Regular visits to the doctor and dentist are important to maintaining good health, but long waiting times in the office can make your appointment an exercise in frustration. A 2010 study found that the average patient waits 24 minutes to see a doctor, and obviously many of us wait longer even when we arrive at the scheduled appointment time.

Reduce Wait TimeYou don’t have to put yourself completely at the mercy of a busy doctor’s schedule. Here are some tips for getting in and out of the office more quickly:

  •  Choose the best day. If you don’t need to see the doctor immediately, avoid the busiest days—usually Tuesday and Thursday. Mondays tend to be the best days for short waiting times.
  • Talk to the receptionist. Your doctor’s staff can help you choose the best time for your appointment. Be friendly and ask for their advice on cutting down the waiting period.
  • Call ahead of time. Before leaving for your appointment, call the office to check on the doctor’s schedule. If he or she is running late, adjust your arrival time accordingly (or reschedule).
  • Don’t make unnecessary visits. Sometimes the staff or your pharmacist can answer simple health-related questions, eliminating the need for an office visit. Start with them before making an appointment.
  • Talk to your doctor. Let your physician know you’re dissatisfied (politely, of course). He or she may be able to speak to the office staff about delays, or offer advice on cutting down your waiting periods.