We’ve all had the experience – that perky voice on the other end of the phone who says “sure, we can give a new-patient appointment with your assigned primary care doctor – how’s eight months from now? Does that work for you?”
Even then, most of us look around the packed waiting rooms, seething during our two hour appointment delay – and we assume all this is just another sign that healthcare is going to hell in a handbasket – right?
Instead, there’s a nasty little secret behind this problem – one that patients know almost nothing about. It’s called panel size.
Do you know what your doctor’s panel size is? (and we’re not talking about a new form of tummy-control) Do you have a right to know – if it impacts every aspect of your patient care? For the answer to these questions, and an insider look at exactly why it is you can’t get an appointment with your doctor before the end of the year – read this Doc Gurley article at SFGate. Then weigh in with our comments section. Should your doctor tell you up front how many other patients she’s promised to take care of? Do you have a right to know – or not?
Got a thingie on your doohickey? Or are you pondering how to tell your doctor he’s a jerk? Send your burning healthcare questions to Doc Gurley by emailing docgurleyatgmaildotcom. Doc Gurley cannot answer every question, and she cannot practice medicine through a keyboard (not even with her stethoscope pressed firmly against the monitor) but be assured – your questions will be kept strictly confidential and identifying traits are changed.