You call your doctor's office and schedule an appointment. How long do you have to wait? When you consider how important timing can be for catching and preventing certain illnesses, a long wait time is especially nerve-wracking. But, that seems to be the most common past time for ailing Americans. In some cities across the U.S., patients have to wait between three to six weeks just to see their primary care doctor.
In an article posted by The Washington Post, we learn that residents of some of the country’s most prominent cities are experiencing prolonged wait times when they try to schedule an appointment with their physician. The study found that out of the 15 cities researched, 12 of them had patient wait times of 14 days or longer. The article's main point is that "the average wait time for a new patient to see a physician in five medical specialties is 18.5 days." This means that someone identified a concern they have about their health and then had to wait more than two weeks to get answers.
The study tracked how long a patient must wait to see a specialist and how long the average person has to wait to see their family physician. Among the list of big cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles, Boston ended up having the longest wait time.
To see a specialist, Boston residents have to wait an average of 45 days. To see their family doctor, the residents have to wait an average of 66 days.
The obvious problem here is that people are waiting a long time to receive medical care, and not all patients have time to wait. Most of these people will hear how long they have to wait for their doctor and they’ll go straight to the emergency room or urgent care so that they can find an immediate solution to their problem. This causes expensive and unnecessary bills for the patient and often their employer.
The successful practices will figure out new ways and approaches to shortening wait times because in the long run, this is not going to be acceptable. The solution exists within one of America's newest and fastest growing form of primary care: direct primary care. If you need sign up with a direct primary care practice than your wait time won’t be much longer than a couple of hours. With 24/7 access to your doctor, you may even be able to avoid a costly ER visit by getting medical care over the phone or with the convenience of same-day or next-day appointment scheduling. Direct primary care practices don't make you wait. Rather, you chose the time that's most convenient for YOU to see your doctor.
Is direct primary care right for you?