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Waiting for Doctors FOREVER


Senior Member
I had an appointment to see a new primary care doctor on Tuesday. My appointment was at 5:30. I got there a little early because I knew I had to fill out paperwork. By the time the doctor got around to seeing me it was 7:00. He apologized but I was still annoyed. He referred me to a specialist. I called the specialist today to get an appointment and they can't take me until April. What is going on today? Why can't you be seen in a reasonable amount of time?


Senior Member
I agree

It is like 6 months before I can get an appointment to see my GYN doc. It is very irritating. I love it when you call for an appointment for like a sinus infection or the flu and they tell you they can see you in 4 weeks. You know I really hope to be better by then, but thanks anyway. ARGH!


Full Member
Wow--are you guys military dependents???

I'm having deja-vu reading your posts. The Emergency room is always the best---they only see patients who don't have a pulse. Everyone else is left to rot in the waiting room like Beetlejuice.

Another favorite like yours...having to see a regular MD for something YOU KNOW MUST BE SEEN BY A SPECIALIST to get a REFERRAL. That way, you have to take TWO days personal time to get it done.

Can you tell I'm just a little bitter???


Senior Member
I went through that all summer and fall with my doctors. I went to the ER (I got in and out in under an hour at 3AM the morning of July 4th...apparently that is a slow time) and was told to be seen within 4 days. They "squeezed" me in two and a half weeks later. I only got in with my new family doctor because my ob/gyn shares her office, walked me over, and the doctor agreed to take me on. It took me 2 months to get an appointment with an endocrinologist. It's crazy!

Growing up, my family doctor always ran late. We lived 5 minutes from his office, so my mom would call and see how late he was running and adjust our time accordingly. I hated the man, so I wasn't very tolerant. Now, I plan on waiting an hour when I have to see my ob/gyn. I love her, so I am willing to wait.

However, those signs that say "if you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, expect to be rescheduled" really annoy me. If I have to be on time, so should they.


Senior Member
Doctor wait

I went to the doctor last week for strep-throat. I signed in at 8:20 a.m. I didn't get taken to the exam room until 10;45 and I didn't leave the office until after 12:00 p.m. How can it possibly take that long?! And the whole time I am waiting, I'm being sneezed and breathed and coughed and exhaled on and having to touch every germy everything everyone else has touched.

I think sooo many people get government assistance or welfare (or whatever they call it)to pay their medical bills that they go to the doctor for EVERY LITTLE THING! Every time thier child coughs or sneezes or complains of a tummy ache they have them at the doctor. Every time they have a sore muscle or a crick in their neck or a stubbed toe, they go to the doctor. And sice they don't work, they have all day to do nothing but sit in the doctor's office waiting room, watching TV and drinking complimentary coffee.



We have great doctors

We have great doctors. If you're really ill and call before 10 AM they can usually squeeze you in that afternoon. Can usually get a check up within a month. You need to shop around.


Doctor wait time

I love my doctor and trust him completely, and he's been treating me since middle school (MANY years ago!) However, it takes forever and day to see him. I usually wait 45 minutes to an hour when I have an appointment. If I am really sick and need to see someone immediately, I can usually get in with a physician's assistant. I really don't understand why doctors run so far behind. I think mine overbooks himself. Whatever the cause is, it's extremely irritating. It's like they think no one's time is important but theirs.


Drs double and triple book

One reason it takes so long to see a Dr is they are double and triple book. i.e. at 9:00 they may have three patients' appt, at 9:15 they may have three... So if he/she spends an extra amount of time with one of his/hers 9:00 patients everyone down the line will have to wait. Note how many exam rooms a Dr has. My mom's Dr has three and all three are filled at any given time.So she must be triple booking patients.Drs have to have so many patients to make it financially.I have also looked at the sign in sheet-- name and time of appt. And sure enough three people have signed in for a 2:00 appt. I asked the office sec. how many patients the two family practice Drs have.( I was curious) She said 10,000 but only 9,000-8,000 are active. That's 4000+ per Dr. That seemed like a lot to me but may be it's just average today because of the way payments and insurance etc.are.The Dr is very nice and gives mom a lot of personal attention. The place is well run and it really doesn't seem like all that many patients are going through when you are sitting there.I have also seen a TV report that stated Drs have to see thousands of patients because of insurance and reimbursment to make it financially. It's all part of the US medical system. BN


Senior Member

I always have to wait for about 15 minutes to be called back into an exam room and then about another 30-45 minutes to see the doctor. I hate waiting that long! However, have you noticed that many doctors will charge you extra if you're late for your appointment? That's crazy. I might as well show up 45 minutes after my appointment time because otherwise I'm just sitting there staring at the wall. I've gotten to where I bring in papers to grade to pass the time.


Full Member
Sore subject

Wow, I think that's a terrible statement. Growing up, my family HAD to get gvt. medical assistance. My mom was single, raising three kids, and her job did not offer insurance plans at all. And we did not go for every little thing, and in all my time of teaching in a school where 95% of families use the medical card, I've never heard of anyone abusing it either. TV and coffee or not, we only went when we had to, and I think that rings true of most people on the medical card. My mom did work, and did have other things to do. We did have daily human lives, responsibities, and obligations, despite getting "welfare".

If anything, people with the medical card are treated worse than those with insurance. They're often left as the last appointment of the day, or just flat-out refused all together. Seeing a specialist? Ha! Not with the medical card. Hardly any of them take it.

Frustration at the institution of doctors offices is no excuse for small-minded stereotypes. Needing the medical card doesn't mean you're lazy, have nothing else to do, or looking for a handout. People with the card are there for the same reason you are, and are just as frustrated as everyone else.


Senior Member
Maybe we are all responsible

Having worked in the medical field for 18 years I've either experienced issues directly or heard others vent about the situations they dealt with in their own departments. The doctors have nothing to do with the bookings, the front office staff does, and as someone already pointed out they do overbook the doctors. I've been caught up in the long wait times as well. Our medical system is overburdened for many reasons, but a few are really pertinent to this discussion.

Overall the majority of the public goes to the doctor or the emergency room for the sillyiest of reasons. Often times people are in the emergency rooms or urgent care centers for minor aches and pains that can wait until an appointment can be made with their primary care physician. Doctor's offices are overburdened with people who have issues that really cannot be remedied through medical intervention. Take the common cold for example. We have a real issue these days with ineffective antibiotics because they have been overprescribed. People come in with colds, which are caused by viruses. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses, yet people insist on getting medication and many doctors comply simply to get them out of their hair. These people fill up the waiting rooms and prevent others with issues that do require medical attention from receiving timely help.

The other issue that really bogs down the doctors is when someone schedules an appointment for one ailement and then seeks help on other issues at the last moment. Patients call to make an appointment for something like an ear infection. The staff anticipate something like that needs 5 minutes of the doctors time and schedule the appointment accordingly. But as the doctor is wrapping up the examination and ready to go on to the next patient, the person they says, "Hey doc, my elbow hurts when I go like this. It's been bothering me for months can you look at it?" That elbow now extends the appointment time and delays everyone else. Multiply that by 200 patients and you can start to see how this becomes a major issue. People need to list everything they want looked at when they first call for an appointment.

And waiting for appointments for a specialist is the worst. It takes months to get these appointments and when you arrive it's almost guaranteed that you will wait an excrutiatingly long time. Some insurances will not let you see a specialist unless you have been referred by your primary care physician. However, lots of people have an insurance plan that does not require a referral. These are the people who feel the need to bypass a "regular" doctor because they feel they deserve a specialist for that cold they want antibiotics for.


Senior Member

I agree with you Nina. That was a low blow Rubyslippers. Just because some people are poor doesn't necessarily mean they are the ones responsible for the problem of waiting for doctors. Nor does it mean that they don't work. I have seen them treated worse myself by people with this same attitude. Its something isn't it, they we can look down our noses at our poor in our country and then at the same time help people from other ones. These people have done nothing wrong to deserve this treatment. On the other hand, I have a problem with our criminals who are in prisons and jails getting better treatment than our poor. Who by the way, are mostly (poor) children. I volunteer to help out when I can, rather than call them names. It is a very hard life to live as it is. :s)


Senior Member
Why do you think we are called PATIENTS?

Last week my hubby went to his very busy doctor and he was 2 hours behind. Since we live only 1 mile from the clinic, he asked if he could leave and call back in an hour to see how much longer the wait would be and then come back about 20 minutes before the expected time. He was told no, that if he left he would lose his appointment. We love this Dr. but the wait to get in is rediculous.


Senior Member
the wait

I've recently changed doctors for this reason. The last time was the final straw. I got off work early, had someone take my class, raced through traffic, found a parking space, walked quite a ways in the rain, with my sore back (reason for appointment), sat in the waiting room forever. I waited 1 and a half hours. I didn't even need to leave work early then. I was in quite a bit of pain, sitting in an uncomfortable chair with people coughing and unruly kids playing loudly. Hey, again, I didn't need to leave work for this. Then my doctor doesn't even address my wait. Now I don't have to wait hardly at all. I go on base (military) and had 15 minutes at the most. I don't want to go back off base ever again. Plus its right next to my school. I'm spoiled--for now.


Senior Member

I had a friend that sent a bill to the doctor for the wait. He billed at $80 per hour and he received compensation for his wait. If we are late for child care we pay, if we do not show up there is a fee (one I refused to pay). I am also assessing a fee to my Dr for time waisted in waiting. A copy will go to his attourney and mine.


3 hours here

Yep, I was told that I had 3 cavaties and I'd need to schedule 2 appts. to get them all filled. I went to the first appt. and waited 3 hours. When the dentist (a different one than the one who 1st saw me) looked at my x-rays, he said I don't see any cavities and sent me home. I changed dentists and 8yrs later still don't have any cavities.