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Number office visits to health professional, past 2 weeks

Codes and Frequencies

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DOCVIS2WNO reports the number of office visits to a health professional or doctor during the past 2 weeks, for those respondents who indicated they had at least one visit (DOCVIS2W).

The Survey Instruments for 1997 forward broadly defined medical doctor to include "dermatologists, psychiatrists, ophthalmologists, and general practitioners" and defined health professional to include "nurses, physical therapists, and chiropractors."

Data Collection

The Manual provided interviewers with detailed instructions on how to count visits and provider contact.


These are as follows:

Special Situations--The following instructions apply to other medical contacts and special situations. Do not probe to determine if any of these situations occurred. If the respondent reports the information or raises a question. use the procedures given below so that all doctor visits will be properly counted.
  • 1. Two or more doctors seen on the same visit--If two or more doctors are seen on the same visit, each doctor seen counts as a separate doctor visit. Situations of this kind may occur when a person visits a clinic where he/she sees doctors with different specialties; for example, a dermatologist in one office and an internist in another office. It might also occur when a person visits his/her family doctor, who, in the course of the visit, calls in a specialist to examine or treat the person.
  • 2. Doctors and assistants seen on the same visit--A visit in which the person sees both a doctor and one or more of the doctor's assistants who work under this doctor's supervision should be counted as only one doctor visit. For example, if the person sees a nurse and then the doctor who supervises that nurse, count this as only one visit. If, however, the person sees both a doctor and a doctor's assistant supervised by a different doctor, this counts as two visits. For example, if a patient sees a doctor and then is referred to a physical therapist who works under the supervision of another doctor, two visits should be recorded.
  • 3. More than one assistant seen on the same visit--When the person sees more than one assistant on the same visit, count as a separate visit each assistant seen who works under the supervision of a different doctor. If each of the assistants seen on the same visit works under the supervision of the same doctor, count this as only one visit. For example, count it as two visits if the person first saw one doctor's nurse and then was referred to another doctor's therapist. Count it as one visit if the person first had his/her blood pressure checked by one nurse and temperature checked by another, both working for the same doctor.
  • 4. Laboratory visits--Do not probe to determine if a visit took place at a laboratory. However, if a laboratory visit is reported, count this as a doctor visit.


Beginning in 2018, this variable was top-coded at 7 visits in the past two weeks.


  • 1997-2018: Persons who visited a health care professional during past 2 weeks, excluding visits during overnight hospital stay.


  • 1997-2018