Where to Go When You Don’t Have a PCP

Picture of a person wearing a white coat and a stethoscope and writing on a clipboard.We’ve all had it happen—you sustain an injury or find yourself feeling under the weather, and you don’t have a primary care provider (PCP) to turn to for treatment. Maybe you just moved to a new city, you haven’t had time to find a provider you like, or you recently switched insurance companies and your old PCP isn’t in-network with the new carrier.

You’re not alone—a recent study found that the number of U.S. adults with an identified source of primary care has decreased in recent years, with only 75% of Americans having a PCP in 2015. This reduction was especially significant among certain segments of the population, including younger individuals and those without complex medical conditions.

It’s certainly a good idea to have a PCP. These providers excel at managing patients’ everyday health needs, and attending regular checkups can help ensure that you remain as healthy as possible. But until you find a PCP that’s right for you, where can you go when an injury or illness pops up? The answer will depend on the nature of your condition.

Conditions Requiring Immediate Attention

If you’re experiencing a life- or limb-threatening situation, you should get to a nearby emergency room (ER) as quickly as possible (of course, the same is true even if you currently have a PCP). Some examples of conditions that require a trip to the ER include:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Heart attacks
  • Overdoses
  • Severe burns, lacerations, or fractures
  • Strokes
  • Vision loss

Other Conditions

If your injury or illness isn’t a true emergency, but you still need prompt treatment, there’s another alternative available to you: an urgent care clinic. You may want to consider visiting an immediate care center if you have a:

  • Cold
  • Minor burn, laceration, or fracture
  • Muscle strain
  • Sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Sinus infection
  • Sprain
  • Tick bite
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)

In addition to treating illnesses and injuries like these, some urgent care clinics offer services such as lab testing, physicals, and vaccinations.

Urgent care centers provide a number of benefits to patients who don’t require immediate attention, including relatively short wait times. Because ERs understandably need to prioritize emergency medical conditions, patients with less-pressing concerns typically have to wait longer to be seen. Immediate care clinics also tend to be considerably less expensive than ERs.

Where to Go for Urgent Care Treatment Near You

If it sounds like an urgent care clinic is the right choice for your needs, the next step will be finding a reputable provider near you. Luckily, if you’re in Connecticut, Massachusetts, or New York, you can turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care. We’re a physician-led immediate care center that’s been serving patients since 2008, and we’re pleased to offer all of our treatment services on a walk-in basis. We operate an online check-in system that allows patients to reserve their spot in line, and we even offer Virtual Visits for patients who can’t make it to an in-person consultation.

Click here to find out if PhysicianOne Urgent Care has an immediate care center in your area. You can also call us at 860-650-3848—one of our knowledgeable team members will be happy to tell you more about our services, answer your questions, and provide you with directions to the location that’s closest to you.

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