We spent a lot of time choosing a new primary care physician when our previous one left to go into pure medical research. She was highly recommended by him, even though relatively new to practice, and we gave her a try, and have never regretted it for a moment for over 20 years now.
She’s a champion and we’d NEVER pay extra like that. I think it’s freaking skeezy, but maybe we’re just in a fortunate area where this is not an issue. But, if we were, the first question I’d ask of my potential physician is “What kind and vintage of wine will I get served in the waiting room, and may I see a list of the fine cheeses you offer?”
I’m not so sure the “get in now” is about being able to see the doctor that day when you’re sick. I’ve always been able to see the doctor the same day when I’m sick, but it’s not unheard of to wait for a couple of hours because so many sick people have to be fit in. I’ve also known lots of people who complain about having to make appointments a month or two ahead of time for a physical and more than one has complained about making gyn appointments six months in advance. Those kinds of waits are going to be a lot longer for a doctor with 4000 patients than they will be for one with 600. I wouldn’t spend $1500 a year to avoid them, but I might if my income was a lot higher or if I needed more frequent appointments.