Clinics are health care facilities that offer services that are between those of your doctor’s office and those of a hospital. They often have extended hours and are open on weekends and holidays. Some clinics specialize in a particular area of healthcare, such as pediatrics or sports injuries. They are also sometimes affiliated with a particular medical practice or a larger health-care system or hospital.
In the United States, there are many types of clinics. Retail health clinics, for example, started popping up about 15 years ago and are found in a variety of locations, including malls, drugstores, supermarkets, and “big box” stores. They are staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants and offer health services such as treatment for colds, pinkeye, urinary tract infections, and complete physicals. Some retail health clinics even offer smoking cessation counseling and vaccinations.
These kinds of clinics tend to be less expensive than a visit to your doctor or an urgent care center. They can also be more convenient because you can usually walk in without an appointment. However, they may not be able to handle more serious or complex issues. They may refer you to your doctor or a specialist if they think you need more attention.
Pros of Clinics
Clinics can be a great option for people who are sick or injured and need to be seen quickly. They often use minimally invasive techniques, which means that you can get in and out much faster than you would in a hospital. Plus, the doctors at a clinic have time to focus on you and give you their undivided attention.
Cons of Clinics
One drawback to going to a clinic is that you may not be able to schedule an appointment. This can be a problem if you’re very sick or if your regular doctor isn’t available. And, since most clinics aren’t open 24/7, you may not be able to go to them in an emergency situation.
Another advantage of going to a clinic is that you can often see a doctor on the same day as you call. Some clinics also have shorter wait times than hospitals. Plus, they may be able to treat your condition more cheaply because they don’t have as much overhead as hospitals do. But, you should always see a doctor at a real-world office if you have a serious or life-threatening illness. Then, you’ll have the best chance of getting the right diagnosis and treatment.