Primary care for semi-truck injuries is crucial.  The primary care doctor needs to understand the forces behind your accident.  A car accident and a semi-truck accident are not the same thing.  The primary care doctor needs to know that a semi-truck was involved in the collision.  The semi-truck carries significantly more inertia, and the injuries from a semi-truck accident tend to be significantly more severe.

You will have one of two scenarios after a semi-truck accident.  You will already have a primary care doctor, or you will not.  We will address both of these situations in turn.

Picking a Primary Care Doctor to treat your Semi-Truck Injuries:
This is if you do not have a primary care doctor to treat your injuries.  You will need to do a little bit of research, and pick a primary care doctor.   There are a few things that you should consider before you pick this doctor.

A primary care doctor is the doctor that will know everything about you.  He will treat you for everything from the common cold to complicated issues such as joint pain or memory loss.  This doctor will manage all of your symptoms, and help you find the correct specialists.   A good primary care doctor is often the most important piece on the road to a meaningful recovery.

5 basic tips for picking a primary care doctor:

1.     Location, location, location.  This doctor will be your primary doctor.  You do not want to have a primary care doctor that is located more than 20 minutes away.  If so, you will be discouraged from going to doctor’s appointments.  Not attending doctors’ appointments is not something that is good for your health in the long run.

2.     Who are the doctors that are “In-Network”

Whether you have a PPO or an HMO, or some other form of insurance, your insurance provider will have a plan that prefers “in-network” doctors.  For an HMO, your primary care doctor can ONLY be an in-network doctor, whereas if you have a PPO, it will just be significantly cheaper to have a primary care doctor who is “in-network.”

3.     Check on your potential doctors credentials.

Doctor’s do not really have rating systems (healthgrades and other rating sites are terrible at rating doctors).   Doctors have specializations and tests that are called “Boards.”  If you want a doctor that is at the top of his or her game, you want to have a primary care doctor that is board certified.  More importantly possibly a few board certifications, or board certifications in an area that is important to you.  Board certifications are some of the most rigorous testing doctors can go through.

4.     Ask other doctors.

The best professions to tell you what doctors are talented vs. not talented are other doctors.   Doctors know which docs are excellent, and which ones are mediocre.  If you do not have a doctor to ask, a lawyer who practices injury law will also know the best (and worst) doctors.

5.     Make sure the doctor does not plan to retire soon.

You want this doctor for the rest of your life, if possible. You do not want to have to switch in a few years.  Make sure the doctor is planning on being around for a while.

Examples of a differing diagnosis are as follow:
If a patient complains of head pain after a car accident, a doctor my rule out any type of head injury, and may not even order an MRI or CT scan.

If a patient complains of head pain after a semi-truck accident, a doctor should not rule out a head injury, or possibly a traumatic brain injury.  This is because the forces involved in the accident are orders of magnitude higher than a similar speed car accident.

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