Mistakes We All Make Before a Doctor's Appointment
You know that friend whose doctor always has time for her, answers all her questions and seems to know exactly what she needs? Here's how you can get the same kind of medical attention.
Don't Take the 11:30 A.M. Appointment on Monday
Everyone's heard that you're most likely to see your doctor on time if you book the first appointment of the day, so that slot fills up fast. Because the office will most likely fall behind schedule by the third appointment, your next best option is to snag the first slot after lunch. Keep in mind that on Mondays, the waiting room will be crowded with weekend holdovers, and on Fridays, the office will be squeezing in patients whose problems can't wait two more days. Some doctor's offices have been experimenting with open-access scheduling, which means the office blocks out periods for same-day visits. This helps offices run more efficiently (with a wait time that often beats the national average of 23 minutes).
DO ask for a midweek appointment that's not during peak midmorning hours. Open-access scheduling is more common in a type of care model called the Patient-Centered Medical Home, so if that concept appeals to you, contact your insurance plan to find a participating provider (many plans list them on their websites).