What is Your Time Worth When at the Doctor’s Office?

by Dr Eric Drake

Recent studies show the average American waits 24 days for an appointment to see their doctor. Then after they check in, they average 19 minutes in the waiting room. These averages can vary depending on a number of factors, but many of us have had similar experiences when going to the doctor. We check in, fill out paperwork, take a seat, and wait. Eventually, we’re taken back for testing or moved to an exam room where we continue waiting. Finally, the doctor arrives, reviews test results, conducts the exam, describes treatment(s) needed, and is quickly out again to see other patients, leaving us with unanswered questions and feeling like our time was not valued. Sound familiar?

Now, in the doctor’s defense, most have to run from room to room and book patients closely together for a number of reasons (e.g. avoid gaps due to no-shows, backed up from an emergency patient, maximize low reimbursements by insurances, heavy demands to be seen, complicated cases taking longer than expected, etc.). It’s a vicious cycle. Luckily, there are some doctors’ offices that do things a little different. Usually, it means limiting accepted insurances so they can give patients more quality time in the exam and to answer all the patient’s questions.

I believe this is how medicine should be done, more time with the doctor. More time being tested and moved through the process than sitting around reading magazines. While we, the doctors, always try our best, we aren’t perfect. I wish more medical offices could practice patient first medicine than letting insurances dictate what they can do, but it’s not always the case. How do you find quality offices like this? Using friends and neighbors to find these offices are usually the best method.

Our goal at SouthWest Vision is to create a different experience with less waiting and more face-to-face doctor time. If you are new to the area or are looking for a new eye care experience then give us a call at SouthWest Vision, 435-673-5577. See us online at www.SouthWestVision.com.