Average wait times, when looking for a doctor, can be enormous. In a lot of places, you could wait longer than two weeks - when stats from 15 large cities were combined, the average came in at 18.5 days. It can be even longer to see a specialist, with some people waiting about a month and a half.
However, there are some tricks and tips you can use to see the doctor more quickly, getting you the fast diagnosis that you need. If you're in your 30s and you're tired of being told you have to wait, especially if it's tough to schedule around work and you just want to get it over with, using these tips can help. They include:
1. Ask about slow periods
The slowest times at the doctor's office are typically after lunch and early on in the morning. Some medical professionals also note that Wednesdays tend to be slower in general. Asking about these days may help you get in faster than if you demand to be seen after you get out of work at five o'clock.
2. Call at 10 o'clock
If you call after 10 and before 11, you may get in the very same day. A lot of people call to cancel when they realize they can't make it. The office then fills up the empty slots with new people who call in. By noon, those slots may be gone. You can jump the line if you know when to call.
3. Consider the season
If you need urgent care, you need to call whether it's spring, summer, fall or winter. However, wait times do tend to be shorter in the summer, when people tend to be healthier. The office can get backed up in the winter. Again, you can't always change this - a long wait time in the winter is still shorter than waiting for months and calling in the summer - but it's wise to be conscious of it. If you're considering a visit in the summer, it's better to call right away than to procrastinate until winter.
A delayed diagnosis can be detrimental to your health. Even if you use these tips, it could be delayed by mistakes that the doctor makes, errors made by lab technicians and many other things.
As a young business professional, not only could this make the costs of treatment go up, but you could see a serious hit to your career if you have to be out of work for a significant time. This may have been avoided had the diagnosis been made sooner, when less extensive treatment was needed. If this happens, you need to know what rights you may have to compensation.