Providing for the healthcare of you and your family is a big responsibility. Your health insurance will probably give you a list of primary care physicians to choose from, but you will also have the option of going to a quick care clinic if needed. Many people feel that because of the hours and availability of medical help at a clinic, they can forgo having a primary care physician. While in many ways this could be true, there are still things you will need from a PCP. Consider the following before you quit seeing your regular doctor.
If you catch the flu, cut yourself and need stitches, or are suffering from an acute problem like an ear infection or a sore throat, it may be advisable to go to a quick care clinic if you can't get in to see our doctor that same day. However, if you are going because you don't know what is wrong with you and need a diagnosis or have already been diagnosed with a chronic disease or illness like diabetes, you should go see a primary care physician. This is the person that will have your entire medical history. In addition, they can prescribe the tests needed to diagnose the problem. In these cases, the doctor at the clinic will treat you for any immediate dangers and then tell you to go to your regular doctor.
If you need to be hospitalized, your primary doctor will consult with and work with the admitting and treating hospital physicians. This will ensure that your overall health is taken into consideration and not just the immediate problem. A clinic doctor will not do rounds at the hospital, so once you are admitted you will not see them concerning the problem.
While a clinic doctor may refer you to a specialist, they will have the results sent to your primary care physician. The specialist and your doctor will make up your health team and work together to make sure you regain your health.
While the physicians at an urgent care clinic are as capable as your primary care physician and see all kinds of medical problems on a daily basis, they are not administratively equipped to be primary care physicians. You want and need someone to always be there when you need medical help: someone who knows you and quite possibly your family and background. By all means, go to a clinic when needed, but don't give up your regular doctor.