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 con-tinuity 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 wait-ing time was associated with a shorter physi-cian visit (48% were dissatisfied if the physi-cian 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 wait-ing times by spending more time with their patients. Future studies on patient satisfaction should consider this interaction.
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