US emergency number: 911
Atlas Travel Medical Insurance Atlas America plan is a visitor health insurance policy designed to provide medical and travel benefits, as well as emergency travel assistance to take the risk out of international travelers visiting the USA. Atlas America insurance is available to individuals, families, and groups from over 180 countries. You get access to quality care and are protected against the costs that can incur from unexpected medical and/ or travel emergencies.
Doctors in the U.S.
Americans generally have their own primary care physicians, most of them are family doctors, general practitioners, or internal medicine doctors. Primary care doctors can treat common acute diseases such as bronchitis, ear infection or minor injuries, managing chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Primary care doctors can prescribe medicines, order x-rays and other lab tests. They also provide routine check-ups, prescription refills, vaccination services. For complicated medical conditions, they will refer patients to appropriate specialists such as a cardiologist, or to a hospital.
Primary care clinics are usually operated by one or several physicians, often include nurses and other clinical staff. Doctor’s offices typically open between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during weekdays. You need to schedule an appointment with the doctor. If there is an urgent medical issue, you may get an appointment very soon, sometimes same day appointment. Outside of the doctors’ regular office hours and during the weekend, patients can visit urgent care centers or hospital emergency rooms to receive urgent care.
Doctor’s clinics are relatively affordable. A consultation with a primary care doctor costs about $100 ~ $200. If your doctor orders lab tests or other treatment, there may be additional costs.
Medical specialists are doctors who have undertaken advanced education and clinical training, become board certified specialists in a specific area of medicine, e.g. ophthalmologist for eye diseases, dermatologist for skin diseases, cardiologist for heart diseases, etc.
Medical specialists have expertise to diagnose and treat more complex, severe or rare diseases. If a patient has an acute or chronic condition that a primary care physician can not treat, the patient can be referred to a specialist doctor, or go straight to a specialist without referral.
Specialist doctors usually work in private practices or hospitals, or both. Some specialists work in small practices with single-speciality groups, some work in large practices where different types of specialists work together as multi-specialty groups. Hospitals primarily provide inpatient specialist care, they also provide some specialist care in emergency rooms and outpatient speciality clinics.
If you have an urgent medical issue, you can visit a hospital emergency room or urgent care center without an appointment, there you may be treated by specialist doctors such as emergency medicine specialist.
In most cases you will have to make an appointment to see a medical specialist. The appointment maybe in a few days, a few weeks or longer.
To determine what type of medical specialist can help you with your specific symptoms, the following are examples of medical specialists and the specific diseases that they treat:
Allergist: treat immune system diseases such as food allergies, asthma, hay fever;
Anesthesiologist: administer anesthesia and monitor the patient during a surgical procedure;
Cardiologist: treat heart and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, high blood pressure, irregular heart beats;
Dermatologist: treat skin, hair, or nails related diseases such as acne, rashes, skin cancer;
Emergency medicine specialist: treat medical emergencies in emergency care facilities such as hospital ERs, urgent care centers;
Endocrinologist: treat hormones and metabolism related diseases such as thyroid diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis;
ENT specialist: treat ear, nose, throat related diseases;
Family Practitioner: treat common diseases to patients of all ages, provide routine checkups and vaccinations;
Gastroenterologist: treat digestive system diseases of stomach, liver, gallbladder, such as gastritis, hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, colon cancer;
Gynecologist: treat female reproductive system diseases such as vaginitis, abnormal uterine bleeding, menopause, cervical cancer;
Hematologist: treat diseases of the blood and blood system such as anemia, deep vein thrombosis, leukemia;
Infectious disease specialist: treat complex infections caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/ AIDS;
Internist: treat common diseases for adults such as diabetes, high blood pressure, as well as providing routine checkups;
Neonatologist: treat complicated and high-risk diseases of newborn infants in a hospital;
Neurologist: treat brain and nervous system diseases such as stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer's diseases, injuries;
Obstetrician: examine and treat women who are pregnant, monitor childbirth, and other related diseases;
Oncologist: treat patients who have cancer such as lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer;
Ophthalmologist: treat eye diseases and injuries such as cataract, glaucoma, prescribe eyeglasses;
Pediatrician: treat infants, children and adolescents common diseases such as cold, ear infection, sinusitis, asthma and allergy, as well as complex medical conditions;
Psychiatrist: treat mental illness and behavioral disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, substance abuse;
Radiologist: use X-ray, CT, MRI and other imaging equipments to diagnose or treat diseases;
Surgeons: performing surgical operations to treat diseases such as appendectomy, removing tumors;
Urologist: treat urinary system diseases and male reproductive system diseases such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, prostatitis, infertility;
Visits to medical specialists are typically more expensive depending on their specialty and the nature of your visit. Specialists will charge $250 or more for a consultation. Doctor visit charges are different from one practice to another. If the doctor orders lab tests, x-ray or other imaging exam, there are extra costs.
It is in your advantage to choose a doctor from the insurance company’s Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) networks: FirstHealth Network or UnitedHealthcare Network. You are free to go to health care providers that are not in the PPO networks.