Can you contact your doctor after hours?

Sunny Side Up

Count your many blessings...
11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
Loxahatchee, Florida
Has the answering service/doctor on call gone the way of the house call and the Dodo bird?

I just went to see a General Practiitioner for the first time, it was my pastor's doctor and I went there because the church offered to pay for my visit. I was issued a prescription, but when I went to the WalMart pharmacy I learned there might be an equivalent to what was prescribed on the $4 list. I phoned the doctor's office to see if they could approve a change -- it was 6pm -- and just got a recorded message.

After hours you have only 2 options, you're told "if it's a life-threatening emergency hang up and dial 9-1-1" otherwise you can leave a message for them to return you call "as soon as they can". Which seems to be when the office re-opens Mon. morning, no one has called back all weekend.

There's a whole wide range of things for which you would need to speak with your doctor about that fall between a 9-1-1 emergency and waiting all weekend for attention. Is this what most doctors are doing now? Or is it just a regional thing here in West Palm Beach?
I get my docs answering service, but they will not pass along a message regarding an Rx change til Monday. My doctor will call me back it if is unclear whether or not I should go to urgent care.
I think most Drs have stopped taking after hours call due to the fact that MOST people abuse the access to a doctor. My DRs office used to take turns taking after hours calls but they stopped doing that 2 years ago. Iread an article in the paper today regarding the shortage in GP Drs. It said that most DRs have to take about an 250, 000 a year pay cut to be a GP. I guess not having to take after hours calls would kind of even things out.
Well let me just give you my version. With over four thousand patients and a husband who puts in 12 hour days.

When items such as a four dollar prescription are the phone call, he is not going to call back. If he did he would never get any rest or have any life at all.

He will answer medical emergencies, but other than that, call back during office hours.

And please do not call on a Friday after six pm for a refill on a prescription. If you know the office hours call within a reasonable time so we can take care of it then.

Are you going to go to any other place after hours and expect a call back? I do not think so. Doctors need to have some down time also. They are people not machines.

I do not mean to be harsh but we have so many drug seekers and people who want to take advantage of "the weekend" that it gets tiring after awhile.

Imagine you being woken up at two in the morning several times for non emergency items. That is not what our number is for.
I dont waste my time or my doctors time.
if i need a script. refilled i go to the all night
drugstore.for 2-3 to hold me over until after the weekend
BUT i always get my scripts. ahead of time so i never run out
and as far as illiness
I just run off to the E.R. which has only happened
twice in my life time.
Baseball and foot ballplayers get more pay them doctors.
which is shame for our Society.
Thanks, I was ready for hate mail. But my guy works his hinny off and he answers when he can.

Also the Pharmacist can usually answer alot of those questions.
My doctor is one of those but I do understand he has a family of his own with young kids.

I would go to the RX to get a few days supply over the weekend and Walgreens is pretty good about it.

If very urgent, go to Express Care or ER if needing to go ASAP.
fooled you..
It would NEVER occur to me to try to contact my doctor outside of business hours. I suppose if I ever end up in the E.R., the hospital might contact her...
I do feel for you, about the prescription thing. I am a procrastinator & frequently that quality bites me in the heiney. I would be just my luck to put off the trip to the store until 6p.m. and find out that was an expensive mistake.
I'd recommend asking your dr.'s office to phone in 'scripts from now on.
We have a SUPER family doctor-she gave us her home phone number and told us to never hesitate to call if we are worried about something.

I am sure she has not done that to everybody, but she has been through several very scary situations with us, and she knows we would not abuse that priviledge.

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