I really enjoyed my ER rotation. I was at a busy level 1 trauma center and got to work a variety of shifts. I felt useful, which is not always the case as a student. However, I couldn't help but realize the number of people who came in for things that would have been better taken care of by their PCP. I know some patients don't have a PCP but many do. This influx of the unnecessary lead to overworked doctors and long wait times. I don't know the solution but maybe patient education would be a good start. I would hear doctors talking among themselves that patients should have gone to their PCP but not many passed this to the patient directly.
Some of my favorite "emergencies"
1. I have a cough. It is non productive and I think my cousin had something similar last week.
2. I am vomiting. But upon further questioning the patient had vomited once, and kept down some juice in the ER.
3. My son had a rash two days ago. It's gone now but I brought him here to make sure it is gone.
4. My tooth hurts. I think I have a cavity but I hate the dentist.
And my favorite 5. Dandruff! Yes, I saw a child for dandruff in the ER. To be fair her grandpa was worried about ring worm, still not an emergency in most cases.