YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. - Life is unpredictable, and accidents happened. But when misfortune strikes in the form of an illness or injury, where do you turn? Should you head to the hospital emergency room? Your primary care physician? How about an urgent care facility?

AFC Urgent Care in Yorktown knows it can be difficult making such a decision during a time of stress. They offer an emergency room alternative that provides cost-effective alternatives to an ER that don’t require a referral.

“Our urgent care facility offers services at or about the cost of an office visit co-pay and without the long wait that most ER’s are challenged with today,” said Kellie Slater, marketing and community outreach director for AFC Urgent Care. “We also offer lab and digital x-ray services on site to provide immediate diagnostics and are capable of performing minor procedures.”

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Though the names are similar, urgent care is very different from emergency care. Urgent care centers provide services similar to what you will find at a primary care provider, such as flu shots, x-rays and physicals. As walk-in clinics, urgent care saves the patient the trouble of working around your regular doctor’s schedule.

You can find the following services at an urgent care center:

• Physicals, including sports, school, travel and DOT testing

• Flu shots

• X-ray services

• Lab testing

• Treatment of minor injuries

• Tick, animal and insect bites

• Occupational health (including drug testing, pre-employment physicals)

• Vaccinations

Emergency centers are more expensive than urgent care services because emergency room resources are sparse and intended to only be used for serious, life-threatening issues. For example, if you have a bad cold and your doctor is unavailable, the emergency room may accept you, but they will charge more for the time and resources they had to expend on your behalf. Urgent care, however, is designed for situations just like this one and can provide more efficient cost-effective care.

AFC Urgent Care in Yorktown was started by Dr. Rajesh Gupta more than two years ago. As an emergency room physician with over 25 years’ experience, Dr. Gupta, along with his wife, Seema, were looking for a viable way to both practice medicine and be a part of the community that he loves: Yorktown. He conducted some intensive research and decided to open an American Family Care (AFC) Urgent Care franchise.

“I am a doctor, not a business person, and the AFC model was a good fit for us,” he said. “It provides lots of support and the ability to serve our community the way we always wanted to: with compassion, accessibility and affordability.”

For Dr. Gupta, the AFC mission statement summed everything up perfectly and was the underlying reason he chose to open an AFC Center: “It is our mission to provide the best healthcare possible, in a kind and caring environment, while respecting the rights of all patients, in an economical manner, at times and locations convenient to the patient.”

AFC Urgent Care offers a variety of diagnostic and treatment options and works closely with each patient. With an on-site lab and digital x-ray, enabling its board-certified doctors to diagnose and treat illnesses, all under one roof, it can determine the best course of care in a quick and efficient manner. Additional services include all typical urgent care services, plus pre-employment exams, drug testing, breath alcohol tests, sports and school physicals, DOT physicals, pre-surgical physicals and vaccinations, including travel vaccinations.

The Gupta’s have lived in Yorktown for 15 years, raising two boys. Opening the AFC office in his hometown was a dream come true, he said. While still practicing at White Plains Hospital, Dr. Gupta always thought about opening a convenient, affordable practice that could serve his family and friends in the greater Yorktown community. He prides himself on being involved with his patients, their families and the community, but as an ER physician with 29 years’ experience, that was not something he could actively do. Developing relationships, building stronger ties with the community and serving a town where that personal touch in healthcare was lacking are the main reasons he decided to open up in Yorktown.  

Dr. Gupta is now a credentialed member of the Fieldhome physician team and has seen several homebound patients. He said being able to do “house calls”— a practice not “practiced” as much as it used to be — is so rewarding.  Seeing patients in their home, their environment and their comfort zone is what medicine is all about. It is not simply the treatment of the body, but of the whole person.  

Dr. Gupta also said he feels strongly about helping those who have served in the military, so he makes it a priority to see that all veterans have the best healthcare available

“Being involved with my patients and having a direct connection with them is so very important,” he noted.

Slater added that AFC strives to make the healthcare experience as convenient and accessible as possible, which is why the clinic is open during the evening hours and on weekends.

AFC Urgent Care Yorktown is located at 3379 Crompond Road. It accepts most insurance, including Tri-Care, Medicaid, and Medicare, as well as affordable cash and credit card rates for self-pay patients. It is open seven days a week. Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 914-930-5550 for more information.