Why You Should Think Twice Before Scheduling A Doctor's Appointment On A Monday

Scheduling a doctor's appointment can be an activity that's riddled with nerves. You want to get your ailment under control, but you also don't want to waste too much time during your precious day in a waiting room. If the latter is your concern, it turns out that health professionals themselves have a tip for when you should not be visiting their offices: Mondays. According to family medicine physician Dr. Michael Rabovsky (via The Healthy), the worst day to schedule a doctor's appointment is on the first day of the week because doctors are usually attending to all the weekend backlog on Mondays. 

"Patients will sometimes get sick often on the weekends, they try to tough it out and if they don't get better, they call Monday morning and want an appointment," explained Dr. Adam Kassam, an Ontario-based chief resident physician at Western University's department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, per CTV Your Morning. He added, "Mondays are usually high-volume days." 

This is not all, though. There's another reason to avoid the first day of the week when it comes to scheduling doctor's appointments. 

You might be less inclined to go on a Monday

A 2012 study published in PLOS ONE found that the Did Not Attend (DNA) rate at U.K. hospitals was highest on Mondays. The research involved analyzing more than 4.5 million people's attendance records and 10,000 appointments at a General Practitioner's office (via NBC News). As it turns out, even if you're well-meaning enough when Friday rolls around to call and make that appointment, you might not actually make it to the doctor's office when the time comes. 

Why, you might ask? Regular old Monday blues might be to blame. Think about it: the weekend is behind you, and you're preparing for a long work week ahead. You're already feeling sad about that prospect. How much more would a doctor's visit that involves long wait times (and possibly bad news) contribute to all of that? Plus, who wants to take a detour first thing in the week when you can head to work and be done with your Monday sooner rather than later?

Interestingly, the study uncovered that Fridays had the lowest Did Not Attend rate. People were more inclined to turn up at their scheduled appointment at the end of the week than when the week was just starting off. So you may want to think twice about Monday appointments and pick a later day of the week. Also, pick morning hours, as that's usually recommended as the best time of day to see the doctor.

When is the best day of the week to schedule an appointment?

Dr. Adam Kassam recommends Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays when it comes to scheduling a visit (via CTV Your Morning). You'll be doing your doctor (and yourself) a favor by skipping Mondays. 

It makes sense to arrive at least 15 minutes early and prepare the day before, according to the experts. Think of all your symptoms and make a list if you must. It's better to have them all written down when you're sitting in front of your doctor than to forget something important and not be able to go back. Navy physician Dr. Terrie Wurzbacher even recommends maintaining a symptom diary and being as specific as possible, per WebMD. "You may think you can remember everything but by the time you get to see the doctor you will have forgotten the majority of what you wanted to tell the doctor, and it's important for the doctor to know the progression of the problem."

That brings us to the next point: Talk honestly and openly with your healthcare provider. This might mean sharing your health and family history, taking the time to ask questions, and putting away any shame or embarrassment you might be feeling, according to family medicine specialist Dr. Matthew Goldman (via Cleveland Clinic). As for things you should never do before going to the doctor, Dr. Kassam has some advice: think twice about drinking caffeine if you want an accurate reading of your vitals, as it can raise both your heart rate and your blood pressure.