Need medical care? Know your options before you go.

When you’re feeling sick or injured, there are several places you can go for medical care: a doctor’s office, an urgent care center, a retail health clinic or the emergency room. Here’s a quick guide to help you know where to go based on the urgency of your ailment. Please review the options below to make the right choice for the care you need. To find network providers, log in to your member website at, or call Aetna customer service at 800-743-0910. 

Non-Emergency Care 

Primary Care Physician 

Your PCP is the best option for nonemergency care. Open weekdays with possible extended hours and Saturdays, they may also offer telemedicine options. Your PCP is best for:  

  • Physicals 
  • Vaccinations/injections 
  • Chronic condition management (diabetes, etc.) 
  • Minor illness or injury 

Walk-In Clinic 

For mild to moderate care, walk-in clinics offer convenient care seven days a week and extended hours. You’ll be seen by a certified nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Walk-in clinics are best for: 

  • Minor illness or injury 
  • Cough and cold 
  • Flu 
  • Vaccinations/injections 
  • Sinus infection 

Faculty and staff can utilize both Occupational Health and the Faculty/Staff Express Care Clinic via telehealth or in-person visits for non-work-related illnesses and minor injuries as well as work-related illness and injury.

Urgent Care Centers

Urgent care centers provide quick care for situations that are serious but not life-threatening. Many offer X-ray and imaging services. You’ll be seen by a care team that could include doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses or physician assistants. Open seven days a week with extended hours, urgent care centers are best for: 

  • Acute care 
  • Cuts and minor burns 
  • Sprains and fractures 
  • Respiratory infections 

Emergency Care 

Emergency Room 

For treatment of life-threatening injuries and severe illness, you should visit the Emergency Room. Symptoms and severity matter. If you feel like your life is at risk, call 911. Never drive yourself if you have a serious head injury or are showing signs of a stroke or heart attack. When you arrive at the ER, you’ll be seen by a care team that could include doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses or physician assistants. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you should use the ER for: 

  • Chest pain 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Head or spine injury 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Symptoms that may put your life at risk 

Cost to you 

It is important to be aware what each of these costs. If the situation is not life-threatening, your PCP is your best choice for cost and care. When it’s not an emergency and after-hours, urgent care centers or walk-in clinics are convenient and cost less than an ER visit.  

Aetna’s here for you 

If you still aren’t sure where to go, you can ask Aetna. Call the 24-hour nurse line at 1-800-556-1555 (TTY: 711). Aetna representatives are standing by and ready to help.