The urgent care explosion
Though urgent care centers have existed in small numbers for more than two decades, they're experiencing an explosion in growth now, especially in busy metro areas. Their growth is out-pacing that of retail walk-in medical clinics staffed by registered nurses or physician assistants, which also are expanding rapidly. Urgent care clinics are often dubbed "doc in the box" facilities, and estimates for the number of physician-staffed urgent clinics vary widely. The Chicago-based Urgent Care Association of America, the largest trade group, puts the number at 8,000.
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