Have a sore throat? Running a fever? Want that rash looked at? Retail in-store clinics are the latest thing in one-stop shopping. They are appearing everywhere, and in a society that wants everything fast and now, the rise of new miniature doctor’s offices locations shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Conveniently placed by existing pharmacies at stores like Walgreens, CVS, local grocery stores, and big box outlets like Target, Walmart and Kroger, there’s probably one near you.
When you’re feeling sick but don’t have time for a traditional office visit, these little clinics help meet the surge in demand for fast healthcare for everything from sore throats and sinus infections to mystery rashes, pink eye, fevers, headaches and acid reflux. Typically staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants, they can check your thyroid levels or remove a wart. Some locations will even do basic physicals, test for strep or urinary tract infections, or provide tetanus vaccinations.
Enticing little medical clinics and kiosks are popping up in the stores where you already shop, and they offer an opportunity to connect with a provider—no appointment necessary, and a pharmacy is nearby for added convenience. They offer many of the non-emergency services that would require an appointment with your primary care doctor, whose schedule and hours are limited and sometimes can mean a long wait in the office when you do finally get there.
It’s easy to walk right past these clinics while you are shopping, but next time you have a minute, stop and visit with the caregiver on duty to find out what services their location offers. They are usually open seven days a week, including evenings. Most insurance is accepted, too.
The new retail clinics won’t replace your doctor, but they can meet the need for immediate nonemergency care on a convenient, walk-in basis. And that may be just what the doctor ordered.