It is very common that people become confused with the difference of Urgent Care and Primary Care doctors offices. Who do you see regularly? Which one usually has the convenience of extended hours and no appointments necessary? Where do for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure? With different scopes of practice to remember between the two, it’s easy to get mixed up when trying to decide who to see. To clear up all of the confusion, we’ve decided to write an easy to follow guide so our patients can be confident with the doctor they’ve chosen.
“I can’t wait..it’s URGENT!”
Urgent care, which can also be referred to as immediate care, bridges the gap between an injury that’s too urgent to wait for the primary care physician and the
life-threatening situation that calls for a trip to the emergency room. Built
around patient convenience, Urgent Care clinics are often found with extended
hours, and are sometimes even open on holidays. Although all clinics are
different, you can sometimes find them where no appointment is necessary.
Anyone that’s visited an emergency room knows that it can be very costly. In fact, according to recent research, up to 84 percent of people who go to the ER don’t have true medical emergencies, and may pay up to six times more than necessary.
On the other hand, if you wait days or weeks for an appointment with your
primary care physician, you run the risk of your condition getting worse and
requiring more complex treatment. This is where an urgent care takes place.
Before running for the emergency room when you think you may possibly have a
broken bone, try to find an urgent care that has x-rays on site first. It’s
often cheaper, faster, and requires little hassle!
A Wide Range of Services
Most urgent cares welcome:
- Cough, cold, and flu
- Sore throats and sinus
- Cuts and scratches
- Broken bones
- Allergies and asthma
- Sprains and strains
- Urinary tract infections
- Ear and eye infections
- Sports physicals
- Flu shots
- TB tests
- Lab tests and X-rays
- Pre-filled prescriptions
- Bug bites
- And more..
Chief Complaints that MAY BE Outside the Scope of Urgent Care Services
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Head injury with LOC (loss of consciousness)
- Chronic pain
- MVA-High impact or Speed (“my child was hit by a car”)
- Fall from a height greater than 5 feet
Primary Care Physician
As the saying goes, “No one knows you like your family doctor,” which is actually a very true statement. Not to say a doctor at an Urgent Care clinic doesn’t know your past medical history or current medications, but a Primary Care often has years of weight gain or loss, blood pressure, blood tests, and illnesses right there
on file. He or she has your full medical history and understands your health and your healthcare goals. Your family doctor knows you’re trying to drop another 20 pounds, and that you have a bad reaction to one particular antibiotic. A doctor in a family practice will talk through issues like nutrition and stress management, and take the time to review your latest blood-work results with you.
When to go: You should visit a primary care center for illnesses such as:
Colds, flu, and sore throats
Aches, and pains
Routine health exams/ check ups
Follow up visits
You can schedule appointments with primary care providers during the week, and they areavailable by phone anytime for advice about health problems.
So, when you’re in need of URGENT medical attention and you
can’t wait for the appointment you made at your regular doctor’s office, Meadowbrook Urgent Care, or any other urgent care clinic like it would be more then happy to take a look at you. Next time you or a loved one is
questioning which direction they should go, go over our mapped out list and
that should help you figure out which treatment is most appropriate.
Dr. Rona L. Wadle, D.O.
Meadowbrook Urgent Care
33722 Woodward Avenue
Birmingham, MI 48009