In the five years my kids have been going to the pediatrician, I don't think we've ever spent more than five minutes in the waiting room. Whether my children were scheduled for shots, ailing or just attending an annual appointment, the nurse has promptly ushered us to an exam room to wait on the doctor. In talking to other mothers, I know not all practices are this efficient — parents complain of keeping their healthy kids from hacking and crouping youngsters in the holding area.
A friend on the East Coast told me she's never encountered this problem since many doctors' offices there have sick and well waiting rooms to separate the patients and to avoid having them handle the same toys. Does your pediatrician's office offer separate spaces?