Trends in Urgent Care Medicine

Trends in Urgent Care MedicineIf you think you’ve seen more urgent care clinics in your area than ever, it’s not your imagination. In recent years, urgent care medicine has seen a dramatic surge in popularity. According to Consumer Reports, the number of urgent care centers increased from 6,400 in 2014 to 8,100 in 2018, and that number is only expected to rise.

Affordability and convenience are two of the biggest factors behind this trend. People are looking for a less expensive alternative to hospitals, and urgent care facilities can save patients money. In fact, a study by the Annals of Emergency Medicine showed that, on average, treatment at an urgent care clinic is about one-tenth the cost of ER treatment. Urgent care centers also treat many of the same ailments that ERs do, including wounds, sprains, and fractures, as well as provide services like X-rays and blood tests. It’s been estimated that urgent care clinics handle about 29% of the nation’s primary care visits and nearly 15% of all outpatient physician visits, annually. And a 2018 report by the Urgent Care Association found that 70% of patients waited less than 20 minutes to see an urgent care provider, and, overall, 85% were seen in under an hour.

With this growing demand for convenient, cost-effective urgent care comes increased competition. To distinguish themselves and show that they are the best choice for treatment, more facilities are choosing to hire physicians who are board certified in urgent care medicine. Throughout the nation, board certification has long been a trusted indicator of a physician’s abilities to deliver safe, effective medical care, and qualified physicians who are certified in urgent care medicine have demonstrated through rigorous certification testing that they are experts in their specialty. Having a board-certified physician on staff, an urgent care clinic essentially declares to prospective patients that they should expect nothing less than stellar care at that clinic.

The Board of Certification in Urgent Care Medicine® (BCUCM) is a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), which is the only multi-specialty certifying body that offers board certification in urgent care. To earn certification through the BCUCM, physicians must meet strict eligibility requirements and pass exams vetted with industry-recognized psychometric criteria. Not surprisingly, BCUCM Diplomates are considered some of the nation’s most accomplished medical professionals and are uniquely positioned to practice urgent care medicine at the highest level. That BCUCM Diplomates must also adhere to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics means that they can bring prestige and authority to any urgent care facility.

To learn more about the BCUCM and why hiring a highly skilled BCUCM Diplomate can help your facility effectively market itself, contact the ABPS today.

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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

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