Health is something for every American to take seriously, and today’s healthcare industry appears in many forms. Two particular areas that families may take an interest in are family practice physicians and walk in clinics, among others. A family doctor is, in short, a medical professional who can take care of an examine patients of many ages. Toddlers, teenagers, adults, and the elderly alike can be helped with family practice physicians, and a family doctor search can be done to find such a professional to consult. If a family moves to a new city or town, for example, they may need to find local family practice physicians and pick and choose among them. Other times, a person with urgent but not life-threatening medical problems can look for walk in clinics for urgent care. What is there to know about family practice physicians and urgent care clinics?

Find a Doctor

Every American family is urged to have family practice physicians on hand to consult, and a family’s doctor can do a lot of good. When a family intends to get such a doctor, they can start with an online search if they do not have other references available. An online search may start when terms such as “family physicians near me Los Angeles CA” or “local family doctors Boston MA” are entered. This can yield a list of local doctors and offices that treat families, and this makes for a good starting point.

A number of factors may remove different offices or doctors from the list. Some such doctors may be fully booked with other patients and cannot take on new ones, or the office is considered too far away to be convenient. Other doctor’s offices, meanwhile, may be visited by one or more family members and checked out in person. What is there to see? The visiting potential patients will want to consult the family doctors there and check their personality, current patient satisfaction, and even their credentials. And in the case of younger kids, the child should feel at ease at the office. If the child is uncooperative or frightened in the office or around staff, the office is unlikely to work out well as a family doctor.

Once a doctor and office are decided upon, family members can visit the doctor as needed for checkups and more. This doctor is a flexible one, who can treat kids, adults, and the elderly alike, and they can also refer patients to more specialized doctors. An adult with a heart problem, for example, may be referred elsewhere, and someone with a hearing problem can be referred to a hearing clinic. This allows family members to get whatever treatment they need from the right hands, and it all starts with a family doctor. But what about cases when there is urgent need for medical care due to a wound or illness?

Urgent Care Centers

If a person has an urgent need for medical attention and does not have the time for setting up a doctor’s appointment, he or she may instead turn to walk in, urgent care centers. These are small, independent health clinics found all across the United States, and most are standalone or part of small local networks. They are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can handle a wide range of non life-threatening medical issues, and many such clinics are open 24 hours a day. Even those that aren’t may have broad hours of operation for the convenience of patients. Such clinics, if they are running smoothly, can see about three patients per hour, and a patient may expect a wait time of about 15 minutes. A person may search “urgent care clinic near me” to find such a place, for example.

What might bring a patient to urgent care? Minor physical trauma may be the reason. Four out of five such clinics can treat bone fractures, and most can deal with ankle or wrist sprains as well. The nurses at such clinics can also provide stitches and bandages for cuts, such as if a patient stepped on broken glass or mishandled a knife. These clinics also offer medicine for cold and flu relief, and they can provide lotion or ointment for rashes or other skin issues.