How many patients is too many?

Multiple metrics are used to measure physician productivity, but most experts know that an "overpaneled" practice can be bad for doctors and patients alike, writes Dr. Abigail Zuger. There are limits to the number of patients a physician can effectively see in the day -- the amount of health that can be "produced" -- while still managing paperwork and responding to patients' burgeoning concerns, she writes. "[D]octors who are part politician, part speed-dater will easily average 60 patient visits a day," Zuger writes. "... Those who are neither will have lower yields, but the quality of their product is probably better."

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