When you or a loved one is injured or ill, getting proper medical attention is the utmost thing on your mind. If the situation is life-threatening, you know it is best to call for an ambulance or get to the emergency room as soon as possible. What about those times when it is not life threatening? Should you contact your primary care physician and hope to be able to get an appointment the same or next day? Or would it be better to go to an urgent care facility? Wouldn’t it be great if you could have the urgent care as your primary care? Here are a few times it is a good idea to have this.
It might surprise you to go to an urgent care and find that your own primary care doctor is there. It is possible that the group your physician works in is a part of the urgent care facility. Ask your doctor about using the facility for all your non-emergency medical needs. Even though you may not always get the same doctor when you go in without an appointment, you can be sure any necessary information will be passed on and discussed when necessary. Of course, for non-urgent situations you can call the urgent care center and set an appointment with your regular primary care physician. This way, all your medical records will be kept in one place, avoiding the need to have them transferred to a different office. In addition, if you are seen by a different doctor for an urgent situation, the front desk can easily schedule your follow-up with your primary care physician; there will be no need for you to go home and remember to make the call.
If you have a condition that requires lab work, using the urgent care facility as your primary care can save you time. Instead of having to wait for a referral and going to a different office, most urgent care places can perform the tests right there. Your doctor can get the results much faster so you can have a diagnosis much sooner. This will allow treatment to begin quicker and you will feel better much sooner.
If you do not currently have a primary care physician, talk to the people at the urgent care center. They can tell you if they take on regular patients or give you a recommendation of physicians taking on new patients.