40 Patients In One Day

I was at the doctor with my wife the other day scheduling a follow up visit.

While the assistant was looking for a spot on the calendar she blurted out to another employee.

We’re supposed to book 40 patients per day per doctor.

I quickly did my math.

That works out to one patient every 12 minutes.


Add the time the nurse spends with you before you see the doctor.

Add the time you sit in the room alone.

And you’ll quickly see how the whole experience can come to a grinding halt pretty quickly.

Well, this helps to explains why doctors are always running behind.

But then I had another thought.

And this one wasn’t so good.

This explains why the quality of care is so bad.

Now I don’t want to name any names.

But this is one of the biggest medical providers in South Florida.

And this doctor is a specialist.

It’s not to say that this doctor is a bad doctor.

He’s actually a really smart guy and does a great job when he’s not running behind schedule.

The problem is.

He often is behind schedule.

Sometimes you’ll be waiting in the lobby for hours only to be rushed through when you finally do get into see the doctor.

Unfortunately not all visits are good visits.

On one visit the doctor came in and yelled at the nurse because they were behind schedule.

He then spent about 2 minutes with us and said I’ll see you next time.

Yep, some visits have been less than good.

It’s a sad state for healthcare in the US.

I don’t have experience in other countries but I don’t expect it is much different.

Healthcare is about money.

It is not about people.

It is a business first and foremost.

Helping people.

Well, that’s the image they try to sell you.

So next time you’re sitting in a crowded lobby waiting for your doctor.

Take a quick count headcount.

The doctor patient ratio is right in front if you.  

One final tip.

Advocate for your own health.

Keep that doctor in the room with you as long as you need them.

Don’t be a number.

Be a patient.