Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

4 Ways to See Your Doctor Faster

Aug. 13, 2015 Men's Health

When a mystery ailment pops up but it isn’t serious enough to warrant a trip to the urgent-care clinic or ER, you’d still like to get it checked out soon. The only problem: Your doctor’s a busy guy.

On average, you’ll need to wait 19.5 days to see a family doctor, says a recent survey by healthcare company Merritt Hawkins.

Special appointments are even worse. The delay for dermatology, for example, is 28.8 days.

There’s no magic word that will make other patients’ appointments vanish off the calendar, but you have more scheduling power than you think. Use these tactics to make sure you get seen as soon as possible.

1. Have a Primary Care Doctor
If you already have a regular physician, you can skip this step. But if you don’t have a go-to GP, then find one now and schedule an appointment while you’re well.

The reason: New patients are generally required to have a longer appointment for their first visit. As a result, there are fewer available windows to squeeze you in, says Matthew Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., associate director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research.

You don’t want that obstacle when you actually need an appointment. If you think it’s a pain to be proactive, just imagine how much of a pain it is to have to wait 3 weeks for an appointment when you really need it.

2. Wait a Little Longer 
Instead of calling your doctor as soon as his office opens, hold off for a couple hours, says Mary Seyfried, a certified medical assistant and medical receptionist in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

If he starts seeing patients at 8 a.m., calling at 10 will allow the early-morning madness to pass, and you’ll receive more attention. The delay also gives receptionists time to check voice mail and learn of canceled visits—same-day appointments you can take, says Seyfried.

Read More on Men's Health

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

The Truth About Fasting and Type 2 Diabetes

Fasting: fad or century old-tradition?

Read More

Alzheimer’s: 6 aspects of the condition that are often misunderstood

We are learning more by the month. Keep up with the latest.

Read More

Why do so many men skip regular health checkups?

Many men riskily assume they are healthier than others.

Read More

Had a Sleepless Night? You Are Not Alone

Twisting and turning, it's an endless night.

Read More

Happy Fourth of July!

Take some time to connect with loved ones and enjoy some R&R.

Read More

Why Microsoft Measures Employee Thriving, Not Engagement

A new way to support and empower your teams.

Read More

How to Be Happy

Public policies based on culture are making people happy.

Read More

Homeownership: Understanding Hidden Costs

Learn more about down payments, closing costs and taxes.

Read More