My sister texted me yesterday asking about a doctor in our practice (we share the same primary care physician). She’s been battling an illness for days now; he was the only one available, and she’s never met him.
I’ve seen him before, and I told her confidently: You’ll see him for no more than three minutes, and he’ll just write you a prescription.
After the appointment, she texted back: “You were right.”
This particular doctor — at least with my sister and I — never looked at our medical charts, our history, and didn’t listen to us. There wasn’t even a thorough examination.
I know it’s not just us — every time I’m in there, I see him zipping in and out of rooms every few minutes.
I’m fairly certain this physician might be going for some kind of Guinness World Record.
This is an example of what patients have been experiencing: We’re spending less time with doctors and more in waiting rooms.
One study found that new internists spend an average of eight minutes per patient — a figure I actually think is generous. Worse, doctors are relying more heavily on electronic information than ever. This means they touch you less, interact with you less and make more decisions based on what they read on a screen.
It’s a dramatic drop in time spent with patients compared with previous generations.