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Which Cities Are Doctors Accepting New Patients the Most?

Title image for a blog about The U.S. Cities Where Doctors Have the Most Availability.

The timeline of scheduling a doctor’s appointment to the patient’s actual examination can span nearly a month, with an average wait time of 26 days to see a physician. This extended duration has transformed securing a doctor’s appointment into a significant time investment.

We wanted to dive deeper and find out where access to medical services is most readily available across America. Using the WebMD database, we analyzed provider information to uncover which cities have doctors with the highest and lowest rates for accepting new patients, as well as the strongest ratio of available doctors to the number of residents. Join us as we explore the cities with the most and least doctor availability so that you can better understand as you navigate your healthcare journey and what wait times may look like in where you call home.

Key Findings

  • Birmingham, AL has the most doctors available, with nearly half (48.96%) of those listed on WebMD accepting new patients.
  • Four cities located in North Carolina crack the top 10 for cities with the most doctors accepting new patients: Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Wilmington.
  • With about 16.13 doctors accepting new patients to every 1,000 residents, Durham, NC has the most doctors available per capita. 
  • Three cities in Connecticut cracked the top 10 for most doctors available per capita: Bridgeport, New Haven, and Hartford have 13.91, 10.61, and 7.81 available doctors to every 1,000 residents, respectively.
  • California has five cities that rank in the top 10 for least doctor availability, with San Francisco at the top with just 32.80% of doctors accepting new patients.
  • In one of the largest states, Texas, there seems to be a considerable shortage of available doctors considering McAllen, Dallas, and Houston all were within the top 10 for the least available doctors per capita.

The Cities in the U.S. with the Most & Least Doctor Availability

When it comes to accessing medical care, knowing which doctors are accepting new patients is key to knowing how soon you can be examined. Locating which cities boast the highest percentage of doctors available to new patients can make all the difference. Here’s a breakdown of the cities leading the charge in doctor accessibility, along with those facing challenges in this regard.

Topping the charts is Birmingham, Alabama with an impressive 48.96% of the doctors listed on WebMD ready to welcome new patients. Birmingham is a medical hub in the South, home to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Heersink School of Medicine, which could lend to the influx of medical professionals. 

Following closely behind is Greensboro, North Carolina, with an equally impressive acceptance rate of 48.91%. Overall, North Carolina emerges as a high-performing state in healthcare accessibility, with four cities from the state making it into our top 10 list: Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Wilmington. With multiple cities showcasing high doctor availability, residents benefit from a robust healthcare infrastructure designed to meet their needs effectively.

On the flip side, San Francisco, California, grapples with the lowest doctor availability among the cities analyzed, with only 32.80% of doctors accepting new patients. Moreover, The Golden State prominently appears the most within this list of least doctor availability with four of its cities in the top ten: San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Riverside, and Los Angeles. California faces challenges in ensuring widespread access to medical professionals, particularly for new patients seeking care.

Understanding the dynamics of doctor availability across different cities sheds light on the disparities in healthcare accessibility and highlights areas where improvements are needed. Seeing the ratio of doctors accepting new patients to the overall number of doctors listed gives insight into the quantity available. Next, we will delve deeper into these figures by considering population.

The Cities in the U.S. with the Most & Least Doctors Available Per Capita

Access to healthcare isn’t just about the number of doctors in a city; it’s also about how that number translates relative to the population. Here’s a glimpse into the cities that shine in terms of doctor availability per capita, along with those facing challenges in this aspect.

Securing the top spot is Durham, North Carolina, where residents benefit from a remarkable ratio of approximately 16.13 doctors accepting new patients per 1,000 residents. Durham is home to Duke University School of Medicine, a leading medical institution, as well as the Duke University Hospital, the top-ranked hospital in North Carolina. 

Farther north on the East Coast, Connecticut stands out as a front-runner in healthcare accessibility with three cities cracking the top 10 list. With a commendable ratio of 13.91 doctors per 1,000 residents, Bridgeport stands out as a beacon of medical care at number two on the list. Following closely behind, New Haven boasts a ratio of 10.61 doctors per 1,000 residents, underscoring its commitment to healthcare excellence. Hartford contributes significantly to Connecticut’s strong presence in our ranking. 

On the opposite side of the country, residents are not as fortunate when it comes to efficient doctor appointments. Taking the undesirable positions of first and second place for cities with the least number of available doctors per capita are Riverside and Bakersfield, California, with ratios of 2.01 and 2.23 doctors per 1,000 residents, respectively.

Continuing down the list, we see that Texas stands out with three cities with the lowest number of doctors accepting new patients to the number of residents. McAllen, Dallas, and Houston find themselves among the top 10 in the list with 2.34, 2.43, and 2.71 available doctors to every 1,000 residents, respectively. This shortage highlights the challenges residents face accessing timely medical care despite residing in populous urban centers.

Closing Thoughts

Navigating the healthcare maze can often feel like a daunting task, especially when booking a timely appointment with a doctor. At Assurance IQ, we understand the importance of access to trusted healthcare. While health insurance may not guarantee you a sooner appointment, it plays a crucial role in keeping costs manageable and ensuring you receive the care you need when you need it.


We used WebMD Care database to find the number of registered doctors in the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. From there, we filtered by doctors “accepting new patients” to understand the quantity of available doctors for each city. To standardize by population size, we compared the number of available doctors by population according to the Census.

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