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Do You Actually Get Enough Time with Your Doctor

R. Mark Maritote Nov. 23, 2018

They always tell you to show up early when you have to go to the doctor’s office, but then it feels like you just sit around for 10 or 20 minutes waiting. Even when they take you back into the exam room, you have another 10 minutes to wait after the nurse leaves and before the doctor arrives.

Once the doctor does show up, the appointment will probably last between 10 and 15 minutes, and maybe far less. Some doctors just seem to drop in for a few minutes and then hurry on to the next appointment.

All told, you feel like the doctor listens to you talk for maybe three minutes. Then he or she takes a couple minutes to decide what the problem is and to offer you some treatment options.

It just doesn’t feel like enough, does it? You may have been thinking about your health issues nonstop for days or weeks or even months. Then you took an hour or two out of your day, with driving time, to go to the doctor. Out of all of that, the doctor rushed through your diagnosis in a couple of minutes and never really gave it much consideration at all.

The truth is that doctors are very rushed. They have a lot of people to see. When you feel like your doctor is hurrying through the appointment, you’re absolutely right.

The problem is that this can sometimes lead to a misdiagnosis, confusion with paperwork, or other issues. The doctor may not take the time to give you proper care. If this happens, it may be medical malpractice, and — if you suffer an injury as a result of this malpractice — you may want to investigate the legal options at your disposal.