With the rising cost of healthcare, many individuals are not seeking direct, one-on-one emergency room service, they are looking to the Internet and live physician answering service companies for feedback on their symptoms.
Check with your health insurance provider for services. Chances are very good that they have live, friendly and helpful individuals who can answer your medical questions.
Alternatively, the Internet is an excellent and very expedient way to locate a physician or a healthcare professional who can answer your questions. Often times, email or chat contact may be preferred depending on the nature of the query, but one has to remember that the people on call are professionals – not physicians – but Registered Nurses and operators who have only your best interests in mind. The person you speak to will have undergone rigorous training in not only medical terminology, but also how to keep calm and how to handle urgent calls from both patients and medical staff. They are also trained to react with speed and precision, dispatching urgent messages quickly and accurately. They are trained to evaluate a wide range of conditions are will either alive fears or recommend that you call your physician. However, if your call is a genuine emergency, they will advise you to call 911.
For non-emergency problems, most physician answering services offer an individual the options of either leaving a detailed voice message or send an email with their symptoms. Responses tend to take no longer than 24 hours, depending on the problem.
For legitimately serious cases, it is generally best to either leave a message for a specific doctor or express to the medical answering service operator that you would like a physician who specializes in your condition to contact you directly at their earliest possible convenience. Any serious conditions should be addressed directly by a physician.