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Mental health providers have shortest waiting room time

April 1, 2015
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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How long does a patient sit in the waiting room of a psychologist? According to a new report, it’s 11 minutes and 33 seconds—the shortest wait time among the specialty medical disciplines studied. Psychiatrists also made the top 10 list with 16 minutes and 43 seconds of wait time.

Overall,  the national average for wait times dropped to 19 minutes and 16 seconds, a full one-minute shorter than the 2014 wait time average, according to the Sixth Annual Vitals Index. Researchers also note wait times for primary care  physicians were generally down over one minute in a year-over-year comparison.

Out of the 50 largest cities, Portland, Ore., edged out Seattle for the shortest wait time at 15 minutes, 48 seconds. For the fourth year in a row, the longest wait time was reported in El Paso, Texas, at 26 minutes, 21 seconds. Memphis, Miami, New York and Las Vegas were also at the bottom of the ranking. However, Alabama edged out Mississippi this year as the state with the longest wait, averaging 23 minutes, 25 seconds. Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee were also in the bottom five.

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