There are many hospitals and clinics that anyone can attend and receive medical care at any time needed, and this is, of course, a fantastic and necessary service, but let’s face it, it can be slow and inconvenient at times. This is where having the option to choose a private service comes into its own, and that starts with your general care doctor, who is your first point of contact for run-of-the-mill ailments and referrals to more specialist practitioners.
Nobody enjoys waking up to a head feeling like it’s full of cotton wool and a hacking cough that won’t stop, nor do you want to be dragging yourself into work feeling like this, but what do you do about a doctors note if you can’t get in to see one? And let’s face it, this is what they are there for, the everyday things that you can’t plan ahead for and have an appointment conveniently booked in for three weeks in advance! By being on the list for a private practice doctor’s office, you know you’ll be able to be seen because one of the benefits of choosing a private practice is they have the autonomy to manage their patient lists and how they see patients, resulting in general doctors being much more accessible on a day-to-day basis.
Many private practice doctors of all specialties are now coming together into small practices that have a few healthcare specialists altogether in the one place. This is very advantageous for patients in many ways. Someone who attends their general doctor who then runs tests and finds out they have a more serious medical problem that they need to be referred to a specialist for will find in a practice such as this that they will receive an immediate referral to the appropriate doctor just down the hallway and therefore can have their treatment plan begun immediately. Should there be a need for complementary healthcare professional to become involved, for example, a therapist to help deal with a diagnosis, if there is one based within that clinic again, the patient will be given a speedy referral? These services will generally be offered at a large hospital, but often with stretched services and a large volume of patients, there can be a delay in accessing them.
When you attend a general care doctor in a private setting, you are able to build a solid relationship with your doctor, whereas if you attend a public hospital or clinic for your primary care, there is no guarantee that you will see the same doctor from one appointment to another, in a big city like Oklahoma where everyday life can become a little impersonal, when you aren’t feeling well you want the personal touch that OKC doctors offices give. It is time-consuming and off-putting having to provide your medical history to a new person every single time, but if you are seeing the same one or two doctors consistently, you build that report with them, and they will become familiar with your history, making for a more comfortable experience for you as a patient. The bonus is if your doctor works in a practice with other specialists, should you need to be referred to any of them at any point, there is that professional relationship already established between your carers, making for an easier transition.
In private practice, your doctor has control over which tests are run on you, what medications you are prescribed and who you are referred to, whereas in a hospital, there are hospital administrators who bring in charge of the budget, have the final say on these things. Administration staff, while no doubt excellent at their jobs and having patients’ best interest in mind, are often not medically trained, and as they are primarily about balancing the budget, the best that can be offered to patients within that hospital is necessarily the right option for every patient. A private doctor’s flexibility allows a patient to have more of a say in their care as they can be offered alternatives rather than just being presented with the one option.
In this world of covid-19 and social distancing, it has become the new normal for doctor’s appointments of all kinds to take place remotely. When you are an established patient at a private practice, this online service will be much easier for you to access. They will provide you with an account to allow you to log in and access their online services easier than if you are a new referral somewhere. Most practices now also let you do other things online, such as order prescription refills where appropriate and book appointments to see your general practitioner. Talking online to a healthcare professional you’ve never met before can be daunting, so as well as having the ease of booking take some of the stress out; if you can then speak with your established doctor, it becomes even more manageable again.
Hospitals and community clinics are busy and often stressful places to visit, which is not the sort of environment you want to be visiting if you are under the weather of feeling anxious about a health concern, but it is sometimes unavoidable. Private doctor’s offices, in comparison, have fewer people attending them and therefore are calmer, more relaxed environments to visit, making being unwell less stressful. There is less likelihood of having to spend hours sitting in a waiting room surrounded by lots of other ill and miserable people in a private clinic waiting room, in part because there would only be a few people waiting at any one time and because those who are attending will have an appointment time meaning the wait time will be kept to a minimum. When medical professionals themselves are constantly telling us that reducing stress is one of the best things for your health, the less stressful option when you are sick is undoubtedly the best one.