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...and Stephanie's comments completely nullify anything the ivory tower types have to say about the matter. You included.

It doesn't matter what the AMA says. Even doctors don't really care what the AMA says because they're so out of touch with current issues in medicine. No one cares what the motivations behind a company are so long as the end user experience is good. It's a non-sequitur. A cheap shot that doesn't have any place in this discussion.

Until you can compete on the same playing field as the Retail Health Clinics, you're going to lose.

"It assumes that medical practices have failed."

Well obviously the system has failed, otherwise these retail health clinics wouldn't exist in the first place. The niche wouldn't exist if the current way of doing business -- yes, BUSINESS -- was good enough.

It ain't rocket science.

The problems is yours -- as in the average PCP -- not the RHC. Until you can meet the average mother's needs -- same-day appointments in a reasonable amount of time -- you lose. And no amount of hot air is going to change that.

Protect your turf if you want. I would if I were in your shoes. But I'd do it more intelligently than standing on a soapbox. Compete or die. The choice is yours.

I appreciate that your blog covers all angles of this cuurent trend in healthcare in the US. I personally have to say that the "Doc in a Box" clinics have been a godsend in my experiences. I am an educated business woman, mother of a 3 year old child and a wife. All of us have insurance coverage and a primary care doctor that I have been going to since I was 18 years old (I am now 32). Within the last couple of years it has been extremely hard to get appointments within 2 weeks of a call...and if it's an emergency (when your child is screaming due to an earache, believe me it's an emergency) I get the old "then you should go to the emergency room" statement from the attendants at thier offices. When I DO get in to see her, I wait over an hour even if I have an appointment, and spend 90% of the time there with a NP anyway...I see my doctor for a whole 5 minutes. When you work 8 hours a day and run a household, time is very valuable. I have been able to visit The Little Clinic on a Friday night for my childs fever, sat with the NP who was extremely thorough with us, and had a prescription in my hands within a half hour and didn't even need to make an appointment. She also made it a point to advise me to go to my doctor when I could get in to assure that the problem was resolved with my child. I understand your perspective as a MD, but the medical community has not addressed these issues which are rampant in every state and with most doctors, therefore leaving the door open for these types of facilities to take care of us when our doctors fail to do so.

I think these clinics are a very valuable asset for communities where they are located and are a wonderful compliment to family healthcare when a doctor can not (which is most likely) provide services due to hours, or unavailable appointments.

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