Finding a family doctor can be difficult these days. Often, family doctors' rosters are full and would-be new patients are turned away. Many of my clients in my personal injury practice report that they turn to walk-in clinics for care instead when they have been injured in a car accident, truck accident, bicycle accident or pedestrian accident.
Walk-in clinics are a great alternative. They offer prompt care by excellent physicians without lengthy wait times for appointments. However, patients who see a different physician for every appointment can find that they do not receive the continuity of care that is optimal for the treatment for long-term or complex medical conditions. This is particularly problematic when a patient requires medical care for accident-related back injuries, neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputation injuries and brain injuries.
The success of your personal injury claim depends largely upon the quality of the medical evidence presented in court. Your treating physician will be asked to write a report (called a "medical legal report") which sets out your pre-accident medical history, your injuries, your post-accident treatment and progress toward recovery, and his or her diagnoses and prognoses. If your doctor does not know your medical history, and has not treated you consistently throughout your recovery, he or she may not be able to provide the necessary information. Without a strong medical legal report from a treating physician who knows you well, you may not receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Many walk-in clinics, both in Vancouver and on the North Shore, offer care by physicians who work regularly-scheduled shifts every week. If you use walk-in clinics, try to use the same one every time. If there's a doctor at your clinic that you like, try to see that doctor every time you need medical care, both before and after a car accident, truck accident, bicycle accident or a pedestrian accident. In that way, you can develop a relationship with your physician which will not only enhance the quality of your medical care, but also the quality of your medical evidence in the event that you are injured in an accident. You, and your personal injury lawyer, will be glad you did.