Which cities, states have the shortest physician wait times?

Lyndhurst, N.J.-based Vitals, a healthcare database company, has released the results of its seventh annual Physician Wait Time report.

To gather data, Vitals examined more than 6 million patient reviews during 2015.

Here are five things to know from the report.

1. The average wait time in a physician's office has decreased by 10 percent since 2009. In 2009, the average wait time was 21 minutes and 18 seconds. In this year's report, Vitals found the average wait time decreased to 19 minutes and 19 seconds.

2. Wait times vary by city. The city with the longest average wait time (25 minutes and 5 seconds) was El Paso, Texas. Below are the cities with the shortest wait times.

  • Seattle — 12 minutes and 47 seconds
  • Milwaukee — 13 minutes and 43 seconds
  • Minneapolis — 14 minutes and 25 seconds
  • Austin, Texas — 14 minutes and 29 seconds
  • Omaha, Neb. — 14 minutes and 37 seconds

3. Certain states had longer wait times than others. Alabama had the longest average wait time of 21 minutes and 1 second. Here are the five states associated with the shortest wait times.

  • New Hampshire — 13 minutes and 25 seconds
  • Wisconsin — 13 minutes and 29 seconds
  • Maine — 13 minutes and 37 seconds
  • Washington — 13 minutes and 52 seconds
  • South Dakota — 14 minutes and 16 seconds

4. Wait time and patient ratings are correlated. Physicians with higher ratings on Vitals' website had shorter patient wait times. Here is a breakdown of the wait time from the highest rated physicians (5 stars) to the lowest rated physicians (1 star).

  • 5 stars — 12 minutes and 56 seconds
  • 4 stars — 18 minutes and 19 seconds
  • 3 stars — 21 minutes and 40 seconds
  • 2 stars — 26 minutes and 11 seconds
  • 1 star — 33 minutes and 1 second

5. Patient wait times vary by physician specialty. The longest wait time (29 minutes and 34 seconds) was associated with spine surgeons. Below is a list of the physician specialties with the shortest wait times.

  • Radiation oncology — 12 minutes and 29 seconds
  • Sports medicine — 13 minutes and 4 seconds
  • Plastic surgery — 13 minutes and 13 seconds
  • General dentistry — 13 minutes and 51 seconds
  • Allergy/immunology — 15 minutes and 56 seconds

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