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Primary Care Vs Urgent Care

Primary Care Vs Urgent Care: Understanding Your Healthcare Requirements

Winter is just around the corner and the weather has already started to change, making you feel lazy, lethargic, and fatigued; while some of us are getting sick. Or maybe you got hurt running up the stairs, sprained your ankle or fell down to hurt your arm, or is it a blood test that you require?

Where do you think you need to go for the medical assistance you need?
primary & urgent care which is required?

It has always been a point of confusion for people due to a lack of awareness – but we are here to change that by educating you all and providing an in-depth understanding of the details and differences between primary and urgent care.

What is an Urgent Care Clinic?

Urgent care walk-in clinics are the most appropriate option for anyone who is looking to get instant medical assistance for a non-threatening medical emergency. Even more appropriate and convenient for the times such as weekends and after/late hours, when getting an appointment with a primary care physicians would not be possible.

When it comes to primary urgent care centers, they offer the facility of a walk-in check-up at any time of the day; and most urgent care clinics are open 24 hours. Once you’ve opted for an easy-to-access urgent care center near you, you will be able to get timely treatment for whatever your medical requirement be. The benefits of urgent care clinics are not only confined to being open 24 hours, but these primary urgent care centers also cater to your medical needs on weekends as well.

Urgent care clinics are also a perfect replacement option for anyone who was going to visit an emergency room for urgency, although they had a non-life threatening primary health care condition. Urgent care is different from emergency rooms as they do not treat life-threatening medical conditions.

What Treatments Do You Get from an Urgent Care Physician?

The healthcare services that urgent care physicians offer are inclusive of but not limited to the treatment of wounds, injuries, fractures, asthma attacks, and even mild concussions. Now the majority of the primary and urgent care clinics are also providing the facility of X-rays and labs, while further advancements are being made constantly with the addition of state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.

The list below are the treatments that an urgent care clinic assures to offer:

When Should You Consult an Urgent Care Doctor?

Not to be confused with emergency care, urgent care clinics are pretty much the same as primary care walk in clinic that are capable of offering an extensive list of healthcare services; these healthcare concerns are treated as an urgency, but are not life-threatening.

So anyone who’s seeking primary care or preventative healthcare services but requires urgent medical assistance should consult urgent care doctors.

What is a Primary Care Clinic?

Primary care clinics are the healthcare service providers, offering a wide range of preventive as well as routine healthcare services, chronic disease management, specialists consultations whenever required, and more.

Primary care physicians (PCPs) are healthcare experts who specialize in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and/or General Practice. Primary care walk-in clinic generally revolves around catering to the health needs of adults – offering treatments, tests, evaluations, consultations, and health screenings with the objective of maintaining health.

What Treatments Do You Get From Primary Care Physicians?

On top of providing preventive care services such as regular checkups, blood tests and immunizations – Primary care physicians are capable of diagnosing, managing, and treating conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc.

Primary care services are inclusive of but are not limited to:

  • Geriatric care
  • Pediatric care
  • Referrals to other specialists (dermatology, prenatal, etc.)
  • Routine Physicals
  • Laboratory tests
  • Immunizations and vaccinations
  • Diagnosis and treatment of minor injuries (back, sports, etc.)
  • Diagnosis and treatment of illnesses

When Should You Consult a Primary Care Doctor?

PCDs (Primary Care Doctors) are experts at catering to general healthcare concerns such as respiratory infections, headaches, back pain, and urinary infections. Along with these common ailments, they can also offer to manage and treat serious healthcare concerns such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, weight management, anxiety and depression.

Listed below are a few more reasons that might lead you to visit your primary care doctor:

  • If you have any inquiries or concerns related to your health that you need to discuss.
  • In case you are not feeling good, but aren’t really sure about the cause; your primary care doctor will evaluate and diagnose your issue.
  • For people who are experiencing severe health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
  • If you have been injured in an accident and have sustained an injury.

Why Primary Care & Urgent Care Physicians Have Different Purposes?

Primary & urgent care are the most important aspect when it comes to managing your health long-term.

Primary care doctors are aware of your medical history, have access to your records, and have most likely treated you for any condition that you may have experienced in the past; this allows them to treat you in a much better and more educated way, making an accurate diagnosis, and being aware of how to have you effectively treated.

Whereas, primary care urgent care doctors provide instant medical assistance for an ailment that needs to be treated urgently. These urgently required treatments are not inclusive of any life-threatening conditions; however, they are the perfect option when a person can not wait for a primary care appointment.

– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 11/21/2022

Learn more about our editorial process.

  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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