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Why do doctors run so far behind schedule?

July 3, 2010

While I’ve never had to wait over two hours to see a doctor for a scheduled appointment like Laura, I sympathize with her.  An appointment should mean a scheduled time to see a doctor.

So why do doctors run so far behind?  I can think of a few reasons.  Sometimes doctors “squeeze” patients in who have self-declared emergencies.  This is good if you’re the patient being squeezed in but bad if you’re the appointment bumped to accommodate someone else.

Another reason for long waits in doctors’ offices is the length of other visits.  Some patients take extra long for an appointment. Doctors schedule for an average appointment time.  Even one extra long appointment delays all subsequent appointments.  Imagine if there are multiple extra long appointments.  Sure, the doctor could allow more time for each appointment but this would lead to fewer appointments overall.

If you want the doctor to spend as much time as necessary with you, you have to allow for him to spend as much time as necessary with other patients.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 3, 2010 2:38 pm

    Outside of the cities, the doctor not only sees patients at the clinic, but is also required to cover emergency at the hospital simultaneously. This causes a horrible backlog at the clinic if there’s a major emergency that requires several doctors at the same time.

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