Medical Tips and Resources 

Making Appointments with a Family 

Scheduling doctor's appointments can be new for most families. Once a family has chosen their Primary Care Physician (PCP) and dentist, they might need support to schedule appointments. There is a step by step guide to making appointments in the family's Cultural Orientation packet. 

Eye appointments

If a client needs to see an optometrist (eye doctor), they need to receive a referral from their primary care physician.

Health/Dental Plan Packets 

Going through the health and dental plan packets with the family is a great opportunity to explain some important topics regarding the services that are available to them such as i.e. which hospitals take their insurance and which pharmacies to go to etc. 

Health Section of Cultural Orientation Packet 

Each family attends Cultural Orientation classes within their first month in Sacramento in which they receive a large packet with information and resources. Reviewing the health section with the family if they ask some medical questions is a great way to encourage the family to do research with resources they already have. Refer to the packet first whenever confronting some medical questions or topics. 

Over-the-Counter Items 

The United States is known for all the product choices it provides. Explaining the different types of pain relievers, for instance, can help a family become better oriented in pharmacies and make choices. Remember that many countries have over-the-counter antibiotics unlike here. 

Emergencies vs. Non-Emergencies 

During the Cultural Orientation classes, refugees go over the differences in emergencies and non-emergencies, 911, and emergency rooms. Although this topic is covered, some families might have issues making doctor's appointments and end up going to the emergency room instead. Reviewing situations that would call for an emergency room, urgent care, or doctor's appointment can help refresh this information.  


It is best to do research ahead of time to find which clinics in the area accept a family's insurance plans. The best place to start is the Managed Care Comparison Chart in the My Medi-Cal Choice Health Care Options packet. If there is a medical condition that needs attention, a family cannot wait for a doctor's appointment, and you both do not know which clinics to visit, Mercy San Juan accepts all insurance plans.

Additional Health Resources 

The California Careforce is a group of medical professionals, community leaders and general volunteers who provide free medical, dental and vision care to those in need at mobile health clinics across California.

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