Anthony Meredith Bailey, MD, Explains How Urgent Care Has Changed Health Care

Anthony Meredith Bailey, MDI have been practicing urgent care medicine for 10 years. Before, I was a full-time emergency physician for more than 25 years.

Urgent care medicine is all about convenience and rapid access to quality health care. For example, many people, especially millennials, desire to arrange their health care needs according to their schedule. Additionally, primary care providers refer sick patients in need of a rapid and thorough evaluation to urgent care centers. These facilities often serve as a gateway for new patients needing more advanced or specialist care.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a few weak points in our medical care system. Many patients do not feel comfortable going to the emergency room because of exposure to potentially very ill patients but feel more comfortable going to urgent care. The number of urgent care centers will continue to grow as people continue to seek and demand convenient and high-quality medical care. Additionally, some urgent care facilities provide occupational medicine services such as acute injury assessment and management, and drug testing, among others. It’s also important to note that an urgent care clinic visit is significantly less costly than a visit to an emergency department.

Generally, working in an urgent care setting is less stressful because of decreased acuity of the patient population. It is satisfying because you work closely with a dedicated core staff. There is more time to spend establishing rapport with the patient. As an urgent care medicine provider, you care for a wide variety of patients, and the practice is fast-paced and rewarding. Although I am employed full-time, I have more quality personal and family time.

Board certification in urgent care medicine is fundamental to a physician’s practice, as an urgent care medicine residency does not exist at this time. Board certification defines and assesses the fund of knowledge necessary to practice top-tier urgent care medicine. This aspect of the certification process is crucial given that urgent care medicine draws physicians from many different specialties.

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On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine