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5 Reasons to Skip That Visit to Your Primary-Care Doctor

A visit to your doctor may not always be the best idea. Here's five common reasons to skip that primary care office visit.

By
Sanaz Majd, MD
3-minute read
Episode #210

3. Common Cold

The common cold is so very, well, common. And there’s no cure. Once you catch that virus, it needs to simply play itself out. The typical course appears as such:  Symptoms worsen slightly everyday, until peaking somewhere between day 3 and 5; then they begin to improve gradually from then on. Most people have good improvement somewhere between day 7 and 10. So if you are the average healthy patient, without lung disease and/or concerning symptoms (shortness of breath, wheezing, intractable fevers with ibuprofen/Tylenol, etc), it may be most prudent to wait at least 7-10 days before you seek your doctor.  How to best treat and get yourself through that first week? Listen to my previous popular podcast on that subject.  Hint:  antibiotics don't do a thing for viruses.

4. Severe Acute Symptoms

If you are experience severe acute symptoms involving chest pain, abdominal pain, symptoms of a stroke, or passing out, your doctor will likely tell you to head straight for the ER. No one wants to miss a heart attack, “acute abdomen” (which includes emergency abdominal symptoms, such as appendicitis, perforated gastrointestinal system, bowel obstruction, pancreatitis, etc), a fatal arrhythmia of the heart, or a stroke. So please call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room.

5. Vaccines

If you only need updating on your vaccines in adulthood, there’s no reason to schedule your appointment with the physician. Most medical clinics have an outpatient nurse clinic which administers medications and vaccines, and sometimes without a co-pay.  So if you are due for that whooping cough shot, pneumonia vaccine, or shingles, there’s no need to wait at the doctor’s office. When you call to make that appointment, simply ask if you can just see the nurse for the immunization updates.

Share your ideas and learn more quick and dirty tips with us on the House Call Doctor’s Facebook and Twitter pages!  You can even find me on Pinterest!

Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only.  This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider.  Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.http://www.shutterstock.com

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Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women's health and patient education.