Can physicians improve patient satisfaction with long waiting times?

Christopher A. Feddock, Andrew R. Hoellein, Charles H. Griffith, John F. Wilson, Jennifer L. Bowerman, Natasha S. Becker, Timothy S. Caudill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The purpose of our study was to determine how time spent with the physician might be related to patient dissatisfaction with their waiting time. During a 2-month period, patients in our internal medicine resident continuity clinic completed a survey assessing their satisfaction with their waiting time and their estimates of their waiting time and time spent with the resident physician. For patients with long waiting times (more than 15 min in the waiting room or more than 10 min in the exam room), patient dissatisfaction with waiting time was associated with a shorter physician visit (48% were dissatisfied if the physician spent less than 15 min vs. 18% if the physician spent more than 15 min with them, p = .03). These data suggest that physicians can mediate the negative effects of long waiting times by spending more time with their patients. Future studies onpatient satisfaction should consider this interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalEvaluation and the Health Professions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Patient satisfaction
  • Patient-physician relationship
  • Waiting time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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