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Old 04-23-2013, 10:44 AM
 
419 posts, read 389,895 times
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I woke up today with a swollen toe, with a feeling of tingling and pain. So, I decided to start looking for a Podiatrist. And to my amazement, almost all of the podiatrists I called did not have any appointments available for the next 2 days to a week (And I live in Central Wisconsin with lots of hospitals and doctors around).
I am finally traveling to a place 30 miles from here, only because the podiatrist had a cancellation. Else, I would have had to bear the pain for at least 2 more days.
The same has happened with my wife, when she was looking around for gynecologists.

My question- Why is there a shortage of doctors' availability at a short notice?
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:55 AM
 
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Why is it difficult to see new doctors on short notice? The existing patients get first preference and there is a shortage of doctors in certain specialties. 2 days is nothing. Try getting a dermatologist within 6 months in my region as a new patient. There's a shortage of dermatologists in many areas of the country. Like you, I got into see a new dermatologist on the same day via a cancellation during an ice storm. You think it's not a big deal to not get into seeing a dermatologist, but trying living with hives for 6 weeks. It's not fun. I had to receive IV steroids at the emergency room 3 times during that hive outbreak.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Cartersville, GA
1,231 posts, read 2,592,455 times
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A physician typically needs to dedicate more time for an initial visit. This generally makes it harder to find a time slot for a new patient on a given day. Furthermore, some physicians limit the number of new patients they will see in a day, and some are not taking any new patients at all. When a physician stops accepting new patients, nearby doctors in that same specialty get overloaded, and the wait times for a new patient appointment are even longer, as a result.

Why can't this problem be addressed buy your primary care physician, or at an urgent care center? I would rule out these as options, before making a new appointment with a new provider.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:18 PM
 
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Podiatrists are a better option because they have x-ray equipment in their office. It's a one stop shop for foot problems. It's less of a hassle and much cheaper than going to a primary care physician and then being sent for xrays elsewhere or going to an urgent care center.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Cartersville, GA
1,231 posts, read 2,592,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Podiatrists are a better option because they have x-ray equipment in their office. It's a one stop shop for foot problems. It's less of a hassle and much cheaper than going to a primary care physician and then being sent for xrays elsewhere or going to an urgent care center.
My PCP and most of the urgent care centers in my area have "in house" x-ray machines. More and more officers are getting this equipment, as the costs have come down over the years. Even if the x-ray has to be performed elsewhere, getting the condition treated quicker might be worth the extra cost and hassle.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:12 PM
 
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2 days is pretty good. A lot of other stuff that can't wait can be taken care of at an Urgent care center (walk-in usually).
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:47 PM
 
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Many urgent care type places now have x-ray equipment, just call around. Honestly, a 2-day wait is nothing, for any type of specialist. Its best to have some urgent care type places scoped out in advance. Also, many large group practices and hospitals have stand-alone urgent care type places with access to the full-serve type hospital if needed. Just last night, my dd injured her foot. We took her to an urgent care that was connected to a large hospital. They were able to do x-rays, put her in a temporary boot-type cast, and she is scheduled with a podiatrist tomorrow. Total came to $45, and we were quite pleased with the care.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55degrees View Post
2 days is pretty good. A lot of other stuff that can't wait can be taken care of at an Urgent care center (walk-in usually).
I was thinking of going to the urgent care center but wasn't sure if my insurance would cover it. however, had I not got an appointment with the doctor today, I would have surely gone to the urgent care centre.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:05 PM
 
5,092 posts, read 6,720,476 times
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Why wouldn't you just go to your GP? You woke up with toe pain. That's not a good reason to see a specialist.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:21 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 82,587,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToucheGA View Post
My PCP and most of the urgent care centers in my area have "in house" x-ray machines. More and more officers are getting this equipment, as the costs have come down over the years.
Urgent care centers are more expensive than a podiatrist. PCPs don't have in-house x-ray in my region and might not in the OP's region either. It doesn't have anything to do with equipment getting less expensive. It has to do with the local healthcare systems owning most of the internist and family practitioner offices and preferring people pay the higher rate for x-rays at the hospitals that are owned by the healthcare system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToucheGA View Post
Even if the x-ray has to be performed elsewhere, getting the condition treated quicker might be worth the extra cost and hassle.
Sometimes people want a specialist instead and skip the middleman. In my region, the ER doesn't set a broken bone but sends you to an orthopedic office, unless you go to a teaching hospital. I'm sure they call orthopedics into the ER for serious broken bones, but they wouldn't do it for a toe. A PCP would send people to orthopedics too.
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