Monday, May 23, 2016

Top 4 Alternatives to Seeing a Primary Care Physician

When you have the sniffles or a sore throat, you might think that it’s time to pay a visit to your family doctor. However, as the healthcare industry continues to change in the U.S., a doctor’s visit can be very expensive and you could end up spending a lot of time in the office without receiving the results you want. Instead, consider some of these alternatives to seeing a primary care physician.

Utilize E-Visits

Image via Flickr by Army Medicine
There are a growing number of healthcare professionals who offer online tools and resources to diagnose and treat basic symptoms. is a site where patients can talk to certified medical staff members about specific health problems and even receive prescriptions for medications if appropriate. These online alternatives are more affordable than regular office visits and can save you time as well.

Check Into a Retail Health Clinic

Many retail stores, such as drugstores and supermarkets, now offer another option to see a doctor for your symptoms. The purpose of retail health clinics is to provide a faster and more convenient experience for a patient who has an episodic minor illness. Similar to an urgent care facility, a clinic of this nature isn’t a substitute for regular medical checkups or annual wellness exams. Instead, it is a great option for when you are ill but want to see a provider while you are already at the store picking up over-the-counter meds for your symptoms.

Homeopathic Remedies

You can also use homeopathic alternative remedies to treat your symptoms instead of bundling up and heading out to see your doctor. Many illnesses are viral, so there aren’t any prescription medications that will offer relief. A primary care physician might prescribe or recommend a medication that will help with symptoms, but homeopathic options often provide similar or better results. The main benefit of choosing homeopathic medicine is that is more natural and safer than using drugs. It is practiced throughout the world and remedies will not interact with other conventional medications.

Consider Alternative Care Providers 

There are other types of healthcare providers that can assist in providing relief. If you are experiencing sore and aching muscles, schedule an appointment with a massage therapist who can give a treatment that heals inflammation, releases endorphins to help you feel better faster, and works on both a hormonal and cellular level. Hypnotherapy is an alternative treatment for chronic pain or addiction. Osteopathic doctors focus on health management through strengthening of the joints, muscles, spine, and connective tissues. A naturopathic healthcare provider will use natural resources, including exercise, nutrition, meditation, and herbs, to heal bodies. The goal of naturopathy is overall balance, which promotes wellness.

With so many options available to you, skip the visit to your primary care physician the next time you have an illness that isn’t life-threatening. Of course, anything that is cause for concern should be evaluated by a licensed medical professional. These other options make it easier to find a provider in your area so you can feel better sooner through additional treatments and remedies.

This is a guest blog post.

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