One of the biggest misconceptions about visiting an urgent care center for your medical needs is that you won’t have a primary care physician. The truth is, many clinics, including Restore Health Urgent Care in Palm Bay, FL., make it easy for you to establish a primary physician with a primary care program!
What is a primary care physician?
A primary care physician (or PCP) is generally the first point of contact for someone with non-emergent medical concerns.
They’re often responsible for the basic diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses and injuries, including writing prescriptions. A PCP is usually your go-to for routine check-ups, including blood pressure monitoring. They can also order blood tests and other diagnostic tools to help track or diagnose conditions.
Your PCP can also refer you to specialists when your medical needs exceed their scope of practice.
In addition to treating and managing medical issues, your primary care physician can also educate you on basic health and safety behaviors, including proper nutrition, exercise, hygiene, and other self-care practices.
The benefits of having a primary care physician
As you can see, your primary care physician plays an integral role in your complete health and wellness.
There are several benefits to having a PCP.
They include an increased emphasis on the physician-patient relationship thanks to a shift in focus from physician-centered care to patient-centered care. With this shift, comes some incredible results.
Not to mention, many patients prefer seeing a familiar face when they’re experiencing health challenges. Patients also take comfort in knowing a doctor is well-versed in their personal medical history.
According to recent research, the increase of one primary care doctor per 10,000 people has shown:
- A 5% decrease in outpatient visits
- 5.5% decrease in inpatient admissions
- 10.9% decrease in ER visits
- 7.2% decrease in surgeries
It’s also shown that when urban and rural communities have adequate access to primary care providers, infant mortality lowers, birth weights increase, and immunization rates increase.
Establishing a primary at urgent care
Now that we’ve covered what a primary physician does as well as why this role is so important, let’s talk more about establishing a primary at urgent care. As we mentioned, many patients assume this simply isn’t possible at an urgent care clinic. But walk-in and urgent care centers are increasingly offering primary services to their patients.
Urgent care and primary care physicians both perform important and complementary roles. When you can have access to urgent care as well as primary care all in the same clinic, this is an incredibly convenient way to have your medical needs met.
Restore Health has always had a philosophy focused on amazing patient care and a passion for your well-being. With our internal medicine and family practice, that philosophy now extends to primary care.
Our friendly, knowledgeable team helps you maximize your health and well-being by treating and managing a variety of chronic conditions, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Pulmonary issues
- Autoimmune diseases
If you’re looking for a new primary care doctor in the Palm Bay area, give us a call today to book with one of our primary care physicians!
Primary care vs. urgent care
We mentioned that both primary care and urgent care physicians play important, and often complementary roles. But when should you see your primary care doctor and when should you seek walk-in or urgent care?
When to go to urgent care:
If you have a time-sensitive, non-life-threatening medical issue, urgent care is a great choice. Urgent care centers typically have extended hours so you can get help outside of the normal 9-5, Monday to Friday schedule.
Certain illnesses or injuries that might call for a trip to an urgent care center include:
- Minor broken bones
- Animal bites
- Cuts and lacerations
While many of these illnesses and injuries need urgent care, they’re not necessarily life-threatening, which makes an urgent care clinic an excellent choice for treating them.
When to visit your primary care physician:
Before you visit an urgent care clinic, it’s worthwhile to call your primary care clinic and see if they can fit you in for a same-day visit.
Here are some of the common illnesses, injuries, or other medical issues your primary care doctor can help with:
- Renewing prescriptions
- Strep throat tests
- Flu shots
- STD testing
- Minor procedures including skin biopsies, toenail removals, and joint injections
- Ordering diagnostic testing
What about emergency care?
If you’re ever unsure in deciding between an emergency room visit or urgent care, it’s best to err on the side of caution and visit an emergency medical center. Emergencies are considered medical events with an imminent life-threatening nature, including chest pain or tightness, major wounds, serious burns, or head and eye injuries.
We talk more about when to visit the ER versus an urgent care facility in this post.
Let Restore Health help with your medical need
Whether you have urgent care needs or you’re interested in establishing a primary care physician in Palm Bay, Restore Health is here to help!
We are excited to also offer telemedicine visits, covered by your regular insurance just like an office visit. As a service to the community, these visits are only $80 if you don’t have insurance! It’s that easy! Call (321) 312-4580 and dial 4 to book.
We look forward to hearing from you!