What is the difference between a family doctor and a walk-in clinic?
The largest difference between a family doctor and a walk-in clinic is that the former specializes in same-day care and in treating minor to moderate health concerns or medical situations that you might need urgent medical care for but that is not an emergency. While walk-in clinics may offer routine medical services such as vaccinations or physical examinations, they are not meant as a substitute for a family doctor or primary care physician and should not be used as such.
Your family doctor or primary care practitioner is the most important healthcare relationship you will have. They will help you if you develop or are diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, coordinating your medical care and giving you a referral to a specialist if needed. They are your primary healthcare resource and are well-versed in both yours and your family’s medical history, which means that they can offer insightful medical care that you would likely not receive at a walk-in clinic.
When should I see a family doctor?
If you have any health concerns or are in need of routine medical care – such as vaccinations or a physical examination – then you should see your family doctor. Your family doctor will follow you throughout your life, providing you are, and will be knowledgeable when it comes to your personal and familial medical history. Family doctors are there for more than just routine medical needs and situations; they also help with managing your chronic medical conditions and treating acute medical situations, which may include infections and other injuries.
Your family doctor can and will also refer you to a specialist if you need one and will help you find one that is the right fit for you. If you have a serious health concern or have been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, then it is important that you have a family doctor, as they can help you with coordinating care and making certain that you receive the specialized care and treatment that you need.
Lastly, your family doctor can help you save money and improve your overall quality of life. By seeing your family doctor regularly, you reduce your risk of needing to be admitted to a hospital or needing to visit an emergency room for medical concerns; they are an important part of preventative care, and can help spot and treat medical conditions early, before they become serious and/or life-threatening.
How do I get a new family doctor?
For those without a family doctor, finding a new one can be a daunting situation. However, it is not as intimidating as you might think. Your first step should be asking friends and family about the family doctor that they see, as recommendations are a good first step. You can also check online to find family doctors in your area that are accepting new patients and that accept your insurance plan.
If you are in need of a family doctor, then we here at Medical Access Urgent Care are here to help. Our experienced staff strive to provide a higher level of care, and we have three convenient locations across the continental United States to serve you and your family’s medical needs. Please visit our website to find the location nearest you and book your appointment with us today.