Why You Should Always See a Family Doctor First
Your first thought when injured or ill may be to go to the emergency room. However, a trip to the emergency room may only be a good idea if you are in danger of losing your life or limb. This is often why it is smarter to see your family doctor first.
There are three levels of care which are primary care, urgent care, emergency care. Primary care is being provided by your family doctor to help you maintain your healthcare goals and provide care for acute illnesses. Emergency care is for life-threatening emergencies, such as chest pain, seizures, strokes, head injuries, or anything else to put your life in danger. Urgent care fills in the gap between primary care and emergency care, such as broken bones, severe allergies, and if you simply can’t get into your family doctor.
So why should you see your family doctor before jumping straight to the emergency room or urgent care?
- Your Doctor Knows You
Possibly one of the biggest reasons you see your family doctor is they know you. If you have been with her doctor for a while, they probably have years worth of lab tests and anything else that may be needed to treat what’s going on. They also have your medical history on file, which can show them what medications work and which ones don’t. Seeing your family doctor is also going to be more personalized compared to if you were to go to the emergency room.
- Continuity of Care
Your family doctor already knows your medical history, medications, and your healthcare goals. Unlike the emergency department or urgent care providers that only know the problem that they’re being presented with. Because of the familiarity, your family doctor can prescribe a new course of treatment that fits in well with the help of goals and any other medications you may be on. Your family doctor also has the advantage of tracking your progress over time, which allows them to adjust your treatment plan if needed. For example, if you have an infection and your doctor prescribes antibiotics but it isn’t working, you can always go back to them and try something new.
The cost of going to the emergency room is often very high. Going to your family care doctor is going to be far less expensive than visiting an urgent care clinic or going to the emergency room. Most insurance companies cover visits to your family doctor, so possibly your visit to your doctor may be free or at the very least a much lower cost. And if you don’t have insurance, seeing your family care doctor is still going to cost you less in the long run for going to the emergency room. On average, the cost of an urgent care visit is about $120 and a trip to the emergency room is far more than that.
When it comes to getting the care you need is often important that you see your family doctor first. Not only is he going to save you money, but it can also save you time and you get the care you need faster.