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Urgent-Care Centers


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An Urgent-care center is a free-standing clinic which provides emergency medical care for situations which are not so severe that an Emergency Room is a better option. 

Urgent-care centers can act as an alternative to a family doctor as well as to an emergency room. They are a step-up from Retail and Company clinics. They are good for such needs as minor injuries, minor burns and for treatment of minor infections.

According to Consumer Reports on Health, it may be best to use an urgent-care center which is affiliated with a hospital, ideally the same hospital your primary-care doctor is affiliated with. The affiliation makes for more accountability. It also makes it easier to get a record of the visit to your doctor. We add that if your situation relates to your underlying health condition, consider using an urgent-care center which is affiliated with a hospital that is the same one your specialist treating your condition is connected with.

For additional information, see:


  • When you receive any medical care, always be sure your primary doctor is informed of the reason for the visit and the result, such as receiving a new prescription.
  • If your situation does not require an urgent-care center, consider a retail clinic. (See "To Learn More.")
  • If no urgent-care centers are nearby, go to the Emergency Room. (See "To Learn More.")

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