Is your child spending enough time with their doctor? Possibly not. Nearly 80 percent of parents say their pediatrician spends less than 20 minutes with their children during a healthy-child visit, according to a new survey released Monday in the journal Pediatrics. One-third of parents said the visit was 10 minutes or less. The findings raise concerns that certain behavioral health issues are not being raised in the short appointments.
"Particularly, psychosocial developmental issues that are more complicated and take more time," were more likely to be left out of shorter appointments, said study author Neal Halfon, director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities and a professor of pediatrics.
However, and somewhat surprisingly, parents still reported high levels of satisfaction with their pediatric well-child care.
"One might wonder that some people find an under-10-minute visit very satisfying, but perhaps they're not looking for the Marcus Welby moment. Or they might not know any different," Halfon told Time. Time also quoted Halfon as pointing out that market forces require you to do a lot in as little time as possible as a pediatric physician. The doctors surveyed said that approximately 17 minutes was the right appointment length for a healthy visit.
If you're concerned that your child isn't getting everything they need from a doctor's visit, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics' checklist for youth symptoms, fill it out and bring it to your next appointment.
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