Should I Really Go To My Primary Care Physician For Swine Flu Instead Of The Emergency Room?

Question: Should I really go to my primary care physician for swine flu instead of the emergency room?

Answer: We would never want to dissuade anyone from coming to the emergency department, if they felt they had a medical emergency. That's what emergency departments are there for. At the same time, I personally feel very strongly about the relationship between a primary care provider and their patient, and I would not want to come between that relationship.

I think the best thing to do in a situation like that would be if you're not sure whether it's truly an emergency or not, call your primary care provider's office, talk over the situation with the primary care provider and see if they think you would be better served in their office versus better served in the emergency department.

The nice thing about doing that as well is if they know you're coming in for something potentially infectious then they can make some arrangements before you show up, both for your safety as well as for the safety of all the other people in the waiting area.