RELATED:Doctor shortage could hurt Ohio rural areas
Still, the 32-day average for the mid-sized markets was significantly higher than the 24.1-day average for 30 large metro areas included in the study.
Researchers based their findings on attempts to make appointments at 494 physician offices in the mid-sized markets, and 1,414 physician offices in the large markets, including family practices, OB-GYNs, cardiologists, dermatologists and orthopedic doctors.
RELATED:Doctors, nurses climbing ladder to big paychecks
This year was the first year the study tracked wait times in mid-sized metropolitan areas. But the study found wait times have spiked over the past several years in many large metro areas, even though wait times are generally shorter there than in smaller markets.
The average wait time to see a family medicine physician in larger markets, for example, is 29 days — up 50 percent from 2014, coinciding with the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which has provided health coverage for millions of newly insured Americans.