What is Urgent Care Medicine and When Should You Use it?

Urgent CareUrgent care medicine is a specialty that focuses on providing patients with convenient and affordable treatment for their non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. All across the country, urgent care centers are bridging the gap between primary and emergency care, providing patients with access to high quality, physician-led treatment when the need arises. These medical centers are a particularly sensible alternative for patients who are struggling to make a last-minute appointment with a primary care physician or don’t wish to waste time and money visiting an emergency room when it’s not an emergency.

Urgent care medicine is a fast-growing field and today urgent care centers actually outnumber emergency departments in the United States. These centers vary from office to office, but many are equipped to diagnose a number of different maladies and are staffed by medical professionals who can interpret tests, conduct examinations, and recommend treatment plans. Furthermore, urgent care centers tend to maintain more convenient business hours than primary care physicians, with many open at night and on the weekend. Most urgent care centers also don’t require an appointment and have short wait times, allowing the patient to get in and get out quickly.

Here are a few examples of the types of conditions that are often addressed by urgent care medicine professionals:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Colds and flus
  • Ear and eye infections
  • Fevers
  • Laryngitis
  • Sinus infections
  • Sore throats
  • Strep throat
  • Back and neck pain
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Minor burns
  • Sports injuries

While urgent care medicine is a great option for patients who need immediate treatment for minor health issues, it is important to understand that urgent care centers are not a replacement for the emergency room in emergency situations.

The American Board of Physician Specialties, through the Board of Certification in Urgent Care Medicine, recognize the unique role that urgent care medicine plays in the American healthcare system, which is why we are proud to provide qualified physicians with substantial experience in urgent care medicine the opportunity to become board certified in their area of expertise. To learn more about urgent care medicine and our board certification eligibility requirements, contact us today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

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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