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Monday, June 10, 2013

Urgent care in 21st Century Columbia

      As you ride around our area it is hard not to notice how urgent care centers seem to be popping up all over.  Whether it is called AllCare, Righttime, Concentra or Patient First this seems to be the private for profit business recognition that you and your children don't always get sick at convenient times or want to wait for a next day appointment.  Drug stores and even some Target stores are getting into the urgent care business.  Staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants these centers reflect what has happened to health care in the past 20 years.
      For many of us we remember the Urgent Care Clinic at the Columbia Medical Plan was a place that we frequented often with our sick children.  Another commonality that we shared with most of our fellow Columbia residents. Open 6 days a week for 18 hours and a few less on Sunday it became the place that many childhood illnesses were treated.  For some reason, probably economics, the clinic closed a few years before the Columbia Medical Plan ended.
    While it is nice to see the convenience return with these clinics it does make one a little nostalgic for a time of the old country doctor who brought babies into the world and was there at the end of life.  The doc probably even gave you your medicine when you left.  No need to visit a pharmacy.  I know that medicine today has made many advancements but it does seem that we lose something when we lose the connection to a medical professional who has provided care to us over an extended period of time.

    With the news last week that Verizon has turned over phone call numbers to the National Security Agency in their efforts to combat terrorists, comics have been having a field day with the old Verizon commercial that had the Verizon employee asking "Can you hear me now?" Who knew he was talking to the NSA.

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