Depending on your medical needs, the 7-minute doctor’s visit could be a time-saving relief or a frustrating experience.
This type of appointment is usually a general checkup, though you could also get a 7-minute doctor’s visit when you aren’t feeling well and need a prescription from the doctor. Before you schedule a 7-minute doctor’s visit, there are some pros and cons worth considering.
The most obvious advantage of this appointment type is that it saves you time. Research from Harvard Medical school found the average medical visit takes 121 minutes. However, most people only see the actual doctor for 20 of those 121 minutes while the rest is administrative time or due to other appointments running long, increasing the wait time of patients with appointments later in the day.
If the doctor is expecting to only see patients for 7 minutes, they can create a better process around visits which will limit the administrative time—as well as taking the average 20-minute visit down to 7 minutes.
A 7-minute doctor’s appointment might also be a more cost-effective option, depending on your insurance. A shorter visit doesn’t commandeer the same resources or amount of the doctor’s time as a longer visit.
One of the biggest cons of the 7-minute doctor’s visit is that a doctor might not be able to provide the level of care you need in such a short time. It can be hard to ask all your questions and have complete conversations in that short of a span, especially if you have chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease which need more attention. The doctor might also be more rushed in their diagnosis because they need to get to the next patient.
The 7-minute doctor’s visit may also inhibit the development of a close relationship with your healthcare provider. There are different schools of thought about whether or not a doctor should get to know a patient personally, or err on the side of providing more broad, objective advice. However, if you want more holistic health guidance, it’s best for the doctor to know more about your lifestyle and what factors might be influencing your health.
Is the 7-minute doctor’s visit right for you?
Overall, a 7-minute doctor’s visit might save you time and money. It could be a good option if you have a quick question for the doctor or need a prescription for a viral infection.
It’s not a good option if you want a holistic view of your health. If you’re looking for quality health advice based on your situation instead of quick assumptions, you might want to invest in a doctor who provides longer appointments.
Whether the 7-minute doctor’s appointment appeals to you or not, you have the right as a patient to choose a doctor who you trust and who provides the healthcare you need. Thrive Carolinas is devoted to providing personalized healthcare for all our patients. Check out our offerings and see if we fit your lifestyle.