When you’re dealing with an injury or illness — whether it’s minor or critical — and want help right away at a walk-in facility, UC San Diego Health has three options for you: Express Care, Urgent Care and ER. If you think you're in a life-threatening situation,
When to Go to Express Care
Minor health issues: When you have a common illness or injury, or face a relatively minor situation that can’t wait for an appointment with a primary care provider.
Prompt wellness services: When you want same-day wellness services, such as
flu shots or sports physicals.
Save time: Wait times usually shorter than at ER or Urgent Care.
Note: Express Care clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. X-ray services are available at some locations, but there are no lab services. Co-pays are typically the same as a clinic appointment.
Symptoms and Conditions Treated in Patients 6 months and older
- Coughs and colds
- Earaches and ear infections
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Fever or flu-like symptoms
- Sore throat or strep throat
- Sinus infections
- Minor burns, cuts and sprains
- Bladder or urinary tract infections
- Skin infections
- Simple fractures, sprains and strains
Walk-In Wellness Services
- Blood pressure checks
- Sports physicals or health screenings for camp or school for children ages 6 and above
- EpiPen prescriptions
- STI testing and treatment
- Tuberculosis (TB) testing (Quantiferon (blood) testing only)
- Gynecology needs, including birth control prescriptions and pregnancy testing
- X-ray services are available at two San Diego County locations:
Downtown San Diego and
Eastlake / Chula Vista.
When to Go to Urgent Care
Non-emergency health problems: When you face a condition that is
not life- or limb-threatening, but still requires prompt care within 24 hours.
X-ray and lab services: When you may need diagnostic X-ray and lab services.
Access to physicians: When it's important to have a physician available on site.
Note: Co-pays at
Urgent Care clinics are often lower than those for an ER visit but may be higher than a regular clinic visit.
- Painful urination
- Strains and sprains
- Accidents and falls
- Minor trauma (such as a broken finger)
- Severe sore throat
- Fever and flu
- Infections and skin rashes
- Cut that requires stitches
- Moderate back problems
- Recurrent headaches
When to Go to ER / Emergency Care
Emergencies: When you have a major, life-threatening injury or a very severe illness that requires immediate attention.
Full array of services: When access to on-site surgical, diagnostic and lab services is important to you.
Access to specialists: When it's important to be seen by an emergency medicine doctor or a specialist.
Note: Co-pays are typically higher for
ER services and wait times may be longer.
- Sudden and severe head pain
- Shortness of breath
- Disorientation and inability to speak
- Vision loss
- Loss of consciousness
- High fever
- Chest pain
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Persistent bleeding
- Severe injuries, including those to the head or eyes
- Severe burn
- Severe heart palpitations
- Deep wound that needs stitches
- Rapid testicular inflammation and pain
- High fever in newborn baby
- Compound fracture
- Gunshot or knife wound
Trauma injuries that are life-threatening, such as a motor vehicle collision or gunshot wound, are treated in our
Level 1 Trauma Center.