Patient Frustration Surges: Americans Struggle with Broken Healthcare System


New Survey from MDVIP and Ipsos KnowledgePanel® Reveals Why Patients Are on the Brink of Burnout, Jeopardizing Their Own Health

Boca Raton, Fla. – February 27, 2024 – Navigating the labyrinth of long waits for short appointments, depersonalized care and confusing insurance bills is taking a toll on Americans, with 61% saying the U.S. healthcare system is a hassle and 53% feeling it treats patients more like a number than a person, in a new survey from MDVIP. The nationwide study, conducted by Ipsos using its probability-based KnowledgePanel®, found half of all Americans scored high – with 1 in 3 reaching “burned out” status – on the Patient Frustration Index, which measures common healthcare pain points across major population groups.

MDVIP Patient Frustration GraphicThe MDVIP/Ipsos survey further reveals how patients’ frustrations impact their behavior with 1 in 3 Americans saying they skipped or delayed care in the past 5 years because of a bad healthcare experience or the inability to get a timely appointment. Younger adults 26-44 (43%) and women (37%) are more likely to defer care due to these reasons.

Moreover, over 1 in 4 Americans report having an adverse event as a result of their experience with the healthcare system, including a health issue that worsened (17%), a missed or delayed diagnosis (11%) and/or that their mental health was negatively affected (14%).

“The myriad frustrations of waiting months for a doctor’s appointment and chasing down answers are all too familiar and even accepted by many Americans as the status quo. But our research shows that poor interactions with the healthcare system are not only deterring people from going to the doctor, but also making them sicker,” said Dr. Andrea Klemes, chief medical officer of MDVIP. “Growing demand among Americans for a better experience across the healthcare journey places increasing pressure on providers to focus more on the patient and effectively engage those who are avoiding care.”

Other highlights from the MDVIP/Ipsos survey include:

  • Patient Pains: Nearly a third of Americans have waited 3 months or more for a doctor’s appointment (30%), and 1 in 4 say they have felt rushed or dismissed by the doctor during a visit (26%). Adding insult to injury, 65% of Americans don’t feel insurance companies are transparent about what they cover, and 62% don’t feel healthcare bills are clear or easy to understand.
  • Chronic Condition Conundrum: Over half of Americans report having 2 or more chronic health conditions (55%), which makes them more vulnerable to patient frustration. People with multiple health conditions are more likely to have skipped or delayed care (37% vs. 28% no conditions), felt rushed or dismissed by a doctor (30% vs. 21% no conditions) and say their mental health suffered as a result of their healthcare experience (20% vs. 4% no conditions).
  • Rise of Convenience Care: Half of all Americans have visited an urgent care center and/or a retail clinic within the last 5 years (51%), citing convenience as the top reason. Yet, “convenience care” users are more likely to score high on the Patient Frustration Index (55% vs. 43% non-users). They are more likely to have felt rushed or dismissed by a doctor (29% vs. 23% non-users) and confused about their medical condition after leaving the doctor’s office (25% vs. 19% non-users).
  • PCP Effect: 8 in 10 Americans (80%) currently have a primary care physician (PCP), and among them, a significant 91% have seen a doctor in the last 12 months compared to only 41% of people without a PCP. Americans with a PCP are more likely to have seen a doctor for their mental health (32% vs. 14% no PCP), less likely to feel rushed or dismissed by a doctor (24% vs. 34% no PCP) and find healthcare bills easier to understand (34% vs. 15% no PCP).

“For many Americans, primary care serves as the gateway to the broader healthcare system, and our data shows that those who have a primary care physician are more engaged and less frustrated overall with their care,” added Dr. Klemes. “This reinforces the need for people to choose a PCP who will have the time to build a relationship with them and serve as a guide to navigate the system.”

To take the Patient Frustration Quiz, visit

About the Patient Frustration Survey
This MDVIP/Ipsos poll was conducted December 1-10, 2023, by Ipsos using KnowledgePanel®, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult U.S. population. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,010 general population adults aged 26 or older. The margin of sampling error for the general population study is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. For more information about Ipsos, please visit


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