Like most in Pennsylvania, you likely hope that your visit to the doctor is a quick “in-and-out” exchange. Whether that stems from your desire to not have to pay any more than is necessary for your visit to a general discomfort of being in a doctor’s office, there are any number of reasons why you may not want your visit to linger. Yet at the same time, you hope that your doctor does not feel the same way. Your expectation is that they will spend enough time as is needed with you to resolve (or at lease diagnose) whatever illness or injury you are experiencing.
Yet is that expectation being met? It is easy to forget that in many cases (particularly those involving private practices or physicians groups) doctors may also be business owners. Seeing as many patients as possible, then, is good business. Yet the desire for a healthy bottom line for a clinic or practice should never prompt doctors to adopt the practice of “treat and street.”
Information compiled by Reuters shows that, on average, doctors in the U.S. only spend 20 minutes during a visit with patients. In that time, they are expected to complete a thorough review of your bodily systems in order to accurately diagnose you. Granted that certain parts of a medical review (such as reviewing your medical history or checking your medication allergies) do not need to be done in person, yet there are elements of diagnostic processes that should not be rushed.
There is no magic number that conveys the ideal amount of time that doctors should spend with patients; that number should be as long as is needed to treat you properly. If a rushed visit by a doctor resulted in further harm, you may have a case for malpractice.