There are a lot of reasons why a patient will put off being seen for an ailment until their own doctor can see them in their physician's practice facility, instead of going to an emergency room or walk-in clinic. Here are some of the reasons why someone may wait until their own doctor can see them, instead of going where they can get immediate medical attention.
Patients have a rapport with their doctor
When a patient finally finds a doctor that they feel comfortable with and feel the two of them communicate well, they will garner a lot of trust in that doctor. When they feel heard and understood by their doctor, they will be more likely to put off treatment until their doctor can see them. This can be especially true if it took the patient a long time to find a doctor that they feel is right for them.
Patients live closer to their doctor
While people who live in big cities may have many hospitals and walk-in clinics near their home, people in rural areas often aren't afforded this same convenience. They will usually choose a doctor that is close to them and try to go there when they are sick. This can be especially true when weather is a factor, such as during a storm or after a good snow.
Patients don't want a long wait time
Anytime someone goes to an emergency room or a walk-in clinic, they don't know what kind of wait time they are looking at. Also, if they go to the hospital with something that's not considered to be life threatening, then the hospital can keep putting more emergencies in front of the patient as more come in. If the patient knows the wait time at their doctor is only a few minutes, they will much prefer this to a long wait somewhere else. Sometimes, they even feel it's worth being sick at home a couple more days until they can get an appointment with their doctor.
Patients don't want to be exposed to a lot of germs
When patients know their doctor's staff do a wonderful job of keeping the office as clean and germ-free as possible, they may not like the idea of going to a walk-in clinic or a hospital where germs come and go faster than the staff would be able to stay on top of them.
Physician practices and patients who work well together have a mutual trust that allows them to build a good working relationship both can benefit from.