Doctor visits don't have to take all day

INDIANAPOLIS - Waiting around at the doctor’s office is no fun, and experts have recommendations on how to make the process quicker.

After making an appointment a year in advance, a Greenwood breast cancer survivor never imagined having to wait for more than an hour for her appointment.

"In 10 minutes I still hadn't seen the oncologist, so I went out front and asked for my co-pay back and told them I had waited long enough," Doris Webb said.

A nationwide Angie's List poll found Webb was not alone.

"65 percent of the respondents said they waited an hour or more to see a health care professional, but what was more alarming in the poll was that 37 percent of them, when they got into see the doctor, felt rushed and didn't ask the questions they probably should have," Angie Hicks of Angie’s List said.

Health care providers said they actually expect wait times to increase because of a shortage of doctors.

Experts say that’s why people should take matters into their own hands.

"The key here is to check in with the doctor's office before you show up. Find out if they are running on time so that you can adjust your schedule as well. Ask if there is any additional paperwork that you need to fill out ahead of time," Hicks said.

That's what Webb thought she had done.

"I didn't feel like I was getting good patient care. How could you if they were triple-booked?" Webb said.

Angie’s List suggests making appointments for first thing in the morning -- or right after lunch. Also, don’t be afraid to meet with a nurse practitioner, they can help with everyday routine issues.

"We are our own advocate and if we don't step up and demand treatment and care and that they be responsible, then we can't expect better," Webb said.

Experts advise to treat health care like any other hiring decision, and find a new doctor if you are not satisfied.

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