When you visit your doctor’s office, you probably plan to spend a few minutes in the waiting room. If you regularly spend longer waiting to see your physician, though, he or she may be too busy to treat you effectively.

While figuring out how to pass the time in the waiting room may save you from boredom, you should realize that an overworked doctor may put your health in jeopardy. Here are four concerns.

  1. Missed diagnoses

Typically, doctors make money by seeing as many patients as possible. If they overcrowd their schedules, though, physicians may not have an opportunity to examine you adequately. This may cause a missed diagnosis. Further, because many medical conditions have similar symptoms, a busy doctor may diagnose you with a medical condition that you do not have.

  1. Prescription errors

As you likely know, drug interactions can be deadly. The same is true for allergic reactions to prescription and over-the-counter medications. If your doctor does not have sufficient time to review your medical history and research the medication he or she prescribes, you may sustain a serious injury or die due to a prescription error.

  1. Lack of follow-up care

Chronic and other types of medical conditions often require ongoing care. Ensuring you regularly attend follow-up appointments is generally an effective way to stay healthy. Of course, if your physician is busy, scheduling a timely appointment may be difficult. If you have to wait too long between doctor visits, your health may deteriorate.

  1. Worsening symptoms

You may expect to wait a few minutes to see your doctor. If you have an emergency medical condition or illness, though, even short waits may cause your symptoms to worsen. As such, before asking you to wait, a physician’s staff should ensure that doing so is not likely to put you at increased risk.