Young people have a tendency that’s changing the field of health care — they’re going to urgent care centers often.
Some millennials are opting for urgent care centers over an appointment with their primary care doctor, citing reasons like cost and convenience for this new trend.
“It’s great to have an option like urgent care if you have a non-emergency issue, like a cold or the flu, and need to see a health care provider,” said Dr. Teriggi Ciccone, Medical Director for Winchester Hospital Urgent Care.
A recent story in the Washington Post highlighted this trend. Of 1,200 adults surveyed, about half of the millennials who responded said they did not have a primary care doctor.
It’s easy to use urgent care. They do not require appointments and often these facilities stay open after work hours or on the weekend.
“We’ve seen millennials use urgent care in a new way,” Dr. Ciccone said. “If they have a quick non-urgent medical need, like getting a flu shot, it’s easy to pop into an urgent care when you’re out running errands.”
The ubiquity of urgent cares is another factor in their popularity. Facilities have opened in shopping malls or in the neighborhood grocery store. Urgent care centers are easy to find and, often, there isn’t much of a wait to see a provider.
But your primary care doctor fills an important role, as does the emergency room which is designed to handle immediate emergencies.
“Your doctor knows your health history and can be a partner in your health care decisions,” Dr. Ciccone said. “That is irreplaceable.”