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ER vs. urgent care clinics vs. family doctor

Unfortunately, mishaps happen, and we go to the hospital during illness or injury. However, many of us don’t know where to go and whom to approach in a hospital. Whether the medical condition calls for ER or you can wait some time to get your primary care physician appointment. However, everyone must know the 24 hours urgent care service near me to stop their conditions from exacerbating. Having quick access to a doctor can help individuals potentially negate complications and even fatality. Sometimes, certain illnesses are much more critical. This means their symptoms are critical. Which in turn would mean that the span of time in which these emerging symptoms need to be treated is critical. This can be majorly helped with instant access to a medical team you can trust.

It becomes overwhelming with many different types of medical facilities to analyze which type of care you need.

Here’s how to decide this.

ER vs. Urgent Care Clinics vs. Family Doctor

There are times when you fall sick or meet with an accident. These are the situations that usually make people panic. Moreover, it’s overwhelming whether to go to urgent care, ER, or a family physician. Among these multiple medical options, the decision depends on the type or severity of the injury. For life-threatening illnesses or injuries, ER is the right option. When a patient can wait for some time (a few hours to a day) going to a family doctor is advisable, but when accidents occur, rushing to urgent care is all you need.

Let’s further discuss the medical conditions that call for specific medical options.

When to call the family doctor

If your family doctor is available when you are sick or injured, then going to them is the best option. Your family physician can provide you with healthcare for the following medical conditions.

1. Common cold and flu

2. Viral infections

3. Headache and body aches

4. Febrile condition

5. Acute or chronic ailments

6. Congenital diseases

7. Urinary tract infections

8. Nausea or vomits

9. Minor cuts or burns

You should regularly visit your family doctor for checkups and vaccinations. They may detect an ailment earlier, which saves you time or energy rushing to ER or urgent care.

The doctor’s office is your first option for non-emergencies

Your family doctor should be your first call in non-emergency situations. Your doctor knows your health history, including what other medical conditions need to be considered during your treatment. Plus, the fees for a visit to your doctor’s office are far less than a trip to the ER. Mostly, the doctor’s visits are covered under your insurance plan, while ER will not come under certain insurance plans. This option can also help you avoid the long waiting hours found in an emergency room. Even if your family doctor is unavailable or not specialized in the area of care you need, they can refer you to a specialist or another medical professional.

When to go to the ER

ER is best for devastating emergencies such as bleeding profusely in a road accident or worsening of a persistent medical condition.

Here we list some of the conditions which call for the need for ER.

1. Persistent heart pain

2. Head injury

3. Broken bones

4. Breathing problem

5. Heart or asthma attacks

6. Cuts that need stitches

7. A rise in body temperature

8. Abnormal heartbeat

Going to ER becomes necessary when a medical problem persists, and pain becomes unbearable.

When to go to the urgent care

If a primary care physician is not available, going to urgent care is essential under the below-listed conditions. Since most urgent care clinics are working 24/7, it has become an ideal source to rely on during the weekends, holidays and odd hours when primary care clinics are closed.

Apart from medical conditions, certain other things affect your decision to visit an urgent care clinic.

Other factors may include

Closing hours:

Ailments and accidents do not run away at night or on the weekends. You can fall sick at any time, and since many doctors’ offices close late in the evening or on holidays or weekends it becomes essential to opt for an urgent care clinic. Moreover, for less serious issues that are not life-threatening but the patient can’t wait (due to unbearable pain or discomfort) till the next working day, urgent care clinics are an excellent choice.

Routine illnesses:

Common and usual illnesses such as flu, fever, sinus, sore throat, pain in any part of the body, nausea, sprained ankles, and viral infections affect almost everyone. Urgent care is suitable for the treatment of these issues. It is convenient for patients to come in and go without much hassle. Moreover, it is not as expensive as ER. The doctors in urgent care clinics are well-trained and educated and can treat patients well.

Lingering problems:

When a medical condition is not subsiding and drags from some days to weeks, it’s a good idea to go to urgent care. The doctors there can diagnose and do treatments and prescribe medications that help you recover soon.

When not to go to urgent care

In some critical cases, people immediately need to rush to the emergency room. Urgent care is not well-equipped to cater to serious health conditions. Medical staff in urgent care also referred patients with serious health conditions to ER. Heart patients or people with complaints of heart pain take to the ER directly. A road accident patient bleeding profusely should seek ER services.

Factors to keep in mind while selecting any of the medical facility

Once you have decided on visiting primary care, ER, and urgent care clinic, make sure to look for the following aspects:

Look for “In-network” providers

In-network providers are practitioners and clinics that are listed on your insurance plan, so obviously they do charge less to their members. You should always make sure whether your primary practitioner and urgent care clinic is in-network or out-of-network. Usually, ER visits don’t fall under an insurance plan. Out-of-network providers are the ones who do not fall into your insurance or medical health plan.

Think about accessibility

After choosing the appropriate medical facility according to your health concerns, you should consider location, distance, and other barriers.

Make sure you consider all these factors before finally visiting.


Make sure your doctor is within your reach not too far away from your home or office.

Working hours

Go to the hospital website or call the hospital directly to know the sitting hours of the doctor to be assured that it doesn’t clash with your office hours, or ask whether they take appointments for weekends to avoid any further problems.


Language is a huge barrier, go to the doctors who understand and speak your language, or have translators available.

Pay attention to reviews and recommendations.

You might experience hospital anxiety because you haven’t been there or heard anything about the hospital and its medical staff. However, you feel relaxed and comfortable visiting a recommended doctor by one of your friends or family.

It’s good to talk with your family, friends, or neighbors before visiting a new primary care doctor, urgent care clinic, or in case you need to rush to ER.

Wrap up:

Understanding the different natures of services provided by the different medical facilities is essential. The more knowledge you have about medical facilities the greater the chances of getting the right medical care. However, facilities such as telemedicine are now a choice of people in non-alarming emergencies, should have your backup about the best telemed in royal oak Michigan, or any part of the world you live in.

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