How can I see a doctor on Sunday?
August 16, 2009 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm really quite sick, but my doctors office is closed on Sunday (today). How can I see a doctor today?

I have 'Health Net' insurance.

I have a really sore and stiff neck, a slight headache, and my tonsils and throat feel swollen. It is painful to swallow, and I've got some major mucous going on.
posted by gavtaylor to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
urgent care or er
posted by miss meg at 11:28 AM on August 16, 2009

My insurance directs us to an immediate care clinic, which takes walk-in appointments and is open on Sundays. Does your insurance have a deal with something like that? It might be worth calling them and asking.
posted by craichead at 11:30 AM on August 16, 2009

Do you have urgent care/immediate care centers where you live?
posted by dilettante at 11:30 AM on August 16, 2009

Googling "urgent care" comes up with this national directory.

(I'm assuming you're in the U.S., because people who don't specify a location generally are.)
posted by craichead at 11:32 AM on August 16, 2009

(That link that I posted can't be comprehensive, because it doesn't list the clinic that's linked to my health insurance.)
posted by craichead at 11:33 AM on August 16, 2009

If you are in the US, an Urgent Care facility is your best bet for non-emergency doctor's visits. If you have a CVS close to you, see if they have a Minute Clinic. You can also call your primary care physician's emergency number, if they have one.

If you don't have an option like that close to you, then your closest ER is your only good bet today.
posted by gemmy at 11:34 AM on August 16, 2009

Not an endorsement, but:

Doctors On Duty- Santa Cruz
615 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, CA 96060
(831) 425-7991 (ph)
(831) 425-7346 (f)
Days/Hours: Monday-Friday; 8am to 8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 8:30am to 3pm
No appointments necessary.
posted by Houstonian at 11:41 AM on August 16, 2009

If you google "urgent care" plus your zip code you will generally get a pretty good list of walk-in clinics. Of course this is assuming you live in the US and not in an extremely rural area. In my experience, the cost for a visit is usually around $70. A walk-in clinic or urgent care place is going to be a lot cheaper than the emergency room.

You should have it looked at - stiff neck is one of the signs of meningitis. It's probably not meningitis, but it's important to see a nurse practitioner at the urgent care place and get that ruled out.

If your neck is really stiff (you can't touch your chin to your chest) and you can't get to a minute clinic or similar, then screw the expense and go to the ER immediately.
posted by selfmedicating at 12:21 PM on August 16, 2009

Many Walgreens have Take Care Clinics, many of which are open on Sundays. I've had excellent luck with them outside of regular doctor hours, although I just had a recalcitrant respiratory infection.

Check and see if your insurance has a nurse line available to you. Many are 24-hour and can find open places near you that take your insurance, as well as advising you of whether you should go in or not.
posted by bookdragoness at 12:51 PM on August 16, 2009

Your doctor's office may be closed, but if you call the number does it just say to go to the ER, or can you hold on the line to leave a message for a doctor on call?

You may at least be able to make an appointment for first thing Monday morning if the doctor will call you back, take ipubrofen and drink lots of fluid until then (because, if it's a virus, that's all they'll be able to do anyway), and then if you come in Monday morning they can run a test for strep throat (another likely candidate from your symptoms).

Otherwise, yes, it's urgent care or the ER.
posted by misha at 1:36 PM on August 16, 2009

The neck thing could be really bad, go to the ER now!
posted by mareli at 3:13 PM on August 16, 2009

Seconding calling your doctor's office - the recorded message may give you instructions on where to go outside of their office hours, or it may forward you to someone who can give you advice. (This is if you decide not to go to the ER, which is also a good idea!)
posted by cadge at 3:27 PM on August 16, 2009

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