A primary care physician (PCP) is usually the first stop when things go awry with your health. However, there may be moments when you cannot access your PCP. When that happens, it can be quite challenging to settle on where and how to get treated. Currently, there are 138,345 primary care doctor businesses in the country. It is therefore confusing to fathom how unavailability is possible when there are that many. In any case, you can access treatment from any of these below.
- Stop by your pharmacy
While this may sound like self-medication, it is not. Some pharmacies have mini-clinics that serve walk-in cases requiring first aid treatment. In many of these pharmacies, it is possible to have your temperature, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., checked in a matter of minutes. Therefore, in the absence of your primary care physician, these mini-clinics in pharmacies can be of immense help.
For example, in the United States, one of the major companies that run this system is Walgreens. They have Piedmont-styled clinics in all Walgreen pharmacies that continue to serve a major market. It is also worth noting that some pharmacists are trained beyond just administering medications. With a background in care, they may be better placed to provide timely care when you walk in.
- Check your local urgent care center
An urgent care center is a facility set up to attend to semi-serious cases that may not necessarily be emergencies. Staff at a local urgent care center are trained to handle a wide range of health issues your primary care physician would have handled. They provide health examinations and other medical tests that may be timely and relevant to the type of treatment needed.
Fortunately, there are many centers in every US state, and they continue to expand their care activities. As of 2019, there were 9,616 of them in America, with thousands of care seekers accessing them every month. Furthermore, because urgent care centers have services running for extended hours, they are convenient places to seek treatment at any time. As a tip, remember to present your insurance for treatment.
- Find a new primary care physician
The advantage of maintaining your primary care physician is to ensure continuity of healthcare. They have a mental history of your health and the physical records to back it up. Unfortunately, when your PCP becomes constantly unavailable, it may be time to look for another. This will require establishing a professional relationship with another PCP all over again. It may be the right decision in these circumstances, so keep this in mind. Fortunately, you can make a request for all your medical records from the previous primary care physician. This can be in electronic or printed form, depending on your preferences.
Finally, do not forget that you can call it in when treatment is needed. By calling an ambulance, the paramedics can attend to you and provide the necessary treatment required at that moment.