How do you know when you should visit a same day doctor? What is the difference between a same day doctor and a primary care provider? With more and more options for healthcare emerging each day, it can be difficult to determine what choice is the best for you. If you encounter an unexpected injury or illness, it may be a good idea to visit a same day doctor.
Benefits of a same day doctor
The best way to think about a same day doctor, or urgent care clinic, is the bridge between critical emergency services and routine healthcare. It is well-known that a visit to the emergency room can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars and can take hours to actually be seen. The main benefit of seeing a same day doctor is convenience. Most same day doctors and urgent care clinics offer the extended hours of an emergency room without the long wait. Urgent care clinics also usually have many on-site services, including a basic laboratory, X-ray or pharmacy services.
What can be treated by a same day doctor?
Most urgent care clinics are staffed by the same types of providers you can see at your normal clinic. You may see a doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner for your care, all of whom are licensed and qualified to treat a wide variety of problems.
The following is a list of illnesses or injuries that can be treated by a same day doctor:
- Animal or insect bites
- Cold, cough or fever
- Ear or eye infection
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rash or minor burn
- Sore throat or strep throat
- Sprains or strains
- Urinary tract infection
When to see your primary care provider
While seeing a same day doctor can be sufficient for many minor illnesses or injuries, it is still important to develop and maintain a relationship with a primary care provider. Regularly seeing your primary care provider can help you avoid any nasty surprises, both in terms of your health and your bill!
Most insurance covers preventative care, including regular physicals or yearly check-ups. Additionally, when you regularly visit your primary care provider, they have a better chance of recognizing hereditary issues or trends. As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to see your primary care provider for long-term or chronic health concerns because they are familiar with your medical history and can provide continuity of care. Here are a few other times when you should visit your primary care provider:
- Mental health diagnosis and treatment
- Physicals or yearly check-ups
- Medication renewals
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Disease screening (diabetes, cholesterol, etc)
- Sleeping issues
The bottom line
A same day doctor can be the quickest and easiest way for you to get the care you need. While it is still important to establish a relationship with your primary care provider, visiting a same day doctor can help get you back on your feet when you encounter an unexpected illness or injury.
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