Average orthopedic surgeon wait time up 48% since 2017


The average wait time to see an orthopedic surgeon is 16.9 days, up from 11.4 days in 2017, a 48% increase, according to Merritt Hawkins' 2022 "Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicare and Medicaid Acceptance Rates."

The survey tracked average new patient physician appointment wait times in five specialties:


Average wait time 

Percentage (%) change since 2017

Shortest average wait times

Longest average wait times


31.4 days

+19 percent

19 days
(New York City)

59 days


34.5 days

+ 7 percent

9 days

72 days


26.6 days

+26 percent

13 days

49 days
(Portland, Ore.)

Orthopedic surgeon

16.9 days

+48 percent

5 days 
(Washington, D.C.)

55 days 
(San Diego)

Family medicine physician

20.6 days

-30 percent

8 days
(Washington, D.C.)

44 days
(Portland, Ore.)

The survey includes data from 1,034 physician offices in 15 metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minnesota, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Click here to access the Merritt Hawkins report.

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