Urgent Care

First Aid NeonWith the rise of urgent care centers and after hours clinics, it can seem like an easy decision to get your baby, child or young adult seen any time they are sick, even when we aren’t open.

Those types of clinics are best reserved for the times that your child needs urgent or emergency care and not just because it is convenient.


The emergency room is for emergencies–a life-threatening illness or injury that can’t wait for a trip to the doctor’s office. But what about walk-in clinics popping up inside drug stores and shopping centers and big box stores? Is it ever acceptable to go to a walk-in for relatively minor health complaints like earaches and sore throats?


Certainly, these clinics can be helpful, especially if you are away from home or an illness occurs after hours. But just like the ER, they don’t meet the definition of a medical home, and for the health of your child, you should think twice about using them routinely. In the long run, you may not save time seeing someone who doesn’t really know your child and isn’t a pediatrician.


Remember that you can always call our office for after hours advice.


About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at WebMD.com, Rx.com, and MyLifePath.com. She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. BabyCenter.com currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit www.LMAsta.com
This entry was posted in 101, Babies!, Children, Health Care, Medicine, Urgent Care, Wellness and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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