How Hectic is Your Schedule? Why Urgent Care Might be a Great Place to Get a Flu Shot

Walk in clinics

As the average age of doctors and nurses around the country continues to rise, universities are hoping to attract a new generation of health care professionals. The average age of an orthopedic doctor in America is almost 55, and the average age of a nurse is 47, according to recent studies. Health clinics are often run by doctors who have retired from formal practice, and more than 50,000 new doctors will be needed in the next decade.

Having easy access to a walk in clinic and to an orthopedic doctor specifically, can make the process of getting sports physicals easier for the more than 40 million American kids who take part in school sports every year. Orthopedic doctors are trained to see patterns of stress in bones, and taking the time to visit an urgent care center that retains the services of an orthopedist can allow parents the peace of mind that comes with knowing their children are not being physically stressed by their sports activities.

Of course, a walk in clinic can also help parents in the case of a sports injury. Most urgent care walk in clinics can handle fracture care, and in the event that a referral must be made — to a physical therapist or to a more experienced surgeon — it can be handled by the doctors at urgent care. Finding a convenient place to schedule sports physicals, the flu shot, and other routine tests such as “well baby” and “well mommy” exams is driving more than 3 million patients to visit more than 9,000 urgent care walk in clinics every year.

Surprisingly, a visit to an urgent care center may not require an additional visit to a pharmacy. Almost half of all urgent care centers have the ability to dispense medications directly to their patients, and part of the overall appeal of urgent care is its growing reputation for convenience and quick service. As many health insurance companies institute higher deductibles, urgent care patrons may find that they are able to make several appointments at urgent care for a single visit to an emergency room.

Consumer demand — and the aging of America — may continue to drive the expansion of urgent care. There are more than 75 million Americans on the verge of becoming seniors, and as they age, they will require more doctors and more long-term care facilities. Walk in health clinics may see a dramatic upswing in patient demand in the next several years, and as patients get used to a relatively new mode of treatment, colleges may see a sharp rise in the number of students who wish to become doctors.

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