Healthcare Staffing Report: Feb. 20, 2014

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Physician crunch: 19-day wait for appointments

Demand for doctors is outstripping supply in the U.S., according to physician search firm Merritt Hawkins, a division of AMN Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: AHS). The average wait time for an appointment with a physician averaged about 19 days, according to a survey by the company that examined wait times at 1,399 medical offices in 15 large metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Boston registered the longest average wait time. It takes, on average, 45 days to schedule a doctor appointment in Boston. For one specialty in the Boston area, dermatologist, it takes 72 days for an appointment.

“Finding a physician who can see you today, or three weeks from today, can be a challenge, even in urban areas where there is a high ratio of physicians per population,” said Mark Smith, president of Merritt Hawkins. “The demand for doctors is simply outstripping the supply.”

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