Complete Guide to New York City

Improved hospital ER services and physician house calls coming to New York City

Almost everyone has had some direct experience with emergency medical services (hospital emergency rooms, 911 call centers, ambulances, etc.) or developed expectations about these services from watching television drama shows or local TV news reports. Many people in New York City have concerns about going to a hospital emergency room and worry about a long wait in the ER. An Institute of Medicine report in 2006 raised concerns about how increasingly long waits in many American hospital emergency rooms could lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment.

A recent article in the New York Times "City Hospitals Reinvent Role of Emergency" (February 12, 2008), began by describing a stark vision: "The New York City emergency room - overcrowded, exhausting, sometimes terrifying - has long been a legendary circle of medical hell". From 2000 to 2005 the visit to hospital ERs across New York City has gone up by more than six percent. The recent closing of some hospitals has put a new demand on already burdened ERs. But the article quickly shifts gears to describe the dramatic steps and major financial investments many NYC private and public hospitals are taking to improve their emergency services. There are physical changes underway at many hospitals to create new areas that can divide walk-urgent care and routine medical from the triage care of patients that arrive with life-threatening injuries or conditions.

Montefiore Medical Center added a new emergency room for children's services. Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center are focusing on creating a way to speed the care of people with minor injuries or routine needs.

Some of the changes are driven by economic competition among medical providers. Hospitals need to make their ER services an acceptable place for new patients to begin services with that medical center and retain these patients in other medical clinics or programs. The hospital based emergency services are facing new competition from independent doctors that offer urgent care and routine care through a house call service.

Our NYC online directory and guide lists most of the major medical institutions and services in New York City. In addition to the directory listings we provide feature article like this one and sponsored pages on specific services. We have two sponsored pages related to urgent care services: travel medicine and house call doctors in NYC. provides urgent care services in the comfort of your home or office. The doctors are able to evaluate and provide immediate treatment for many conditions. This service was founded by Dr. Robert Glatter, who completed his medical training in Emergency Medicine at SUNY Downstate/Kings County Hospital in 2001. The house call service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and includes:

  • Assessment, medical treatment, and medication prescriptions
  • Physical exams and diagnostic tests
  • Immunization and travel medicine

A similar service is offered at Dr. Ronald A. Primus is the medical director and an expert in travel medicine. They arrange a similar set of urgent care services and have an onsite urgent care clinic that serves visitors to New York City. They can then arrange for follow-up visits by a nurse to a patient's hotel. This service also specializes in pre-travel medical planning for individuals, families and business travels who leave NY to visit other countries.

If you choose to visit an emergency room in New York City it is important to understand that you will typically encounter a waiting period. The waiting time can vary quite a bit because of the unpredictable nature of emergencies. The Hospital ERs typically use a process of triage to rank which people get seen first by the medical staff. Triage means that critically ill or critically injured people get treated first. It is not uncommon for many people to with minor injuries or illnesses to wait one to two hours in an emergency room. If you need special diagnostic tests done in an ER visit like X-Rays, blood tests, and other procedures you may have an ER stay lasting many hours. Also if specialists like cardiologists or neurologists must be called in to evaluate you the time will be extended. Sometimes patients must be kept in a short-stay bed for over 24 hours to do an adequate diagnostic evaluation.

There are many excellent health care information resources on the Internet that can guide you to prepare for emergencies and to have realistic expectations for using the emergency system. A good starting point is the MedlinePlus page on Emergency Medical Services.

This is an online medical resource sponsored by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. You will find links to the medical news, specific medical conditions, financial issues, and professional journal articles on topics related to emergency medicine. An especially useful guide is the online video on "How to Use the 911 Emergency Telephone System". It requires the Flash Player.

Additional New York City Directory Listings for Health Care Services

The CitiDex online directory and guide to New York City has a number of categories related to local health care and medical services. We have a comprehensive listing of NYC hospitals and several pages for special services related to emergency care, medical care resources for travelers to NYC, and health insurance.

Medical doctors are listed by area of specialty in alphabetical order as follows:

    NYC doctors and special services A to F including AIDS/HIV, alcoholism and drug abuse treatment, allergies and asthma, alzheimers, arthritis, cancer, cardiology, dermatology, diabetes, depression, emergency medicine, ear, nose and throat, endocrinology, family planning, family practice and fertility clinics.
    NYC doctors and special services G to L including gastroenterology, genetic diseases and counseling, geriatrics, gynelogical oncology, gastroenterology, hematology, infectios diseases, internal medicine, lung and respiration (pulmonary).
    NYC doctors and special services M to P including mental illness, nephrology, neurology, neurosurgery, nuclear medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, pain management, pathology, pediatrics, podiatry, proctology, psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychopharmacology.

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