A specific time set to see a medical doctor. The patient usually has booked the appointment months in advance to get the first available time. A sign in sheet is at the reception desk and the receptionist is pissed because you interrupted her cell phone texting. Then the patient is handed a stack of papers to fill out and told to have a seat. After not feeling well and stressing about what may be wrong then gets to wait in the crowded, germ filled room for another 2 hrs. After the doctors appointment one may find themselves wondering why they even went and if they will receive a letter from epidemiology saying they were exposed to some contagious disease.
I went to my doctors appointment today and read old magazines in a germ filled, dirty waiting room for 2 hrs. When the medical assistant called me in I waited for another 1/2 hr in the exam room to see the doctor for 5 mins. However, I should feel lucky because I have an HMO that tells my doctors how to practice medicine.