Opinion: Long waits to see a doctor are a public health crisis

The average wait for a new patient appointment in the U.S. is 26 days. That's unacceptable.

In 2004, the physician search firm Merritt Hawkins first issued their Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times. That year, the national average wait to get in to see a new physician was 21 days, an unacceptable amount of time to wait to access care.

But that number has only gotten worse. In their 2022 survey, the wait for a new patient appointment increased to an average of 26 days.

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