Long waits for doctor appointments frustrate new patients

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HOUSTON, TX – Patience is a virtue, but as patients we don’t always have time to wait.

With all the frustration over the price of medical insurance, it seems the bigger concern is whether you need it at all, since it’s so hard to make an appointment to see a doctor.

A problem many first time patients across the country run into, according to a Merrit Hawkins survey of 15 metro areas in the U.S.

The average wait time in the country is over 18 days. That’s almost 3 weeks.

In Houston the average wait is 14 days for a specialist and 19 days to see a family physician. A far cry from Boston where it’s more than 45 days to visit with a specialist and 66 days for a family doctor.

What it comes down to, is a lack of doctors.

“We certainly are in need of good primary care doctors to help to meet this demand,” said LaTanya Love M.D. with UTHealth Medical School

But it could even get worse.

“We know that with the affordable care act a lot more patients are going to have more insurance, which means more access to doctors, so I think that`s going to contribute as well.”

We’re always dumping on Dallas, but in this case they’re better than us. They average just 10 days to see a specialist and 2 days to see a family doctor.

Or you could just stay healthy.