questionshow much time does your doctor spend with you?


My doctor will spend as much time as needed. I cannot say enough good things about him. If I ever call him, he will return the call within an hour. I can typically get in to see him with two days. Like yours, his hours are limited (m-f 9-5) but it is definitely worth it for the level of care I receive.


The Spouse and I get our health care at a military hospital. He's still under Tricare, while I "graduated" to Medicare last year and was extremely fortunate to be able to enroll in their limited number of Medicare slots and to keep them for my medical care. The Spouse and I have the same internist as our primary provider. Appointments are scheduled every 20 minutes, but the doctor takes however much time is necessary. Still, the most I've ever had to wait for my appointment is 10 minutes. Office hours are 7:30 - 3:30, the same as most military shift hours, and there's a full-service ER if there's an emergent problem. They actually apologized to me after one late-night visit for an ear infection because it took them [cough] two whole hours to get me in and out.

We have access on site to most other specialties, although sometimes we get a referral to a civilian provider. The only drawback is that physicians rotate to a new base every three years, but that's the only drawback.


What's a doctor? I have a high deductible plan in tandem with a health savings account in preparation for retirement next Christmas. Last year my deductible was $5k, this year they dropped it to $2.5k, but I am still just sucking it up rather than pay the full cost out of pocket. I have the very good fortune to be very healthy, and annual physicals are free on the plan. So unless something really serious comes up I won;t be seeing a doctor till 2015 at the earliest.

OTOH, I recently switched from my boutique vet to a clinic setting. I have been with this practice for 30 years, through four or five vets. But their hours have been evaporating, so I switched to a clinic that's open 7-7 7 days a week including holidays. Surprisingly, things there are handled by actual vets that were handled by vet techs at my vet, and the vets spend lots of time explaining procedures and showing me X-Rays, discussing after-care, meds, etc.


I have the best vet ever. I think she saved my life. I had gone to see her about my cat and she took one look at me and said we need to get you to a doctor. I had been feeling like crap for most of last fall. I thought that I was suffering from a cold that I just couldn't shake. Anyway, SHE drove me to the clinic; they ran a couple of tests, including an EKG and announced, "The ambulance will be here in 3 minutes."

It turned out that I was pretty close to having a heart attack at any minute. Anyway, I'm a lot better. I still have this great vet and have acquired two new, very good looking doctors to take care of me, both of whom will see me at just about any time day or night.

Life is good.


Like @conanthelibrarian above, my doctor will spend as much time as needed. I belong to a big HMO (Kaiser), but I've never felt rushed or anything. I like to be in and out so it's not important to me to have a doctor that chats and asks me about every single thing; if we can get it all taken care of in 10 - 15 minutes, I'm happy. I do not want to spend 30 minutes (or more) with the doctor.


Since my primary Dr. from my high school days retired many years ago, I have been through several.

My first new Dr. I nicknamed Dr. Big House with a past due payment. Going to him was a never-ending affair. He had a big house on a hill in an affluent subdivision. He wanted to see me every 30 to 60 days and every time he would recommend some new test or procedure that was covered by my insurance. I drew the line when he gave me a Popsicle stick told me to crap on it and bring it back. Then came.

Dr. Web MD. This Dr. would come into the exam room with a laptop. You tell him your symptoms he taps them in the laptop waits a few secs asks some questions taps answer in. This goes on until he steps back, scratches his chin, looks at you, then the screen, you, the screen, then exclaims you have the flu or whatever ailment the internet decided you had.

Finally found a good old school Dr. who listens and takes time. About 10 minutes in the exam room is enough to cover most issues.


My husband and I have differing opinions on how much time a doctor should spend with you and how warm and fuzzy they should make you feel. We both started with the same internist. I like him - my husband HATES him.

For me, the doctor comes in, asks what's wrong, asks further questions if necessary, tells me what he thinks is wrong, tells me how he plans to treat it, asks me if i have any questions and sends me on my way. No warm fuzzies, no hugs n kisses, just quick discussion and away I go. i think it's great! It's bad enough I have to lose work time, i don't need to blow an extra 10 minutes so we can feel like we all care about each other.

My husband thinks his doctor should recognize him on sight, remember everything as if they just talked yesterday, and genuinely care how life is going for him and his family. Needless to say, Hubby has switched to a different internist who has a much rosier outlook on medicine. Now he's happy and i'm happy, which is great :)


@barnabee: A vet I know could care less about the owner, because she's VERY into money. A procedure her "team" did on my Maine Coon cat cost $1500+ about 7 years ago. Our vet today costs about $30 an average check up visit, and he runs basically at cost. He would've done it for, oh, $350 maybe? She, on the other hand, gouges the pet's owners for even the most basic of services, averaging about $200 for a checkup visit then. It makes me sad that my bro's wife (who used to be a tech for her) feels obligated to go there because "she's the best" in the area. Um, no. Vets can suck or be awesome, as your story tells us. Best of luck and may your heart beat on!


One hour every week, usually on Saturdays.

But he's on vacation right now, and retiring this Christmas.


@bmw66x: As I said, my vet is the best. She really cares about people and their pets. She didn't charge me for Tiger Kitty's appointment. She helped my mom take care of my two dogs. And she visited my cat daily and gave him his insulin shot. All of this was on her own time. I don't know how I will ever be able to repay her for her kindness.

Thank you for your kind words.


I think the time your Doc spends with you should depend on your concern/injury/illness. Regular checkup with no concerns? 10 minutes. List of worries? As long as it takes to go through it and start working on it. For a couple years I went to my husband's doctor, I just switched to a practice I feel less rushed in.


The time my doctor takes to tell me "you need to lose weight" can be spent with anyone else needing more attention from him.


@thumperchick: I'm with you . It depends on why you are there. I just stopped seeing a dr. b/c they were in and out in 5 min. no time to answer questions. I found out later, they got bonuses for number of patients in and out by the health "care" monolith they worked for.
I don't mind waiting for doctors that will give me time if I need it. I know they are doing the same for someone else, and that's why I am waiting. OTOH, I went to a doctor that triple and quadruple booked. Yet if you weren't on time, you lost your place in the queue. Spent hours there. Ridiculous and unnecessary. He was a specialist so no one else to go to.


I think it depends on your insurance provider. I get treated like crap, or maybe the doctors (and vets) here in southern Oregon are just creeps!


We're pretty happy with the amount of time our doc(s) spend with us and our kids, we're in kaiser too. Average about 15 minutes, personally I don't like spending a lot of time at the clinic with the doc, so I'm happy with getting in & out quickly. If I have questions or concerns, our doc will take the extra time, and we get to see the physicians assistant quite often, and I get my blood pressure taken every 4 weeks at the clinic as well. Best part is, they're about 6 blocks from our house in the sacramento suburbs!

I know what is and isn't bad for me, and if they want to drive up my blood pressure to dangerous levels, they can start lecturing me about diet, exercise, and bad habits. I drink only moderately 3-4 times per month, I don't take any illicit drugs, I FEEL fine. Leave me the hell alone!