Urgent message: Though epididymitis is clinically non-urgent, its symptoms are driving more and more men to urgent care, making it imperative that providers are familiar with its epidemiology, etiology, evaluation, and treatment.
Richard A. Schoor, MD, FACS, Private Practitioner, Smithtown, NY
Epididymitis is among the most frequently diagnosed and treated conditions in men. Typically, men present to, and are diagnosed and treated by, their primary care physicians or their urologist. Treatment is with antibiotics on an outpatient basis. Epididymitis is, in general, non-life threatening and non-urgent. However, afflicted patients experience significant distress from the symptoms and tend to seek treatment early.
Urgent care medicine is emerging as a distinct specialty, separate from both emergency medicine and primary care. From a patient’s perspective, an urgent care office visit would be an attractive alternative to an emergency room visit for a variety of reasons, especially if the patient perceives his symptoms to be non-life threatening, but is concerned nonetheless to the point of wanting immediate medical attention without long waits and other unpleasantries associated with an emergency department visit.