Going to the doctor often means taking time off work. Between traveling to and from the doctor’s office, fitting the visit into your work day can be tough.
That’s one of many reasons why experts say it’s best to choose a doctor close to your place of employment. While many people opt for a practice closest to their home, the average U.S. commute time is around 26 minutes – making a midday check-up impractical without using precious vacation time.
“You spend the majority of your day at work,” says Dr. Crystal Lee, an internal medicine physician with the DMC Medical Group. So it makes sense to have your doctor’s office nearby, she says.
Here’s a look at some of the main benefits of choosing a doctor close to work.
1. Save your paid time off
If your primary care doctor or OB-GYN is just a block away from your office, there’s no need to take a half day or full day off for a quick visit.
“If you work downtown and you have a physician that you see in Novi, if you make an appointment during regular business hours, you’ll either have to go to work later in the morning, leave earlier or take a day off,” says Dr. Lee, who sees patients at the DMC Family Health Care Center in downtown Detroit.
Many of her patients work in the area and get to stop in during their lunch break or on their way into the office.
“If you’re working right in Campus Martius or at Five Guys and the doctor’s office is right down the street, you don’t need a half-day,” she says.
2. Convenience counts
Having a doctor close to work makes it easier to squeeze in an appointment even during a busy week. At some practices, you could leave work at 5 p.m. and still be seen before the office closes.
“That works out for some people,” Dr. Lee says.
And for pregnant women, that convenience is especially helpful as visits increase in frequency during the third trimester.
3. Better work-life balance
It’s difficult to strike a healthy work-life balance when you can’t attend to important healthcare appointments because of the time involved in getting there.
Choosing a doctor close to work “just creates balance,” Dr. Lee says. “You’re not having to make that extra time commitment to travel.”
Saving that time, however small, can make a world of difference for a busy working parent.
“From the moment our feet hit the floor in the morning it’s a race, every day,” she says. Anything you can simplify or make more efficient helps.
4. Get seen sooner
Getting your medical concerns addressed in a timely manner is critical, and having a doctor close to work means you’re more likely to be seen – and quickly – when you need care.
“Sometimes, depending on the issue, some patients are able to get in the same day,” Dr. Lee says.
That’s a major benefit during cold and flu season when patients often call in coughing, finding no relief from over-the-counter meds and anxious to be evaluated quickly.
5. Less likely to delay treatment
Delaying treatment is a common problem that can have serious consequences. A bladder infection, for example, might cause only minor discomfort at first. A patient who’s busy at work and has a doctor far from the office might decide to wait until it’s more convenient to be seen.
The problem could be more serious by that point, so it’s always best to be seen right away, Dr. Lee says. The same goes for follow-up care and medication compliance.
“You’re more likely to follow up sooner if it’s closer to you,” Dr. Lee says. “If you have to travel a further distance – time is money, money is time.”
Looking for a doctor close to your work place? Find one at DMC Medical Group where you can book appointments online in minutes. Or call 1-888-300-DOCS.