Patient EducationJul | 8 | 2019
Visiting the Doctor: What You Need to Know
About your doctor's office
Your doctor’s office is also called your primary care provider’s office. This is because your doctor is the first person you go to when you are sick, hurt or need a check-up.
Your doctor’s office is the best place to get care for problems that are not emergencies. You can call to schedule an appointment.
Ask your doctor if he has a phone number you can call when you have questions or need help.
Who is on my care team?
- Your doctor or primary care provider
This is the doctor who takes care of you. He might refer you to see a specialist (doctor who treats specific concerns) if he thinks you need more care.
A nurse gives you vaccines. The nurse might call you with test results or talk with you on the phone when you call the doctor’s office.
- Medical assistant
A medical assistant checks your vital signs. This includes your height, weight, blood pressure and oxygen levels.
- Social worker
A social worker helps you when you feel stressed or worried. They are very good listeners.
- Secretary or receptionist
A secretary or receptionist checks you in for appointments. This person also helps schedule your future appointments.
- Financial counselor
A financial counselor helps answer questions about health insurance. They also help you find helpful ways to pay medical bills.
Where can I learn more?
- The Down Syndrome Program at MGfC and Mass General
- Healthy Transitions®
About emergency care
- For serious health emergencies, go to your closest emergency room.
- Emergency rooms are always open.
- If you cannot safely and quickly get to the emergency room, call 911 for an ambulance.
About urgent care
- Your town or towns around you might have an urgent care office. This is where you go when you cannot get to your doctor’s office.
- Urgent care offices are open at times when some doctor’s offices are closed.
- You do not need to make an appointment for an urgent care visit.
Rev. 8/2017. Mass General for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.
Centers and Departments
Appointments and Referrals
Request an appointment or second opinion, refer a patient, find a doctor or view test results with MGfC's secure online services.