||[May. 4th, 2008|06:44 pm]
The Question Club
Alright, I am 22 years old, and I haven't been to a doctor appointment thing since maybe middle school. My mother would always handle/do all the paperwork, my only job was to "wait" and practice not being bored.
My question is, I think there might be something wrong with me, and I probably need to see a doctor, but I have no idea how to even begin/start. When my mom used to do it, I would be taken to a pediatrician and I don't know if they are a walk-in type thing or if you have to make appointments. I don't have insurance, medicare, medicaid, or really even understand what most of that means.
My questions are, how should I go about getting checked out? I don't know of any doctor offices type things, other then the pediatrician I used to visit years ago. Are you supposed to go to the Hospital to schedule a doctor's appointment? Or is that a place you go to for emergencies/surgery? Can doctor appointments be made online? How do you go about paying for a doctor's visit? Do you need cash on hand and show them you have enough money? Is it like a haircut, they don't ask you if you have money, but after the service is done, if you don't have enough money you both are just staring at each other awkwardly? Do they accept Credit/Check cards? Do they bill on the spot or mail you a bill? How much does a normal doctor visit cost? What documents do I need to bring with me? Would visiting the Emergency room be cheaper/faster or do they charge a fee because it is "Emergency Aid" or something?
My second type of question involves, prescriptions. If I am written a prescription of antibiotics, I assume I go to a place like K-mart/Wal-mart, but what other documents do I need to bring with me? Do I need to bring my ID/SS Card/Birth Certificate? Do you pay for the prescriptions there, or do they bill you? How much do prescriptions normally cost? How long do they take to fill? Do I have to fill out a personal information type sheet so they have me on record? Is there a benefit to using the same pharmacist place over and over?
I know, these are probably common sense type questions, but I really don't know how to go about this and would appreciate pointers or even an answer to just one question.
EDIT: So many good responses, there are too many to respond to, but I want to say THANK YOU to all the TQC'ers who cared enough to respond and respond with such well thought out answers :)