New surveys shed light on wait times for different medical practices.
One might assume that expanding health coverage to more people might increase the amount of time we have to wait in an office to see a doctor. Recent data from Vitals shows that wait times in-office have actually decreased.
National Average: 19:16 minutes
*This is a minute shorter than the wait time average in 2014.
Short Wait Times:
Plastic Surgeon: 15:22
Allergy & Immunology Specialist: 15:54
Long Wait Times
Emergency Doctors: 24:41
Pain Management Specialist: 24:52
The Best Cities For Average Wait Times
Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Milwaukee, Omaha
The Worst Cities For Average Wait Times
Memphis, Miami, New York, Las Vegas, El Paso
The Appointment Problem
But these are the wait times once you’re already in the office. How long do people have to wait to get an appointment?
A survey conducted in 2013 of 1,399 medical offices found that on average, patients had to wait 18.5 days to see the doctor, though the results showed enormous variation. In Boston, for example, the survey showed that you had to wait 66 days to see a family doctor, on average. In Los Angeles, patients only had to wait an average of 20 days to see a family practitioner.
For other specialties, wait times varied. The national average wait time to see a:
• Cardiologist: 17 days
• Dermatologist: 29 days
• OB/GYN: 17 days
• Orthopedic Surgeon: 10 days