Best Ways to Cut Your Waiting Time at the Doctor

8 do's and don'ts on getting seen by your physician

(This article previously appeared on Grandparents.com.)

It’s 11:43 a.m. and you’ve been stuck in your doctor’s waiting room for exactly 73 minutes. Take heart, gentle patient. You’re not alone. For various reasons — lateness, medical emergencies, poor scheduling and pure economics — wait times have always been, and always will be, an issue.

“Unfortunately, wait times are sometimes unavoidable,” says Sarah O’Leary, founder of Exhale Healthcare Advocates. “Patience is key, but healthcare providers must also value their patients’ time. The patients are paying for a service, and their time should be respected.”

And while things are looking up — Vitals.com says the average wait time in 2015 is 19 minutes and 16 seconds, down a full minute from 2014 — longer waits happen more often than we’d like. To alleviate the problem, here are eight do’s and don’ts in the slideshow below for prospective patients.

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