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

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine