Doctor, Retail Clinic, Urgent Care, or Emergency Room

Health care is an extensive term, and it includes all those people, places, devices that help one maintain their health and live a healthy life. Healthcare is like a whole network providing different services to their users according to their conditions, availability, and budget. These include primary care, urgent care, emergency care which can be further divided into different categories.  First comes primary care. Primary care includes the first interaction of a person with his doctor.


The doctor comes first in the primary care. We can say that only one doctor can also be regarded as primary care. A doctor is a person who has studied medicine and is legally allowed to treat patients. Talking about doctors, there are many different types of health carers that all come under the same heading.

General Physician: this doctor can be termed as all one doctor. He can treat one’s whole body. He can treat joint and general health issues. He can guess one’s disease by just hearing the symptoms and can treat those diseases to some extend. If the disease is complicated, he refers the patient to some specialist for more specific treatment. He has done MBBS ( Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery), a five-year course done by every doctor. If he is a specialized general physician, he might have done his post-graduation in General Medicine.

Specialist Doctor: a specialist doctor is a master of treating a specific body part. He has done post-graduation in studying only one part of the body and all the diseases related to it. For example, an eye specialist has done MBBS and has done his post-graduation studying about eyes only. Now he can treat any disease related to the eye. It may be a minor disease or a chronic disease. He gives very advanced and specific care to a person with having a disease related to his specialization. There are many specialized doctors. For example, an ENT specialist specializes in treating ear, nose, and throat and their diseases.

Surgeons: specialist doctors can also perform surgeries on the body parts that come under their studies. They are the highest-ranked doctors. They have done MBBS and the MD ( post-graduation in the study of a specific body part), then they have a surgical resident in a hospital for 3-8 years. In that period, they gain experience in doing surgeries in their own field of specialization.

Retail Clinic

Retail clinics are the clinics that are formed inside pharmacies and convenience stores. It is a kind of walk-in clinic. The patients go and get a checkup randomly. They can go to any retail clinic and get a prescription.

Urgent Care

It is the type of clinic where people go when they have a cute health emergency. Urgent care centers are a bit more advanced and provide a lot more facilities to the patients.

Emergency Room

This is the place where people go in the case of extreme emergency. It is the kind of emergency in which there is a risk that one might lose his life.


Primary care includes the clinics running single-handedly by only one doctor. That doctor can be a general physician, a specialist, or even a surgeon. They can also work in groups of two to three doctors, but most of the time its only one doctor that deals with the patients.

Retail clinic staff comprises nurses and physicians assistants. They are legally allowed to treat patients with common health emergencies and prescribe medicines.

Urgent care staff consists of general physicians, assistants, nurses and practitioners, and lab assistants. They are well trained to treat acute emergencies. They can also handle chronic emergencies up to a specific limit.

Emergency room staff comprises general physicians, specialized doctors, surgeons, nurses, practitioners, and lab assistances. This staff can handle any emergency, from a needle prick to a whole nine-hour-long surgery.

Services Provided

The doctors can diagnose the diseases and prescribe the medicine. They treat common diseases like acne, flu, cough. Sometimes they have many advanced types of machinery in their clinics, such as the ultrasound machine. So they can give the patients those services as well. However, most of them do a comprehensive checkup and tell the patient what to do and where to go in a chronic emergency. Their services include

  • Regular checkups
  • Checking BP
  • Check blood sugar level
  • Diagnosis of several diseases
  • Treating influenza and minor diseases like that

The retail clinics also provide services similar to primary care. The services they provide are

  • Treating common flu and cough
  • Treating minor cuts and doing bandage

Urgent care provides all the services provides by primary care and retail clinic. There are some additional services provided by urgent care clinics that include

  • Treating backache
  • Minor bone fracture and sprains
  • Xrays
  • Blood test
  • Treatment of nausea

The emergency room can provide all the primary care, urgent care, and retail clinic services. The additional services they provide are

  • Treating cardiac patients
  • Treating broken bones
  • Surgeries
  • Cancer
  • Ct scan
  • MRI
  • Treating infants
  • Deliveries


In order to get treated by a doctor in primary care, one must make an appointment. The doctor needs a complete medical background history of the patient, and he keeps a record of it.

In a retail clinic, one need not make an appointment. The staff would treat anyone without asking d=for the record of the medical history of patients.

In urgent care, there is also no need to take appointments. The doctors treat the patients based on first come and first served. No medical history is required.

In the emergency room, one has to take appointments except for extreme emergencies. The doctors as for the medical history of the patient and keep a record of it.

Costs and Timings

The cost of getting treated by a general doctor depends on his fee. He can set up the fee keeping the treatment and his reputation in mind. A general visit to a well-reputed physician costs $300-$600. It can be less as well. The timings of the clinic are from 9-5 on weekdays only. The doctor can alter the timings according to his own will as well.

The costs of services provided in retail clinics are already fixed and are written on display. Generally, its visit costs up to $50-$150. They are open on weekdays and for some hours on weekends as well.

The average cost of a visit in urgent care is around $75-$150. They are open from 9 to 5 during weekdays as well as weekends.

The average cost of an emergency room visit is around $ 500-$1500. It may be higher than this. The emergency rooms are open 24/7 the whole week.