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How Long Should You Wait To See Your Primary Care Doctor?

Patients waiting to see their doctor.
Waiting room

Based on reports from 2018, 20% of patients have changed doctors because of lengthy wait times to schedule an appointment. A satisfied patient correlates with improved patient compliance, better physician-patient relationship, and overall improved health outcomes.

Based on the Vital's Ninth annual wait time report, patient satisfaction and physician ratings are directly influenced by wait times before appointments.

So are you satisfied with the healthcare you are receiving?

Why have patient wait times increased over 50% in many markets across the United States?

A few theories come to mind.

  1. The majority of physicians in the United States are now salaried and working for large health systems.

  2. There may be fewer physicians functioning as true PCPs (Primary Care Physicians)

  3. Physician practices and appointments may not be managed optimally

  4. Large health systems may be decreasing the number of PCPs in hospitals within a market because of slim profit margins for their efforts.

  5. Continuity of care is less important than accessibility.

Now there are many more reasons that can be listed, but for the sake of this article, we will focus on why it is important to seek a Primary Care Physician, preferably from a private practice.

Employee vs Private Practice Physicians

I wanted to highlight this topic because I have seen both sides of the coin. Large health care systems function as businesses, with the end product being profitability.

The goal of these organizations are to cut their expenses to increase profit margin. The first to go is often the most expensive employees (the Doctor), and replaced with cheaper labor, or perhaps less experienced replacements.

Guess who often gets left behind?

The Patient.

There are many perks to patients when they join a large healthcare system to seek medical care. They have access to technology, subspecialties, and accessibility to more practice locations, but at the expense of frequent physician turnover, less continuity of care, less physician driven care, and higher wait times to seek THEIR primary care physician.

When physicians join large health care systems, they are often driven by metrics, and are squeezed for time. They often leave practicing traditional medicine and focus on one particular aspect within the system. For example, most primary care physicians, tend to stay in the clinic, and NOT follow their patients while admitted in the hospital or rehabs.

This is where private practice differs.

Yes, most physicians, who opt to go into healthcare entrepreneurship care about paying the bills. The practice has expenses that need to be met, but often at a much smaller scale than the large conglomerate systems.

How does a smaller practice benefit a patient?

At Florida Advanced Medicine, you get Dr. Rizvi. If you need an office visit, you get Dr. Rizvi. If you get sick and require hospitalization, you get Dr. Rizvi. If that sickness leads to weakness requiring rehab? Yep, you guessed it, you get Dr. Rizvi.

As a solo primary care physician, my patients are my family. I follow them throughout their healthcare journey. I advocate for them when they are sick, and I am their biggest cheerleader as they progress throughout their lives.

If it's convenience you seek, and prefer telehealth visits because of a busy schedule, then we offer those services as well, often at times best for our patients.

The new year has begun, we all have goals that we are trying to reach. Instead of waiting weeks to see your provider, why not schedule an appointment MUCH sooner and lets tackle healthcare together.

We are now accepting Telehealth appointments at Florida Advanced Medicine. Our brand new office will start seeing patients in person mid-January.

Call us at 833-377-4984, Your doctor will answer your call.


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