Family Care vs. Urgent Care: Which Should I Choose?
The popularity of urgent care centers has grown rapidly in recent years, making it easier than ever to get quick care for illnesses and injuries. That rise in popularity, however, has also led a lot of people to choose urgent care over family care for non-urgent needs, too. Though that might seem like a convenient option, it isn’t the best choice for your overall long-term health and wellness.
At Medical Access, we offer both urgent care and family care (or primary care) for patients of all ages, serving as a “one-stop shop” for patients in Germantown, Maryland, and Alexandria and Woodbridge, Virginia. In this post, our team reviews the differences between urgent care and family care, so you can make the best choice for you and your loved ones.
Family care vs. urgent care: Understanding the differences
When we need healthcare, most of us don’t stop to think about the “delivery model” of the care and treatment we receive. We just want something that’s effective in providing us with the medical treatment we’re seeking in a manner that’s convenient for our lifestyles.
At first glance, no-appointment-needed walk-in urgent care visits might seem to fit the bill. But your health needs are complex, and even though walk-in visits definitely serve an important purpose, they aren’t always the best choice.
Family care focuses on caring for every member of your family, regardless of their age. With family care, the focus is on caring for your long-term health needs, providing important preventive care options to support overall wellness.
A family care doctor offers comprehensive physicals, as well as ongoing treatment for chronic medical conditions. Seeing your family care doctor regularly allows them to understand your unique needs, and keeping an ongoing record of your care over time also enables your doctor to spot subtle issues that need additional evaluation, monitoring, or treatment.
A family care doctor can also provide lifestyle guidance based on your health history, your lifestyle, your age, and other factors. They’re also a great source of information when you have concerns about your health and wellness.
Although family care provides the basis for staying healthy and preventing illnesses at every stage of life, urgent care is a good choice for issues that need quick attention. That includes illnesses and other medical conditions, like colds, flus, and allergies, as well as injury care for cuts or sprains.
If you have an upset stomach or a rash that won’t go away, an urgent care walk-in visit can be a great way to get quick relief without the need to wait for an appointment. But when it comes to managing your health over time, a family doctor is a better choice.
Both options play roles in good health
Once you understand the differences between family care and urgent care, it’s also a lot easier to understand which option makes sense for your health needs. If you have an injury, illness, or other acute need, a walk-in urgent care visit is a great way to get treatment for that specific concern.
On the other hand, if you want a physical exam or you have a chronic, recurrent, or ongoing health issue that concerns you, then scheduling a family care or primary care visit is your best bet. During that visit, we’ll be able to provide more comprehensive care based on your health history, including ongoing treatment for chronic medical needs, physical exams to help you stay healthy, and recommendations for important health screenings.
If you still aren’t sure, our staff can help. Because we offer both urgent care and family care services, we can steer you toward the better option based on your unique needs.
The care you need, the way you need it
Our team is skilled in both urgent care and family care options, so you can feel confident you’ll always get the best care for your needs every time you visit. To learn more about both options or if you need medical treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone for a regular office visit or walk in to one of our locations for urgent care today.