Emergency room visits sometimes result in the diagnosis of a medical condition. The patient is then sent home with instructions to make an appointment with their family physician. But, what if you don't have a family physician? Here's what you should do.
Schedule Your Appointment ASAP
Sometimes, it can take a while to get into a family physician's practice when you are a new patient. And, some don't accept new patients for a period of time when their appointment schedules are already booked. That said, don't assume that you can wait to make an appointment because there's a physician just down the road. They may not accept new patients or your insurance company. Start calling around as soon as possible to find offices that are taking new patients and accept your health insurance company. When you call, ask the receptionist how soon you could be seen with a new diagnosis from the ER to help you narrow down your choices to the best option.
Keep Track of Your Symptoms
If you haven't already begun to do so, start keeping track of all of your symptoms. Write them down in a journal and keep the journal on you. This will be helpful when you go to your family physician as well as when you are referred to a specialist. This is especially helpful to help prevent you from forgetting what may seem like minor problems but are helpful in validating the ER's diagnosis.
Ask Your Family Doctor for Website Recommendations
While waiting for the first appointment with their family physician, one of the first things that most people tend to do is to look it up on the Internet, especially when it's something they've never heard of before. While this is understandable when you don't currently have a physician's office to call for questions, it's important to wait until your new family physician guides you in the learning process.
There's a ton of information out there on the Internet, but some of it is disinformation or may not relate specifically to your health history and medical condition when looked at as a whole. Instead of digging around on the Internet looking for information that not only may not be helpful to you but may send you in the wrong direction, ask your family physician to recommend several online sources that you can look up and read. They likely will want you to stick with preferred sources, such as studies published by the National Institutes of Health, organizations dedicated to the specific medical condition(s) you're diagnosed with, and reputable hospital and information websites, such as WebMD.