Dr. Eric Forsthoefel, a critical care specialist, attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine, where he received his medical degree and attended Louisiana State University for residency and emergency medicine. His work involves identifying life threatening medical problems, acute illnesses and injuries people have that need immediate care in the emergency room. He then determines what treatment is needed. Dr. Forsthoefel is knowledgeable about the numerous medical problems he encounters and is experienced to deal with them.

Dr. Forsthoefel’s certifications include: American Board of Emergency Medicine; LA State Medical License – good through 2013; and FL State Medical License – good through 2014.

In a news article, the topic of overuse of emergency departments for non-urgent care patients is talked about. It explains that it is a major healthcare problem and is a difficult one to solve. One-third of all Americans, that don’t have a real emergency, visit emergency rooms.

Emergency room doctors, including Dr. Eric Forsthoefel, were asked what they think about the situation. He said he has seen hundreds of non-urgent cases, but he and the staff make it a point to attend to every patient. He said it is a serious situation, because attention is taken away from patients who need immediate care; therefore, the department is not as efficient or effective as it should be.

A study was conducted asking why non-urgent care patients go to emergency rooms instead of to a primary care physician. Different variables were used:

  1. Higher educated, high income – takes too long to book an appointment.
  2. Lower income – didn’t have a physician and liked the convenience.
  3. Race, ethnicity or marital status didn’t factor in much.
  4. The male gender tends to more.
  5. Medicaid patients tend to more than privately insured.

Dr. Forsthoefel thinks it would help if primary doctors offered evening and/or weekend hours to make it more convenient and alleviate some of the non-urgent emergency visits. Meanwhile, he and emergency rooms across the country will continue to help everyone as best as they can, and hopefully a solution will be found.


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