Did you know that 89% of primary care doctors spend less than 25 minutes with their patient per appointment. Just think about that for a second. The vast majority of primary care physicians have less than a half an hour to spend with each of their patients. And I would argue
most of those are actually less than 15 minutes. So even if a patient sees his PCP every 3 months, they spend a grand total of 1-2 hours with their primary care physician over the entire
For some healthy patients, this may be enough time to discuss all their needs in a given year. Though considering ongoing conversations about nutrition, exercise, screening exams, sleep, stress, mental health, etc… this still seems unreasonable. Now picture the patient with multiple chronic medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, neuropathy, depression, etc). How in the world can any physician possibly give the appropriate amount of attention and thought to all of these conditions in a 15-25 minute visit? Furthermore, if a doctor sees 20-30 patients like this in a day, while also having to complete charting that only benefits the health care organization they work for and the insurance company, how can he/she possibly be faulted for over ordering/prescribing/referring given their time constraints?
At Direct Doctors, and other Direct Primary Care practices, we do not book appointments that are shorter than 30 minutes and often spend much more time, in person, with our patients. On top of this, we are in constant contact with patients via text/email/phone/skype which gives us the ability to continually check in with patients to monitor their symptoms and progress. While the average patient sees their primary care doctor 2.5 times a year, we connect with our patients 8-9 times every year (on average) via various communication options. This affords each patient a much more personalized approach to medicine and a primary care physician who knows them well. The find out how we practice primary care differently, please
check us out at www.directdoctors.org.
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.