February 19th, 2020

A full text version of this article is available.
To access article obtain online access here or login
Time-to-Appointment for a New Well-Woman Examination: A National Sampling Using Mystery Shopper Methodology
Authors:  Phil Miller and William F. Rayburn, M.D., M.B.A.
  OBJECTIVE: To determine the time-to-appointment for a new well-woman examination using a nationwide sampling of obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) offices.

STUDY DESIGN: Offices of general ob-gyns were surveyed in 2017 by research associates functioning as mystery shoppers to inquire how long new patients must wait before being seen by an ob-gyn for a new well-woman examination. Offices were called at 30 large and mid-size metropolitan markets across the United States.

RESULTS: Data came from 386 offices: 286 from 15 large markets and 100 from 15 mid-sized markets. Only 2 (0.5%) offices were too “booked out” to offer new examinations. The median wait time was 14 days (interquartile, 9 to 20 days). Delays tended to be longer in large as compared to mid-size markets. Medicaid and Medicare were accepted in 52% and 72% of offices, respectively, regardless of metropolitan area.

CONCLUSION: The appointment wait to see an ob-gyn for a new well-woman examination was 14 days and most often <3 weeks. These findings should serve as a reference for comparison about access to routine care.
Keywords:  access, appointment, examination, female, gynecologist, gynecology/statistics & numerical data, health services needs and demand/statistics & numerical data, health services needs and demand/trends, humans, Medicaid, Medicare, obstetrician, obstetrics/statistics & numerical data, patient satisfaction, patient simulation, physician-patient relations, practice management, preventive health care, medical/standards, quality assurance, health care/methods, trend, United States/epidemiology, waiting time, well woman, women’s health services/trends
  Acrobat Reader 7.0 is recommended to properly view and print the article.
Reader can be downloaded from