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How to Pass the Time in a Doctor's Waiting Room

Before you see your doctor, you’re gonna have to wait. And wait. And wait. Here’s how to alleviate the boredom.


  • : While this video is awesome, it didn't go to medical school. Always consult your doctor for actual medical advice.
  • Step 1: Catch up on some reading Catch up on some reading. Now’s your chance to read all those books you always meant to. And all those magazines you wanted to check out -- in 1982.
  • Step 2: Play games Play some games. Whether it’s a crossword, a sudoku puzzle, or a word search from Highlights for Children, playing a game will exercise your brain and make the time fly by.
  • TIP: Magazine subscription cards make great materials for arts and crafts. Be creative.
  • Step 3: Eat something Waiting for your name to be called can work up a powerful hunger. Bring a snack to munch on or, better yet, order in.
  • Step 4: Get to know your fellow patients Get to know your fellow patients. Find out where they’re from, what they do, and why they came to see the doctor. Or, time permitting, delve deeper by leading an informal rap session or guiding the group in trust exercises.
  • Step 5: Turn the waiting room into an art gallery Take time for some art appreciation. Waiting rooms are filled with all sorts of interesting wall hangings. Serve up some wine and hors d'oeuvres, and you’ve got yourself a gala art opening.
  • Step 6: Have a dance party When you just can’t stand the wait any longer, call over some friends and have a dance party. Just be sure not to miss the big moment when your name is finally called.
  • FACT: According to data from the American Time Use Survey, Americans spend an average of four hours per year waiting for medical or dental care, with the average wait time being 45 minutes per visit.

You Will Need

  • Books and magazines
  • Games and puzzles
  • Snacks
  • Creativity

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