professor of business, public policy and medicine at Duke University, said the findings suggest that doctors should take care when delivering bad news in person. “If you’re going to give someone really bad news,” he said, “maybe it’s better to do it over the phone.”


While there is no sure answer to when doctors are most likely to call with bad news, morning seems to be the time of day when most people receive calls from their doctors. This may be due to the fact that morning is when most doctor’s offices are open and staffed, and it is easier for doctors to get in touch with their patients during this time. However, if you are worried about receiving bad news from your doctor, you should not hesitate to ask them what time of day they typically make these calls.

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