A study by Merritt Hawkins recently looked at the average waiting times to gain access to medical attention across different specialties in different cities across the U.S. The survey found that it could take weeks for a patient to schedule an appointment at cardiology, dermatology, and primary care practices, among others.
Boston is experiencing the longest average doctor appointment wait times of the 15 metro markets examined in the survey: 72 days to see a dermatologist, 66 days to see a family physician, 46 days to see an ob/gyn, 27 days to see a cardiologist, and 16 days to see an orthopedic surgeon. On average, it takes over 45 days to schedule a doctor appointment in the Boston area, the survey indicates. In each of the three years Merritt Hawkins has released the survey (2004, 2009, 2014) Boston has averaged the longest physician appointment wait times among the 15 cities.
Other average physician appointment wait times tracked by the survey include 28 days to see a cardiologist in Denver, 49 days to see a dermatologist in Philadelphia, 35 days to see an ob/gyn in Portland, 18 days to see an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego, and 26 days to see a family physician in New York. Physician appointment wait times tracked in the survey varied from as little as one day to over eight months, with an overall average in all metro areas and all specialties of about 19 days.
“Finding a physician who can see you today, or three weeks from today, can be a challenge, even in urban areas where there is a high ratio of physicians per population,” said Mark Smith, president of Merritt Hawkins. “The demand for doctors is simply outstripping the supply.”
At the Presidential Healthcare Center, we guarantee our patients 24/7 access to their doctor and strive to work around their schedule, not ours. The Center provides “one-stop shopping” for our patients, connecting them with specialists right here in our complex and ensuring that all their needs are met during one convenient visit.