Cuándo ir al doctor, a atención urgente o a la sala de emergencias

Sep 13, 2018


Welcome to MUIR DIABLO OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE, a trusted source of healthcare information. In this article, we will discuss when it is appropriate to visit a doctor, seek urgent care, or go to the emergency room. We understand the importance of making informed decisions about your health, and we aim to provide you with comprehensive information to guide you in these situations.

Knowing When to Seek Medical Care

Understanding Symptoms

When it comes to your health, it is crucial to listen to your body and pay attention to any unusual or concerning symptoms. Some common symptoms that may indicate a need for medical attention include:

  • Severe pain or discomfort
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden weakness or numbness
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • High fever

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is wise to seek medical care promptly. However, please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and individual situations may vary. When in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution and seek professional medical advice.

Primary Care vs. Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room

Understanding the different levels of medical care available can help you determine where to go when seeking treatment. Here is a brief overview:

Primary Care

Your primary care physician is often your first point of contact for routine check-ups and general healthcare needs. They are equipped to handle common illnesses, provide preventive care, and offer ongoing management of chronic conditions. If your symptoms are not severe or life-threatening, scheduling an appointment with your primary care doctor is usually the best course of action.

Urgent Care

Urgent care centers are designed to provide medical care for non-life-threatening conditions that require immediate attention. Examples include minor injuries, infections, or illnesses that cannot wait for a regular primary care appointment but do not require emergency medical services. Urgent care centers are often open outside regular office hours, offering convenience and prompt care.

Emergency Room

The emergency room is designed to handle life-threatening conditions and severe injuries that require immediate medical attention. Examples include chest pain, severe allergic reactions, loss of consciousness, or major trauma. If you or someone around you is experiencing a medical emergency, calling 911 or heading directly to the nearest emergency room is imperative.

Important Considerations

Insurance Coverage

Before seeking medical care, it is important to understand your insurance coverage. Different types of medical facilities and services may have varying coverage, copays, and deductibles. Make sure you are familiar with your insurance policy and its guidelines to avoid unexpected expenses.


Consider the location and accessibility of medical facilities when making decisions about where to seek care. Urgent care centers are often more convenient and accessible for non-life-threatening conditions when your primary care physician is not available. Emergency rooms, on the other hand, are equipped to handle critical situations but may involve longer waiting times depending on the severity of cases.

Personal Judgment

While general guidelines exist, personal judgment is crucial in determining the level of medical care needed. If you are uncertain about the severity of your symptoms, consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a nurse hotline or your primary care physician, can provide valuable guidance.


Knowing when to visit a doctor, seek urgent care, or go to the emergency room is an essential part of managing your health. At MUIR DIABLO OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE, we understand that every medical situation is unique, and our goal is to provide you with the necessary information to make informed decisions about your healthcare needs. Remember, your health is your priority, and seeking appropriate care promptly is vital for your overall well-being.

ML Awanohara
Gracias, muy útil para todos.
Nov 11, 2023
Mike Squizzato
Buena información sobre cuándo buscar atención médica, es importante tomar decisiones informadas sobre nuestra salud.
Oct 5, 2023