Sick woman looking thermometer

Primary Care, Urgent Care or Emergency Care?

When unexpected accidents or illnesses hit, it can be hard to know what to do. Should you call your doctor, find the nearest Urgent Care clinic, or go straight to the Emergency Room?

At UTMB Health, we know it can be hard to know when to go where for what symptoms and conditions.

That’s why we’ve put together this helpful post to help make it a little easier for you to choose the right form of care when you or your loved ones need it most.

Urgent Care and Emergency Care

UTMB Health provides urgent care clinics and emergency rooms for patients with unexpected health conditions that cannot wait for an appointment with their primary care doctor. These urgent care clinics are open after hours, weekends and most holidays, while our emergency rooms are open 24/7.

Primary Care

Primary care providers (PCPs) at UTMB are specially trained to diagnose and treat a broad range of illnesses and conditions that affect adults and children. They care for many of your health needs, including preventative care, management of chronic medical issues, and non-emergent problems that arise unexpectedly.

If you experience a health condition that does not require immediate attention, schedule an appointment with a UTMB primary care physician by calling our Access Center 24/7 at (800) 917-8906 or visiting the UTMB Health provider directory at They will evaluate you and if needed, order appropriate testing, prescribe necessary treatment, or refer you to the right UTMB specialist to meet your needs.

With multiple clinics and hospitals throughout Southeast Texas and the Bay Area, UTMB Health offers a comprehensive system of care, making it easy to get the appropriate health care assistance you need when it matters most. For more information, visit

Urgent Care Emergency Room
Abdominal pain - mild Emergency Room
Allergic reactions - mild to moderateChest pains or stroke
Asthma attacks - mild to moderate Fever in babies (under 8 weeks)
Dehydration or heat exhaustion Major cuts, lacerations
Minor burnsSerious burns
Minor eye injuries Snake bite
Minor fractures Head, spine and serious neck or back injury
Scrapes, minor cuts and bruisesSudden difficulty breathing
Sinus infections Sudden loss of consciousness
Skin infections and rashesSuicidal thoughts
Sports injuries, falls, sprains and strains Vomiting or coughing up blood

To help further guide your decision when seeking care, see the table above, or review this online guide.