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When should I go to QuickCARE instead of my primary doctor?

Establishing primary care is good for your overall, long-term health

(Part 2 of a three-part series exploring the importance of establishing a relationship with a primary care provider. Part 1: Having a primary care provider can help you live longer and healthier.)

While our QuickCARE clinic is a great option for those times when you need immediate treatment for a stomach bug or a sprained ankle, it is not intended to be a substitute for the comprehensive, long-term care offered by our primary care providers at the Moscow Family Medicine Downtown and Westside locations, our Internal Medicine Clinic or our rural clinics in Kendrick, Potlatch and Troy.

“Having a primary care provider guarantees you have a team monitoring your health over time and ensures you are getting comprehensive care and the appropriate screenings recommended by your age and personal/family history,” Jennifer Grinage, a physician’s assistant at the Troy Clinic, said. Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals who practice medicine under a doctor’s supervision in medical and surgical settings. They can perform routine exams, order lab work and X-rays, prescribe medicines and counsel people about their health.

When should I go to QuickCARE?
QuickCARE and other urgent care centers are designed to see people with new acute problems that need care now but are not serious enough to require emergency room services. Our QuickCARE clinic offers great same-day services and care, seven days a week, and appointments are never needed.

“QuickCARE is just that – quick care,” Grinage said. “Diabetes management, anxiety and depression management, anything with a ‘management’ behind it is not designed for QuickCARE by the nature of the clinic’s design. This does not lessen the importance of QuickCARE, but the clinic should be used appropriately.”

Can I see my primary care provider for acute health care needs?
While you can always go to QuickCARE for your acute health care needs, many primary care providers now have open urgent care type appointment slots available, so it is a good idea to call first to see if your urgent care need can be done by your own provider.

“Your own provider will have a more complete picture of your overall health and be in a better position to follow up after initial treatment if needed than an urgent care facility, where you are likely not to see the same provider each time you go,” Gritman Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Brown said. “Nonetheless, QuickCARE provides a needed niche for those who need to be seen right away but cannot get into their regular doctor.”

What are some of the benefits of having a primary care provider?
Your primary care provider will know your complete medical history and can provide treatment for both acute and chronic conditions. They also will guide you through routine preventive visits, cancer screening, diagnostic and preventing testing.

“If you just hop from urgent care to urgent care you’d don’t get a lot of the big picture preventative health care,” Dr. Bryn Parker, a family practice obstetrician at Gritman|MFM, said.

No matter your age, you should develop and maintain a relationship with your primary care provider, and finding a primary care provider is easy. Call our clinics to find a primary care provider. We are offering both in-person and telemedicine visits.