Aspen Medical Center Blog


5 Ways How Urgent Care Can Help with Minor Medical Issues

Healthcare should never be taken lightly by anyone. After all, taking care of ourselves is something we should all strive for to experience the many joys in life. However, we can only protect ourselves so much that we may forget to be mindful of our actions, leading to various health issues. While most people think to come to the ER or a primary care doctor, not everything should be rushed, thanks to urgent care.

As the name suggests, urgent care is a type of medical care provided for patients with an illness or injury that is not serious enough to require emergency care but still requires prompt medical attention. Urgent care centers are typically open during regular business hours; some are open on weekends and holidays. Despite this, few people still see the benefits of urgent care since they think the ER or primary care centers are more effective.

If you don’t see the value of going to an urgent care facility when needed, here are some benefits you may reap:

#1 – Convenience

Going to the ER or a primary care facility is almost always a hassle because of the long wait times. On the other hand, urgent care centers provide prompt medical attention and have shorter wait times. You can just walk in and get your needed care without scheduling an appointment.

#2 – Various Services Offered

Urgent care centers provide various services, from immediate treatments to more complex procedures. They can provide basic care, treat minor injuries, and offer vaccinations. Sometimes, urgent care also provides X-rays and minor surgeries.

For example, if you have an earache, you can go to an urgent care facility to get antibiotics. If you have a cut and need stitches, an urgent care center can help you.

#3 – Faster Treatment

Going to the ER or a primary care facility often means waiting long hours to see a doctor. Urgent care centers offer a faster alternative, as a doctor can usually see you within 30 minutes. This is a significant advantage if you have an injury or illness that must be treated immediately.

#4 – Fewer Risks Involved with Treatment

Sometimes, going to the ER can be dangerous because of germ exposure. Beyond that, some facilities are understaffed and overworked, leading to errors. However, urgent care centers are smaller and have lesser staff. This can make it easier to provide quality care.

Kids will benefit from this because they will be seen by a doctor who is more likely to have experience treating kids. They will be tended to in a smaller, more intimate setting. In turn, this makes a child feel relaxed when getting treatment.

#5 – Affordability

Urgent care centers are more affordable than the ER. This is because urgent care centers can charge less because they don’t have the same overhead costs as the ER.

You can also avoid being charged for a life-threatening condition that requires a higher level of care. Your child can get the care they need without breaking the bank.

Finding the Right Urgent Care Facility

Now that you know the benefits of urgent care, you need to find a suitable urgent care facility to ensure the best quality of treatment. Here are a few tips to help you find the best urgent care center for your needs:

  • Check if the urgent care center is in-network with your insurance. This will help you save money on your out-of-pocket costs.
  • Make sure the urgent care center has extended hours. This will help you get the care you need when you need it.
  • Find an urgent care center that has a convenient location. This will help you get the care you need without traveling far.
  • Check if the urgent care center offers online scheduling. This will help you save time when you need to see a doctor.
  • Ask if the urgent care center offers any discounts. This will help you save money on your medical care.


An urgent care facility is a great place to visit when you need medical care for minor injuries or illnesses. These facilities are typically open late and on weekends, so you can get the care you need when your regular doctor is unavailable. Urgent care centers are usually less expensive than emergency rooms, so you can save money on medical care.

If you’re looking for an urgent care center, Aspen Medical Center can help you! We understand the need for immediate care for specific medical issues, so we’re here to ensure you get the care you deserve to solve the problem. Call 505-466-5885 today to schedule an appointment!

Cancer Care

How a Primary Care Provider Can Help You With Cancer Care

Cancer is a difficult journey, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Your primary care provider (PCP) can be a valuable resource and support throughout your cancer experience.

What is a Primary Care Provider?

A primary care provider (PCP) is a medical professional who provides general healthcare services to patients. PCPs can be doctors, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. Your PCP is usually the first point of contact for your health concerns, and can provide guidance and support throughout your cancer journey.

How Can I Find a Primary Care Provider? 

If you don’t have a PCP or need to find a new one, you can start by asking your friends and family for recommendations. You can also search online or call your insurance company to find a list of providers in your area. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can call the offices to ask about their experience treating cancer patients, and to see if they accept your insurance. 

What Should I Look for in a Primary Care Provider? 

When you’re looking for a PCP, it’s important to find someone you feel comfortable with and who you can trust. You should also make sure that they have experience treating cancer patients and are familiar with the type of cancer you have.

How a Primary Care Provider Can Help

Here are six ways your PCP can help:

1. Providing General Support and Guidance

Your PCP can provide general support and guidance throughout your cancer journey. They can answer any questions you have about your cancer diagnosis and treatment and provide referrals to other specialists if needed.

2. Answering Your Questions About Cancer

Your PCP can answer any questions you have about your cancer, including questions about your diagnosis, treatment options, and prognosis. They can also provide information about clinical trials and other research studies that might be relevant to your case.

3. Connecting You to Resources and Services

Your PCP can connect you to resources and services to help you cope with your cancer diagnosis and treatment. These resources might include support groups, counseling services, and financial assistance programs.

4. Monitoring Your Overall Health

Your PCP can monitor your overall health during and after your cancer treatment. They can provide guidance on managing side effects, monitor for signs of cancer recurrence, and manage any other health concerns that might arise.

5. Coordinating End-of-Life Care

If you are nearing the end of your life, your PCP can coordinate your end-of-life care. They can help you develop a plan that meets your needs and preferences, and can provide referrals to hospice and other supportive services.

6. Supporting Your Family and Caregivers

Your PCP can also provide support to your family and caregivers. They can answer questions about your cancer, provide guidance on how to best support you, and connect them to resources and services as needed.


Your primary care provider can play a vital role in your cancer experience, providing support and guidance throughout your journey. From helping you to understand your diagnosis and treatment options, to offering emotional and practical support, your primary care provider can be a valuable resource during this difficult time. If you have any concerns or questions about your cancer experience, be sure to speak with your primary care provider for guidance.

Aspen Medical Center provides primary care and urgent care. We are a locally owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, NM, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. If you need a primary care physician in Santa Fe, get in touch with us today! 

runner stretching on the track

Understanding the Value of Getting Sports Physicals

Numerous advantages come from participating in sports and staying active. It strengthens bones, maintains the health of the heart and lungs, and aids in muscular growth. This is an absolute must for athletes who regularly train. 

However, you should make sure that your body is ready to take the stress before you start exercising. Athletes, regardless of age, must keep their bodies in peak condition to train, compete, and attend practices.

For this reason, every athlete should get a sports physical before participating in any physical activity. The reasons why sports physicals are essential are covered in more detail in the sections below.

Evaluation of General Health

A thorough assessment of an athlete’s entire physical health is performed during a sports physical. As previously said, it might make it easier to find problems or illnesses that are difficult to see in plain sight, including heart murmurs or arrhythmias. 

To ascertain whether an athlete has any restrictions with regard to his or her participation in sports, other common diseases like asthma, allergies, or blood pressure problems are also assessed.

Risk Factor Identification

Sports physicals identify risk factors for athletes, such as undiscovered health conditions and pre-existing illnesses. It entails a study of the person’s medical background and an evaluation of prior injuries to assist in identifying potential dangers associated with engaging in a particular sport.

Depending on the sport, the provider may focus on particular body parts of an athlete. A runner will often experience discomfort or pain in the legs, ankles, or feet. 

Baseball players may be more likely to experience problems with their shoulders or arms, so the provider may focus more on these regions.

Evaluation of Speed, Stamina, and Balance

A thorough assessment of an athlete’s physical strength is one aspect of a sports physical. A provider may administer performance tests to evaluate the athlete’s overall speed, endurance, and balance.

Guide to Athletes on How to Maintain Their Health

Sports physicals do more than just assess a player’s suitability for a certain sport. Additionally, they can offer advice on how an athlete can maintain their health and safety while participating in the activity of their choice for many months or even years to come.

For example, the doctor or evaluating clinician can suggest that the athlete undertake particular stretches or mobility exercises to lower the likelihood of certain injuries. 

The provider may also suggest changes to the athlete’s way of life or other advice that could aid in hastening the athlete’s recovery after demanding workouts and other activities.

Say an athlete participates in a contact sport, like football or boxing. In that instance, a sports physical may suggest routine examinations to evaluate the player for possible head or brain damage.

Additional Advantages

Some may perceive sports physicals as being reserved for serious athletes or those who have been participating in sports for a long time. 

However, they can be advantageous to anyone beginning a new workout regimen. Minor wounds or even allergies can raise some health risks or restrict a person’s ability to exercise.

Due to this, it’s necessary to assure each individual’s safety and conduct a thorough evaluation of the health risks. Timing is crucial while performing sports physicals. 

They are typically carried out at the beginning of a new program or a new athletic season. They typically last for a year but might change based on the school’s or league’s sporting calendar.


For their safety and wellbeing, athletes or anyone interested in exercise should strongly advise getting a sports physical.

The most crucial factors in every sporting activity are the athletes’ health and safety. Sports physicals offer an insightful evaluation of an athlete’s general health.

They also offer suggestions on how the athlete can improve their general health and performance while still engaging in sports safely. 

You can turn to Aspen Medical Center if you need a sports physical. We’re a locally owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, New Mexico, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Drop by to get your physical!

women wearing face mask

How to Tell the Difference between Asthma and an Allergy Reaction

Asthma and allergies are both common chronic diseases in children, but there are some key differences between the two. Symptoms of asthma and allergies can sometimes overlap, but it’s important to be able to tell them apart. So, how can you tell the difference between asthma and allergies? This article will cover just that.

1. How Frequent Are the Symptoms?

One of the main ways to tell the difference between asthma and allergies is the frequency of symptoms. Allergies are often seasonal, meaning they occur at specific times of the year when the person is exposed to certain triggers. For example, someone with seasonal allergies may only have symptoms during the spring when pollen counts are high. On the other hand, asthma symptoms can occur year-round and may be triggered by various things, such as cold air, exercise, or emotional stress.

2. How Long Do the Symptoms Last?

Another way to tell the difference between asthma and allergies is the duration of symptoms. Allergy symptoms are usually short-lived and go away once the person is no longer exposed to the trigger. Asthma symptoms, however, can last for minutes to hours and may even persist for days.

3. What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of asthma and allergies can also be different. Allergy symptoms are typically limited to the nose and eyes and may include itching, watery eyes, and sneezing. On the other hand, asthma symptoms can affect the entire body and may include shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing.

4. How Do the Symptoms Affect the Person?

Another way to tell the difference between asthma and allergies is how the symptoms affect the person. Allergy symptoms are usually mild and can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications. Asthma symptoms, on the other hand, can be severe and may require prescription medications or even hospitalization.

5. How Do the Attacks Start?

Another way to tell the difference between asthma and allergies is how the attacks start. Allergy attacks often start gradually and may get worse over time. Asthma attacks, on the other hand, often start suddenly and can quickly become severe. They can also be triggered by various things, such as cold air, exercise, or emotional stress.

6. How Is the Throat Affected?

When you have asthma, it can feel like something is stuck in your throat or that your throat is sore and itchy. On the other hand, allergies can cause your throat to feel like it’s closing up. You can usually tell the difference between the two by asking your child to swallow or take a deep breath. With asthma, you’ll usually just feel soreness and itchiness, but with allergies, you may feel like you’re choking.

7. Is the Cough Wet or Dry?

Asthma is a condition in which the airways swell and produce excess mucus, making breathing difficult. Allergies are triggered when the body’s immune system overreacts to a foreign substance, such as pollen or pet dander. An asthma cough is typically dry and unproductive, while an allergy cough is wet and pronounced.

8. Is the Person Wheezing?

Asthmatic wheezing is a high-pitched, raspy noise that can sometimes be heard even when the child is not talking. On the other hand, allergic wheezing is more low-pitched and sounds similar to your own heavy breathing during exercise.


It is important to distinguish between asthma and an allergy reaction, as they are two separate conditions. Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways, while an allergy is a reaction to a specific trigger. There are key differences between the two, including the symptoms and the treatment. If you are unsure which condition you have, it is best to consult with a doctor.

Aspen Medical Center provides primary care and urgent care. We are a locally owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, NM, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. If you need a primary care physician in Santa Fe, get in touch with us today! 

orange, banana, and condom

Top 5 Reasons Why Should You Go for an STD Testing

There are several reasons one should go for STD testing, including your health and the assurance that you are not infecting others.

STDs are diseases that can be passed between people through sexual contact. You probably don’t know as many people who get them as you think. 

In reality, more than 20 million new people are diagnosed with STDs each year. 110 million individuals in the US, or more than one-third of the population, have STDs.

Even though STDs are widespread, according to the American Sexual Health Association, only 12% of young people, who account for half of all new STD cases, had a test the previous year.

Several things contribute to this number, but the fact that many STDs don’t show any signs for years doesn’t help. A study of three STD clinics found that asymptotic people were responsible for 66% of positive tests.

You should get tested at least once, even if you don’t think you have an STD or are in a monogamous relationship. STD testing is part of urgent care, and here’s why in five points. 

STDs Can Happen to Anyone

You could have an STD if you are in a relationship or have had sexual contact with someone else. Skin-to-skin contact is all it takes for many of the most common STDs to spread.

By contacting one another, one can transmit HPV, syphilis, and both types of herpes.

Syphilis is primarily characterized by sores, although cancer-causing HPV strains and warts can spread quickly through skin-to-skin contact. 3.7 billion persons under 50 have herpes HSV-1, which produces cold sores and can be spread through a routine family contact.

It’s Important to Talk about Relationships 

You must discuss your sexual past while getting to know someone new. If you have a major STD or potentially give them a less severe one, your partner should be aware of it.

Check for the following STDs that are common:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV
  • Herpes
  • HPV
  • Sinusitis
  • Trichomoniasis

You should be careful even if you don’t have an STD right now.

Sexual Health Should Be a Priority 

You can take charge of your whole sexual life by getting tested for STDs. With regular testing and safe sex, you are always in charge of your sexual and romantic life. You’ll be able to decide about your sexual health based on facts.

Trust Building 

STDs have a reputation for not causing any symptoms, staying dormant for years, or having symptoms so mild that the person with them doesn’t think they need to be tested or treated. Three-quarters of women with chlamydia and half of men with it don’t show signs of an STD.

Think about how worried you would be if your partner started showing symptoms after you had been together for years. It is simple to understand how someone may be charged with cheating. Instead, put someone to the test right away.

Health Problems Can Get Worse Over Time

Cervical cancer is one type of cancer that HPV is known to cause, but it can also lead to cancer in the vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. Each year, HPV causes 12,000 men and 20,000 women to get cancer.

If you are aware that you have HPV, you may watch for the early warning symptoms of these malignancies. Even if you haven’t yet contracted the disease, you could still be eligible to receive the vaccination.


There are some reasons why it is crucial to get tested for STDs at an urgent care center, and these include the fact that some STDs can be very serious and that some can lead to infertility. It is also essential to know that getting tested for STDs doesn’t guarantee to get them, but it is one way to reduce your chances.

Aspen Medical Center, a locally owned medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, New Mexico, offers primary care and urgent care services at the cutting edge of medical technology. Check in with us for STD testing!

senior citizens

4 Kinds of People Who Are High Risk for Flu Complications

If you have certain underlying health conditions, you may be at a higher risk of developing flu complications. These conditions include heart disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, and pregnancy. People with weakened immune systems may also be at a higher risk. If you have any health conditions, taking extra precautions is important to avoid getting the flu.

Four groups of people are at high risk for developing complications from the flu. Each of these groups has a higher risk of developing serious health complications from the flu, including pneumonia, bronchitis, and even death.

Here are the four kinds of people who are at high risk for flu complications:

1) Toddlers and Kids

Children, especially kids who are under the age of five, are at a higher risk of developing flu complications. This is due to the fact that their immune systems are not yet fully developed, and they may not have had a chance to build up immunity to the virus. 

In addition, children often have close contact with other children, which increases their chances of exposure to the virus. Should there be any symptoms of flu, be sure to take them to urgent care and keep them indoors.

2) Senior Citizens

Senior citizens, particularly those who are over the age of 65, are at a higher risk of experiencing flu complications. This is because all our immune systems weaken as we age, and we are more likely to have chronic health disorders that raise our risk of complications. 

They also may have other health conditions that put them at a higher risk for complications. Furthermore, older adults sometimes live in close quarters with other people, such as in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, which increases their risk of becoming infected.

3) Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are at an increased risk of complications from the flu, particularly during the second and third trimesters. This is because the flu can lead to pneumonia, which can be very dangerous for pregnant women. 

Additionally, the flu can cause premature labor and even stillbirth. Therefore, it is important for pregnant women to get a flu shot and take other precautions to avoid becoming infected with the virus.

4) Immunocompromised Patients

Immunocompromised patients may be at an increased risk for developing more severe forms of COVID-19. These patients should take extra care to avoid exposure to the virus, and if they do become infected, they should monitor their symptoms closely.

Some preventative measures may be taken to help reduce your risk of becoming infected. These measures include washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces frequently used and touched.


Each group has its own unique risks and challenges when it comes to the flu, and it’s important to be a little more aware of them to best protect yourself and your loved ones. With a little knowledge and preparation, however, everyone can stay safe and healthy during flu season. It is important for them to get a flu vaccine every year to help protect them from the flu.

In need of urgent care? Aspen Medical Center is a locally owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, NM, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Visit us today.