Patients waiting longer to see primary care physicians, specialists

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

June 10, 2009

A new study done by Meritt Hawkins and Associates shows that wait times are growing rapidly for those patients waiting to see a primary care physician (PCP) or specialist, reports USA Today. Patients can wait up to see a PCP from 11.2 days in Atlanta up to 49 days in Boston. The national average of days patients wait to see a specialist was 20.5 days. The study, which was last undertaken in 2004, shows that wait times have increased by an average of 8.6 days per city.

One cause of the problem is a lack of doctors being trained to become PCPs today, says USA Today. Additionally, experts say that this shortage of PCPs and specialists will be further exacerbated as the U.S. focuses on universal healthcare and increased access for all citizens.

To read the full article with more survey results, click here.