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I hear all sorts of 'horror' stories about people having to wait a long time to get an appointment with their doctor.  Usually those stories are about seeing a specialist, and the waits are not because of any insurance issues, but because the specialist has so many patients there's simply a long waiting list to get in.

When I had to make an appointment to see a pain specialist, they needed about two weeks to fit me in.  The physical therapist needed a month.

I just called my primary care physician to make a non-urgent appointment.  He can see me tomorrow.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
tetsutora
Sep. 22nd, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
hahah. figures =)
toob
Sep. 22nd, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
My PCP usually can't fit me in for about 2 weeks.

Just because it hasn't happened to you, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen to others.
wolffit
Sep. 22nd, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
I'm well aware of that.

I've had doctors, dentists, etc. who make appointments months in advance. Generally that tells me I should be picking a different doctor.
toob
Sep. 22nd, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
A lot of it depends on location and hospital policy.

For example, doctors tend to be a great deal more available in hospitals that pay a flat salary -- if they're not making money per visit, they're a lot less likely to order tests that are unnecessary, or bring people back for repeat visits when an email or phone call would suffice.

Edited at 2009-09-22 10:07 pm (UTC)
wolffit
Sep. 22nd, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
I would suggest that if your primary care physician works in a hospital, you might want to look for a new one. In my experience, the better (more thorough, easier to get appointments with, more interested in you as a person / patient rather than you as a job) ones work in private practice.

Regarding location, you're absolutely correct. Actually my ER experiences in Virginia are worse than my ER experience in California.
toob
Sep. 22nd, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
Who on earth can afford a private practice physician these days?

Besides, I really love my doctor.

Edited at 2009-09-22 11:12 pm (UTC)
wolffit
Sep. 23rd, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
Umm. They're no more expensive than hospital physicians. If anything, they might be cheaper.
toob
Sep. 23rd, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
I don't have insurance that will cover that.
deusexbestia
Sep. 22nd, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
I had to see a specialist for my shoulder. He spent like, 10 seconds in the room with me, took me a month to get that appointment.
wolffit
Sep. 22nd, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah my pain specialist didn't spend much time either. Actually, when I was there for my first appointment, he didn't see me until an hour after the scheduled appointment time.
deusexbestia
Sep. 22nd, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
I had that problem one day too.

Spent an hour and a half in the waiting room.
rover_t_mutt
Sep. 25th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
I agree with the fact that it takes a while to see a specialist. They are far fewer than a general practitioner. I had a skin issue I went in to have looked at about a month ago. I just walk into a clinic and wait a little while to see a doctor. Then I had to have an appointment set up to see another doctor at the clinic with more knowledge on skin issues about a week later. That doctor says it could be melanoma but a skin specialist would need to see it to confirm. An appointment was set up about a month later to see this doctor up in Woodbridge.

When the time came, I came in and sat down in an examination room. I see the doctor while I'm waiting rapidly walking from one examination room to another seeing patients. He was in a jolly mood all the while, which seemed to be all the time. He finally came to my room and I told him he looked very busy. He said that he was behind schedule. Nonetheless, he looked at the skin issue and with a gasp asked me questions about it. And he took the time to deal it and have it tested. Fortunately it was not melanoma.

Anyway, I can tell that the specialist had a lot of patients. So yes, I can understand the wait time. This has more to do with a limited number of physicians to patients than any break down of the health care system. In my opinion.

-Mr. Mutt
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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Galen Wolffit

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