Primary Care Physician vs. Urgent Care Center in Fairfield, CT: Where and When Should You Go?

“Should I go see my regular doctor?”

You’ve probably asked yourself this question more than you’d like to admit. 

Whenever you’re unsure if you’re feeling sick or not, you’re more likely to think of going to your doctor automatically. But what if you don’t want to mess up everything you’ve lined up for the day? You’ve got a lot to do, and you’re probably wondering about the alternatives you can do instead of checking in to your doctor. 

After all, setting an appointment with the doctor can be tedious. Most of the time, you need to schedule for a doctor’s time days in advance, not to mention all the calls and messages being put on hold and getting your schedule weeks ahead. By that time, you’ve already regained your strength back!

Being unsure whether you’re sick and not having the energy to go through those tedious processes is understandable. Often, you want to check yourself in with a medical professional who can address your concerns as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this kind of “urgent” need can’t be solved promptly by a busy doctor.

Luckily for you, an urgent care can.

This article will discuss the differences between a primary care physician and an urgent care physician, where to go, and when you should seek out their help.

The Difference Between Primary Care Physicians and Urgent Care Centers in Fairfield, CT

Both primary care physicians and urgent care centers are crucial in maintaining your overall health. However, each of them serves its distinct purpose. They also offer different services and treatments, and most importantly, they differ in how they handle and deal with their respective patients. 

Let’s take a look at their differences.

Primary Care Physician

Primary Care Physician in Fairfield, CT

A primary care physician (PCP) is a general practitioner who acts as the first point of contact whenever you need to address anything health-related. They’ve spent years studying and training to prevent, diagnose, and treat many illnesses and injuries that a typical individual would usually encounter. As a result, they provide comprehensive care and can address more complicated and chronic conditions such as diabetes, bronchitis, and other uncomplicated health conditions such as allergic reactions and flu.

You can find primary care physicians practicing their careers in various settings, such as:

  • Clinics
  • Private/Group practices
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Hospitals (outpatient and inpatient)
Different Types of Primary Care Physicians

Different Types of Primary Care Physicians

Primary care physicians may be generalists, but different areas of human health need to be addressed separately. Because of that, primary care physicians tend to specialize in how they practice their profession.

Family Doctors. These generalists cater to people of all ages. They are trained to treat chronic conditions, evaluate symptoms, and provide preventative care. They can also refer their patients to specialists if necessary.

Internists. These physicians have in-depth knowledge of internal medicine and can treat acute and chronic conditions inside the body. They mainly deal with internal organs such as the heart, kidneys, and lungs.

Pediatricians. These doctors are much like family doctors but only deal with younger patients, from infants to teenagers – up until 21 years old. 

Geriatricians. Unlike pediatricians, geriatricians specialize in treating older adults. As a result, these professionals are exceptionally proficient at dealing with issues typically found in the elderly, such as dementia, osteoporosis, and diabetes.


Obstetrician-gynecologists (OB-GYN). One of the most popular types of physicians, an OB-GYN, is a medical professional specializing in women’s health, particularly reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum conditions.

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs). Both of these professionals are crucial in providing primary care. NPs abide by the patient-centered model, while PAs adhere to a disease-focused approach.

When to Go to Primary Care Physician

When to Go to Primary Care Physician

Since primary care physicians are in charge of a person’s overall health and well-being, they are the people you go to for regular health checkups. Their expertise in their respective fields makes it easy for them to run routine maintenance of your health, as it helps prevent and diagnose critical illnesses as early as possible. 

To put it simply, primary care physicians are your go-to practitioners for routine checkups and medical examinations.

Some of the illnesses primary care physicians can treat are the following:

  • Cuts and scratches
  • Sprains and strains
  • Burns
  • Sore throat
  • Bronchitis
  • Flu
  • Chicken Pox
  • Pneumonia
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)


Why Go to a Primary Care Physician

Primary care physicians will give you an idea of how your overall health is performing. Their skills can give you the general care necessary to keep your body in optimal condition. The healthcare they provide is much more stable than any urgent care in Fairfield, CT, especially when new illnesses or situations arise. 

You can also consult your primary care provider if you need to address non-emergency medical concerns, like sleeping problems, mental health concerns, and minor injuries. Since their practice involves general health, they are best positioned to back and bolster your long-term health.

Urgent Care in Fairfield, CT

Unlike primary care physicians, urgent care in Fairfield, CT, cannot give you the bigger picture of your current health. However, they are your go-to establishment when you need immediate medical assistance. They provide easy access to quality healthcare whenever your primary care provider is unavailable.

Say, for example, you get your finger cut, requiring stitches. It’s not a life-or-death situation that requires you to go to an emergency room, yet it’s not a condition suitable for a doctor that would need to be scheduled days in advance. This is where urgent care centers shine the most because they can handle pressing medical issues fast – just how you need them to be.

When to Go to an Urgent Care Center in Fairfield, CT

When to Go to an Urgent Care Center in Fairfield, CT

While both primary and urgent care establishments are staffed with board-certified doctors and often offer the same services, the treatment you’d get at these places will be provided by either a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant. The goal of all urgent care in Fairfield, CT, is to deliver convenient and prompt treatment to your immediate medical concerns rather than full-blown care – either preventative or primary care.

So how can these establishments help you? Urgent care in Fairfield, CT, like DOCS Urgent Care & Primary Care Fairfield, can provide treatment to a wide variety of illnesses and injuries, such as:

  • Moderate back problems
  • Minor fractures
  • Abdominal pain
  • Small cuts that require stitches
  • Infections
  • Eye infections
  • Sprains and strains
  • Rashes
  • Insect and animal bites
  • Fevers 
  • allergic reactions
  • Mild breathing difficulties

Aside from treating illnesses and injuries, they also offer diagnostic and vaccination services. Some of these offerings include:

  • Vaccinations 
  • X-ray
  • Allergy shots
  • Flu shots
  • COVID-19 testing
  • DOT Physicals
  • STD testing
  • TB testing
  • HIV testing
  • Lyme testing
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Screening

Why Go to an Urgent Care Center

All urgent care in Fairfield, CT, is designed under a specific medical care model where patients can walk in on a clinic, get the care they need, and get discharged. These establishments deliver top-quality care for non-life-threatening conditions quickly, efficiently, and timely. Instead of going to a primary care physician or an emergency room (which would take a considerable amount of time), you can go to an urgent care to get yourself patched up swiftly.

Urgent care issues are conditions that require immediate (but not emergency) medical attention within 24 hours. So if you’re thinking of getting to urgent care in Fairfield, CT, if your primary care provider is inaccessible or is fully booked with appointments, then yes, you definitely can. Keep in mind, however, that no one in the establishment has proper knowledge of your medical knowledge as deep as your primary care provider.

Get the Healthcare You Deserve With DOCS Urgent Care & Primary Care Fairfield

Get the Healthcare You Deserve With DOCS Urgent Care & Primary Care Fairfield

You can count on DOCS Urgent Care & Primary Care Fairfield to give you both primary and urgent care in Fairfield, CT. We have in-house primary care physicians who can provide you with quality and patient-focused care and urgent care staff that can handle almost all medical conditions that require immediate treatment – all at an affordable price. We also accept all insurance.


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