Reply To: Wait time in Dr.’s office

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The little I know


You wrote: “Some doctors keep people waiting for no other than to seem busier than they are.” I also believed that. There are certain realities that suggest this is a myth. Firstly, doctor’s offices are seriously understaffed. Secondly, the use of doctor’s for impromptu visits is commonplace. In this era when payments to doctors are significantly decreased, and insurance premiums for malpractice are skyrocketing, the funds to provide more staff are limited. There is newer technology that makes things quicker and easier, which also costs. There are more non-physicians (nurses, PA’s, etc.) providing services today, and this all comes with its disadvantages.

One of the most respected medical journals carried an article many years ago where the suggestion was that the patient send the doctor a bill for the waiting time, which makes sense if that patient works in a field where charge is levied by units of time.

A down side of waiting in doctors offices, aside from the delay factor is the exposure to other sick people and the microbes they carry. This poses potential risk, especially when there are contagious diseases like flu that have been at epidemic levels.