Patients seeking an appointment with a dermatologist to get rid of their wrinkles have a much shorter wait time than those seeking to get a potentially cancerous mole checked, according to a report in the New York Times.
A new study published online by The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported that dermatologists in 12 cities offered a typical wait of eight days for a cosmetic patient wanting Botox, compared with a typical wait of 26 days for a patient requesting evaluation of a changing mole, a possible indicator of skin cancer.
In Boston, for example, the median Botox wait was 13 days, versus 68 days for a mole examination. In Seattle, the median Botox wait was seven and a half days, compared with 35 days for a mole.
For the study, a researcher posing as a patient called every board-certified dermatologist in a dozen cities, including Miami, Cleveland and Lansing, Mich. Researchers did not examine the possible causes for the varying times.
Some dermatologists said financial incentives and bureaucratic obstacles related to insurance reimbursements for medical procedures may play into the wait. Others said the fact that Botox is now being offered by a wide array of physicians, not just dermatologists, may also be a factor.