The American medical industry is a large one, and medical care takes many different forms. Some patients need surgery in a hospital, while others are looking for prescription drug refills at a pharmacy, and yet other Americans are visiting urgent care clinics of ENT doctor offices. Surgery and emergency care are their own topic, however, and many Americans will get medical care mostly from visiting doctors’ clinics for regular checkups. That is in addition to having a private physician whom they will visit regularly. A private physician will have access to a patient’s medical records, but a person’s private physician may not always be available. For sudden and everyday medical cases, a person may visit ENT doctors in their area. These doctors can be found nearly anywhere, and they are often the first step in getting a diagnosis and seeking treatment. What is there to know about ENT doctors and care today?
Basics of ENT Doctors and Care
Doctors are not all the same; some specialize in certain fields of medicine, such as pediatricians, who only care for children and babies. Adult patients, meanwhile, may visit ENT doctors and the like for non-emergency medical problems affecting their head or neck. ENT stands for “ears nose throat,” and true to that name, ENT doctors most often will examine these body parts and diagnose problems with them. When a patient gets a diagnosis from an ENT doctor, that patient may be referred to a specialist who will handle the next level of care. This may range from going to an eye exam office for getting glasses all the way to getting hearing tests done at a dedicated clinic. The ENT doctor is the one who will point the patient in the right direction.
While ENT stands for “ears nose throat,” many ENT doctors may diagnose problems beyond those body parts. Some of them can also diagnose issues with the eyeballs, or even with the neck muscles or the jaw. Nothing is being guaranteed here, as every doctor is different, but a patient might be able to have anything on their head examined and diagnosed accurately when they visit an ENT.
Finding an ENT
When a person moves to a new area or if they have not been to an ENT in a long time, they may have to look up this sort of medical care online. An interested client may specify online that they are looking for standard ENT doctors in the area, and specify their home city or town’s name or even their ZIP code to keep the results local. Doing this may result in a whole list of local doctors and their offices, complete with the doctor’s name, address of their practice, their hours of operation, and more. Doctor’s offices may also have a rating system that patients can use, so a client can measure whether or not patients are satisfied with the level of care that a given office may offer.
What about telemedicine? This is a relatively new field, but it is growing fast, and it is relevant to ENT doctors, among other doctor types. The problem is that some patients cannot easily visit a doctor’s office for one reason or another, but they can’t afford to simply never get an examination done. Instead, these patients will consult doctors with live video chat on their computer, and a patient may need little more than a webcam, a microphone, and a working Internet connection. A client may look up virtual doctors in their broad area and find one who is available to speak to them. Through video and chat, the patient and doctor may speak, and the patient may show the doctor what is wrong with them.
A person may do this, for example, if the closest doctor’s office is far away to visit, or if that person has few or no transportation options available to them. That, or the patient may do this if the local doctor’s office is crowded or if the patient does not like the crowds or bacteria associated with an in-person doctor’s office. Some patients may in fact suffer from social anxiety or agoraphobia, or even have sensory issues associated with visiting commercial places or being in crowds.