What’s the Difference Between Urgent Care and Primary Care?

Emergency room physician

As humans, we’re subject to all kinds of ailments, injuries, and illnesses throughout or lives. Fortunately, the United States is home to over 7,000 urgent care locations where over 20,000 physicians practice. While it’s important to have a primary care physician, it’s sometimes easier and more cost effective to visit an urgent care location, especially if the problem is minor and/or needs immediate attention. Of course, life-threatening problems need to be left to the Emergency Room, but urgent care is good for treating a whole lot of other things.

Sprains, Migraines, and Chronic Pains!

Believe it or not, each day approximately 25,000 Americans suffer from an ankle sprain. Also, there are over 3 million cases of migraines each year in the U.S. And by the year 2030 it’s estimated that 60% of baby boomers will have to deal with some sort of chronic condition. With all these large numbers it’s almost a wonder our society can function properly. But urgent care centers are designed to treat and manage things like chronic pains as well as cuts, fractures, and diseases such as the flu, pneumonia, and more.

Preventative Measures

There’s more to urgent care facilities than just treating ailments. Many of these centers also provide vaccinations, allergy tests, and tests for STDs such as HIV. In other words, going to an urgent care location won’t only help you get over a temporary problem, it can also prevent you from contracting long term and potentially fatal diseases!

See How Others Rate Doctors

With so many urgent care locations it might seem unnecessary to invest in a relationship with a primary care physician. Again, however, it’s always wise to do so. Getting to know a doctor one on one is useful in many ways. For one thing, you’ll start to become comfortable with your primary physician, meaning you’ll have less of those nervous feelings when it’s time for an appointment. It’s also good for your doctor to get to know you. This way, he/she can focus on what matters to you and provide proper care accordingly. For instance, if your doctor knows you enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors or traveling abroad, he/she can provide you with proper vaccinations and suggest possible medications without having to delve into too much detail every visit.

But finding a primary care physician isn’t always the easiest task. The good news is people can rate doctors now and post their feelings online! In the past you’d have for rely on personal recommendations to find a doctor you trust from the start. Today, you can see dozens of reviews from different people commenting on the facility, nurses, and individual doctors.

If there’s something bothering you that you want to address immediately, visit your nearest urgent care center. Chances are they can take care of you quickly and effectively. But if you’re thinking about your long term health, be sure to do a little research and find a primary care physician for yourself. And don’t forget to rate doctors too so others can find the right doctor for them, too!

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