Monday, November 22, 2010

Navigating the health care system- what do I do if my treatment isn't working?

So you saw your primary care provider for your dizziness. He prescribed meclizine for you. You have taken it for a week and you don't feel any better. So what do you do now?

That dumb doctor didn't know what's wrong with me.. I'm going to go to the emergency department and get some tests and see an ENT and get some answers!!! Right?


If you see your primary care provider and they prescibe a medication or a treatment and it's not working then you need to call your provider and tell them it's not working. They will likely ask you to come back in and figure out something else or refer you to a specialist. It's not a good plan to just show up in the emergency department because you don't like what your primary care provider did to help your problem.

Sometimes medicine is trial and error. A patient may have a symptom like dizziness and it doesn't have a clear cause. So the provider may prescribe a treatment to see if it helps. If it doesn't help then you try something else. This is the job of the primary care provider. We don't solve chronic problems in the ED.
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