The Best Time Of Day To See The Doctor Might Not Be What You Think

Fitting a doctor's appointment into your busy schedule can be a little complicated, especially if you can't take time off work. You'll be stuck trying to get an appointment in the wee hours of the morning or late in the evening. Some doctors offer weekend appointments, which can help tremendously, but finding one is another story. 

You can avoid sitting in your doctor's waiting room for what seems like an eternity, but it's tricky. Here are some facts about doctor appointments. Friday morning appointments at 10 a.m. are the most popular, followed by Monday afternoons at 2 p.m. Tuesdays are the most popular day of the week for doctor appointments. Weekdays between 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon are popular. Get an appointment quicker by scheduling your doctor's appointment outside of these times. In addition, skip the wait time. The longest wait time for doctor's appointments is on Thursdays. If you can wait for your appointment, schedule it a little farther out. Get to your appointment early to avoid waiting. Some doctors schedule more than one patient at the same time. If you're there first, you'll skip the waiting (via LifeHacker). 

The time of your appointment can also affect your quality of care. So, what is the best time to see your doctor?

Best time for doctor appointments

May 2019 study published in JAMA Network Open found the best time for a doctor appointment for quality care by researching 52,722 patients at 33 different primary care practices who were eligible for cancer screening — in this case, breast or colorectal cancer. In addition, the researchers studied how the time of day affected whether the doctor ordered cancer screening tests. 

The study found that doctors were less likely to order tests as the day went on. They were more likely to order tests in the morning and afternoon. Later than that? Not so much. They found that the best time to see your doctor is 8 a.m. That time slot has the highest rate for ordered screening tests, at 64%, which decreased to 49% by 11:00 a.m. At noon, the number went up to 56%, which could be because it's usually the start of a new shift. The lowest rate was in the afternoon, with a 48% rate of ordered screening tests. 

This trend is not limited to cancer screening tests. A 2018 study found the same for flu vaccination rates. The likelihood of getting a flu vaccine decreased as the day went on. The bottom line? The best time to see your doctor is 8 a.m.