As the health-reform law takes effect over the next several years, some 32 million newly insured Americans will gain access to a regular doctor. They will soon learn what others already know: Getting the best care from your doctor requires navigating a complex relationship within the 20 or so minutes allotted for the typical office visit. Despite those constraints, three-quarters of the 49,007 Consumer Reports subscribers we surveyed said they were highly satisfied with their doctors. But they still had complaints ranging from the irritating, such as having to sit too long in the waiting room, to the substantive, such as ineffective treatments
- Doctors and patients alike put a high value on courtesy and professionalism.
- Patients aren’t taking full advantage of strategies that doctors think are helpful, such as taking notes during their visits.
- Not knowing much up front about a doctor’s personality or treatment style was a real obstacle for patients in search of a good match.