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Primary, Urgent, and Emergency Care: Know Where to Go

A guide to help you choose where to go for your medical care.

Whether it’s a minor illness or a major injury, the last thing you want to do is wonder if you should wait to see your primary care physician (PCP), head to an urgent care or go to the emergency room (ER). Or, maybe same-day, in-home medical care for urgent, but non-life-threatening situations would best serve your needs. We hope to make this decision a little easier for you!

Download these guidelines

Patient wearing mask with primary care doctor
Schedule an Appointment with Primary Care

I need medical care and feel safe to wait a day.

You can call the doctor on-call for advice, or you can schedule an in-person or virtual visit with your doctor for the following business day.

Your primary care physician is your main healthcare contact providing you with comprehensive, preventive care, but also medical care in non-emergency situations for conditions such as: 

  • COVID-19 symptoms
  • Cold/flu
  • Sore throat
  • Backache (not severe)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Urinary symptoms
  • Earache
  • Rash

Call 1-855-IMG-DOCS (855-464-3627) or schedule online

Find a Doctor

Sick child prescribed medicine
Go to Urgent Care

I need medical care today and feel safe to wait a few hours.

Open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Inova-GoHealth Urgent Care centers are an excellent alternative to a hospital emergency room (ER) when immediate medical care is needed for non-life threatening conditions and treat walk-in patients ages 6 months and older for conditions such as: 

  • COVID-19 symptoms
  • Cold/flu
  • Sore throat
  • Backache (not severe)
  • Headache/migraine
  • Urinary symptoms
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • Minor injuries
  • Not able to get in touch with doctor for advice

Find an Urgent Care


Emergency Room Entrance
Go to the Emergency Room or Call 911

I need medical care now and do not feel safe to wait.

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you have a serious or life-threatening medical concern, you should not wait to see or talk to your doctor. Call 911 or head to nearest emergency room for:

  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sudden weakness of body parts
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Fainting
  • Severe pain
  • Serious injury

**Emergency rooms are not the right place for common illnesses or minor injuries. Emergency rooms should only be utilized for emergencies.

Find an ER

ER Wait Times