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jca's avatar

When you go to the doctor, how long does he or she typically spend with you in the room?

Asked by jca (29032 points ) May 20th, 2014

I ask this because someone in my family is an accountant, and he said one of his doctor clients told him that she has four rooms in her practice, and each turns over every 15 minutes. Four patients every 15 minutes = less than 4 minutes per patient.

My relative was surprised and we were discussing how, between the doctor evaluating test results and looking at the patients’ charts, she has about 2 to 3 minutes per patient to do discussion and exam.

How long does your doctor typically spend with you?

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20 Answers

janbb's avatar

Fifteen to twenty minutes usually.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

It really depends on how serious is my ailment, how much time she needs to figure thiongs out, and how much time I take asking pertinent questions.
So long as I have a valid question, she hangs in there with me.
That being said, probably five to ten minutes with fifteen minutes being the longest we’ve stayed together.

The real question is what is your typical wait for your doctor after you have reached the appointed time?

gailcalled's avatar

10 -12 minutes of rapt attention and no distractions, another few with the sense of wanting to leave the room. That is fine since I come very organized and with my questions, in order of priority, written down.

All of the medical practices I use are affiliated with a local medical center. They have just established an on-line medical portal so that the patient (me) can email the doctor or PA for a few issues related to a specific appointment. All Q and A’s are then listed in my medical portal document, which includes my medical history, meds and supplements, allergies, etc.

Wait varies. I always bring something to read or do. I factor in the 15–20 minutes into the reality of present-day medical life.

Dutchess_III's avatar

With my current doctor he’ll spend as much time as he needs. He’ll spend an hour with you, if he feels it’s necessary, even if your appt was only scheduled for 15 minutes.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I have never had any DR spend more than 15 minutes.

Crazydawg's avatar

15— 20 minutes.

JLeslie's avatar

Depends on the doctor. Most doctors about 5 minutes. Some doctors 10 minutes is more typical. Other specialists I have seen spend 30–1 hour.

I think 5 minutes for an ongoing problem is disgustingly short and a waste of time. For a sore throat or ear ache it’s fine. You’re primarily there for the prescription for sinus infections, ear aches, and strep throat, let’s face it.

tedibear's avatar

I will let you know tomorrow after my appointment.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Depends on the appointment and need. I’ve had some that were short 5–10 minute appointments and others that were 30–40 minutes.

I will add that the time the doctor spends with the patient is different than than the time the doctor spends on the patient. Most doctor’s I’ve worked with will review their previous notes, lab results, xrays, and the notes from the person that roomed the patient prior to going into the room. This way they have information already gathered and ready for the time they spend with the patient. Then, once they finish with the patient and leave the room, they complete their charting.

Mariah's avatar

My gastroenterologists will spend 30-an hour with me if I actually need it. I appreciate that a lot.

downtide's avatar

It depends what I’m there for. I go for my testosterone shot and bloodwork once every 3 months and I’m usually in there for at least 30 minutes. Most other things it’s more like 5.

Pachy's avatar

My wonderful GP of 10 years always seems to spend as much time with me as I need. And he actually looks at me and listens, a trait I’ve found to be rare in many other doctors. I’m very sad to say he’s leaving the practice at the end of the month, but the doctor he’s transitioning me to seems to share many of his good traits.

talljasperman's avatar

5 miuntes.

Bluefreedom's avatar

In my situation, I see 2 different doctors. One is a primary care provider on an Air Force base and the other is a specialist in the civilian world and there is a distinct difference in both areas.

As far as being seen on a military installation, they readily admit to you that they need to process as many patients a day as they can since the volume is so high. This includes active duty personnel, retirees, dependent family members, and transient personnel at the base. This equates to short and rapid visits with the doctor and usually between 5 and 10 minutes, each time, from my experiences.

As far as my civilian specialist, an endocrinologist I see for my diabetes, she seems to either have a lighter patient load or more relaxed standards on how long she can spend with a patient. My visits with her have usually lasted in the 15 to 20 minute range on many occasions.

JLeslie's avatar

@Bluefreedom My experience with military care was much much better in general than what I experience out in the private sector. My cardiologist in TN was former Navy, and she was only a reminder to me that I miss military care. I was a little spoiled, because my care was at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Doctors in civilian life who don’t take insurance are an exception and they have always spent more time with me, their staff is consistently caring and responsive, and the doctors will get on the phone and answer emails.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@JLeslie. While I do agree with you that the care provided at the military facilities has always been good, I just wish they had time to spend a little more time answering questions and explaining the in’s and out’s of different illnesses. What makes it harder where I live in Arizona is that there are such large retirement communities within 30 minutes of Luke Air Force Base and many of those are veterans and go to Luke for medical care.

tedibear's avatar

Today was a total of about 20 minutes. 10 pre-xray and 10 after. I’m sorry she’s leaving this practice.

JLeslie's avatar

@Bluefreedom If you are active duty you should have priority. I realize that won’t change how busy the doctors are though. I never felt rushed at Bethesda, but you can’t compare. Each facility is different, which is true in private care also.

Ballerina's avatar

Dr appointment time slot is 10 minutes however some patients will need more depending on the health problem presented at the time.

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