I'm with you on the use of patient portals with my healthcare, @colleenyoung It used to be 'if you don't hear from us everything is OK'! Now I can look and prepare any questions I might have.
The issue that currently bothers me the most is the move to 20 minute appointments, while doctors feel free to keep patients waiting for hours, as you point out. I have never had a doctor tell me I could spend more time with them since they kept me waiting for a long period of time. Tells me immense amounts about how most doctors value their patients' time. While I was my wife's caregiver and the GP (we both had the same one) knew time and ability to focus were extraordinarily challenging for us, nothing changed! Even if I booked a 20 for my wife and a 20 immediately after for me, the office would not allow me to use all 40 for my wife. Crazy to me! In my wife's condition it took the vast majority of the 20 minutes just to delineate her current status and needs. If it hadn't been for her neuro-oncologist her care would have been subpar for sure.
How did I focus on getting good care? For my wife it was very hard since change was a huge hurdle for her, but the moment she entered home hospice care I began begging the hospice medical director to take on her care, which she ultimately did. For me, two days after my wife passed away I quit that GP and even though I have to travel farther I changed to a doctor who runs his own independent office, which luckily is in my network.
This is a tough issue for many of us!