A nagging pain here and there, a runny nose, a lingering backache… how do you know when to seek medical attention? It’s sometimes difficult to determine if a particular set of symptoms are serious enough to justify making a doctor visit. Sometimes it depends on the individual. Some things might even seem harmless but are actually a sign of something very serious and need immediate medical attention.
First off, it’s always important to recognize when something is an emergency. You should certainly call 911 if you’re dealing with problems breathing, having chest pains, bleeding, pain in the abdominal region, head trauma or loss of consciousness. Or if able, go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Where to Go if You Can’t Get a Doctor’s Appointment
Urgent care clinics are convenient and have doctors available. They are able to treat an array of things such as sprains, strains, neck and back pain and even perform imaging tests.
But even though urgent care clinics do provide a level of convenience, they are limited and do have certain drawbacks like shorter appointments, no ongoing relationship with a doctor, they don’t typically have access to a person’s medical history/records, and no type of follow-up care. Because of the limitations, it’s still a good idea to seek medical care from your primary care physician who will track your health long-term.
If I Have a Chronic Condition, When Should I Call My Doctor?
There’s a general rule of thumb that if you’re feeling bad, that that’s a typical sign that it’s time to make a doctor’s appointment. But chronic conditions like diabetes, HIV or high blood pressure certainly require a prior knowledge laid out by your doctor about what sort of symptoms would cause a person to need to seek medical advice and how often that person should be monitored to make sure the condition isn’t worsening.
You can read more about this topic: Chronic Conditions: When Do You Call the Doctor?
Is a Regular Checkup Necessary and Where Do I Go?
You might feel great and be in the best shape of your life, but it’s still a good idea to have a primary care physician who can help keep you that way (with the right preventive health screenings and consistent health monitoring). You need a place you can go to that is familiar with your past medical history and health status. If you are in search or in need of a primary care doctor, contact us for more information.
Trophy Club Family Medicine