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Test results are in: Gripe-o-Meter is negative for doctors

April 25, 2013|By Chad Terhune
  • A new survey from Consumer Reports shows what bothers patients the most when visiting the doctor.
A new survey from Consumer Reports shows what bothers patients the most… (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles…)

You're not alone in waiting for the doctor to see you.

A survey released Thursday by Consumer Reports rates the biggest gripes patients have about visting the doctor.

Long waits in the exam or waiting room bothered many of the 1,000 people surveyed, rating a 7.6 out of 10 on the publication's "Gripe-o-Meter."

Most bothersome were unclear or incomplete explanations of a problem by a doctor. That scored 8.1 on the gripe scale.

Other major complaints included delays in sharing test results, billing disputes and getting a quick appointment when you're sick.

Consumer Reports said women were more troubled than men about private discussions taking place within earshot of other patients. Female patients were also more irked by physicians who took notes electronically and failed to make eye contact during an office visit.

Some health-policy experts worry that getting in to see the doctor will only get worse next year as the federal healthcare law expands coverage to millions of Americans.

There's already a shortage of family physicians in some areas. In California and other states, that has led to a push for more in-store clinics and allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to take on a bigger role in primary care.


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