MRH Blog

Should I go to the Urgent Care or my Primary Care Provider?

In the event of sickness or injury, have you ever wondered whether you should call the doctor or just “wait it out”? Sometimes, a cold can clear up on its own within a couple of days. But occasionally, what you thought was a cold lingers or turns into something more.

When you’ve decided it is time to call the doctor, which one do you call? Should your Primary Care Physician be on speed dial or should you skip the call and head into Urgent Care? We’re here to help with these questions today.

Here’s an important distinction to start with: Urgent vs. Emergent.

An injury or illness is urgent if you need to be treated soon. An injury or illness is considered an emergency when it is threatening your life and you need to be treated immediately.

Some examples of times when you should call 9-1-1 or head to the Emergency Department at Moab Regional Hospital include:
Broken bones where the skin is punctured
Head injury, including concussions and fainting
Severe allergic reaction
Severe asthma attack
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Vomiting or coughing up blood

Here are some examples of times when Urgent Care would be your best choice:
Animal or insect bites
Flu or cold symptoms
Ear pain
Minor broken bones
Mild burns or rashes
Minor cuts
Pink eye
Sore throat
Urinary tract infection
Vomiting or diarrhea

So, when do you call your Primary Care Provider? Primary Care is a great resource for preventative care (screenings, annual checkups, etc.) or concerns that don’t need urgent or emergent treatment. If you have a health concern that requires routine visits outside of your standard annual appointments, your Primary Care Physician will be a valuable resource to you.

There can be a lot of overlap in treatments that could be taken care of in our Urgent Care or your Primary Care Provider’s office. In these cases, one of the most important factors is how soon you need to be treated. Because of the nature of primary care, the availability of your physician may determine how soon you’ll be able to be seen in their office. If your health concern isn’t a part of an ongoing treatment or routine visits, you may consider visiting Urgent Care to receive treatment sooner than when your Primary Care Physician would be available for an appointment with you.

Moab Regional Urgent Care provides after-hours and weekend medical care for non-emergent minor illnesses and injuries. Urgent care appointments are walk-in only.