I can see where you would be upset. It's frustrating when you feel like someone is "gatekeeping" a little too enthusiastically
. I frequently arrange appts for our patients. Our scheduling software actually budgets a certain amount of time based on the general nature of the problem (to hopefully avoid backups.) If the patient has multiple concerns, then we again allot more time for that. So when I inquire about the problem, it's for that reason, as well as to see if the doctor can assist without needing to see the patient (uncomplicated prescription refills and the like.) I agree that the receptionist shouldn't be offering nursing or medical advice.
We do also offer an option "unspecified" so if the problem is not on our list, or the patient simply doesn't want to say, then they can.
As nurses, we don't typically spend any more time at the doctor's office than we absolutely have to, so I know when you do finally break down and go you just want the appointment without the inquisition lol.