How tired am I of hearing “the Little Clinic”?

OK, I get it that patients are too busy with their lives to “make” time to see me during the day. That’s why I have Tuesday evening hours. But those hours aren’t enough when one is sick on another day of the week and need to get better IMMEDIATELY. So enter the “Little Clinic”. Physicians have finally taken it to heart that not everyone with an upper respiratory illness should get an antibiotic (in fact, MOST people with URIs don’t need an antibiotic) thus slowing down the development of superbugs. Unfortunately the “practitioners” (and no, I don’t mean doctors) who work at the “quickie mart” brand of medical care offered at drug stores, grocery stores and discount department stores, apparently didn’t get the message. If I had a quarter for every patient who got an antibiotic at those places, I’d be happily supplementing my income. Meanwhile my patients are mystified that the amoxicillin or z-pack they got for their cold just isn’t “doing the trick”. By this they mean that they are still sick after three days.

Who is overseeing these people? I resent that my patients are getting inadequate care and I resent the systems that are bringing this poor care about–employers that won’t allow patient sick days (which is what “allowed time off” is–a way to avoid paying sick time), employers that insist their employees work when they are ill, insurance companies that encourage the use of “physician extenders” because they can pay less for that kind of care, entities (like drug stores and grocery stores among others) that are offering poor care so that they can take another slice of the health care dollar, and patients who think a z-pack will cure every respiratory illness.

“One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.”
William Osler

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2 thoughts on “How tired am I of hearing “the Little Clinic”?

  1. You are a butt hurt doctor that is having your business hurt by convenience of seeing a provider without having to make an appointment with you or having to pay outrageous prices that you charge. Patients don’t need to see you for minor care. NP’a and PA’s are out performing doctors in customer service, quality of care, education and on just about every other level. The best part is, nobody cares about your skewed opinion of why you think we exist. Btw, look to the CDC discussion this week in Atlanta. TLC specifically gives out 13% less antibiotics than your fellow doctors. Maybe you should start with a discussion with your colleagues about antibiotic use. My patients tell me all the time they are tired of trying to get care from their doctors and that they will always return to us for their acute needs. We are also moving to chronic care management as well… good luck staying open with your nasty attitude.

    • I’ve been around for quite awhile actually and my business is booming, thank you. You haven’t walked in my shoes and you haven’t read the rest of my blog posts. I’ve worked with many ARNPs and PAs and they give excellent care to patients, they have in the past, though this may change soon, had the time to give to patients that physicians have not. This blog post was about a systemic problem with Kroger’s Little Clinic by not giving me access to my patient care records (something they are obligated both ethically and legally to do) and in our area, giving out more antibiotics than they should.

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