Surveyors for the Massachusetts Medical Society called doctors' offices in February and March and asked when they could come in for routine care. They requested a new patient appointment with internists, family practitioners, and pediatricians; an appointment for heartburn with gastroenterologists; a heart check-up with cardiologists; an appointment for knee pain with orthopedic surgeons; and a routine exam with obstetrician/gynecologists.
The average wait ranged from 24 days for an appointment with a pediatrician to 48 days to see an internist. The wait for an internist was actually down slightly, from 53 days in a similar 2010 survey, but the waits for family doctors, gastroenterologists, orthopedists, and ob/gyns increased.
The medical society, which represents physicians, broke down the results by county, but in some cases the sample is small.
Surveyors also asked doctors whether they are accepting new patients: It was most difficult to find a new adult primary care doctor -- more than half of those practices were full. This year's results were close to the findings in the society's 2010 survey.
About white coat notes
|White Coat Notes covers the latest from the health care industry, hospitals, doctors offices, labs, insurers, and the corridors of government. Chelsea Conaboy previously covered health care for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @cconaboy.|
Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor
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