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One in 10 turn to clinics instead of physicians

Physician Practice Advisor, April 11, 2007

One in 10 users of retail health clinics say they're more likely to turn to their local pharmacy than their family physician when seeking care for common ailments, according to a study by Market Strategies, Inc., a Livonia, MI-based research and consulting firm.

The study surveyed 600 users of retail medical clinics (those often located in grocery stores and pharmacies) and 900 potential users. Twelve percent of those surveyed said they would agree with the statement that "retail clinics have mostly or completely replaced my primary care physician for the type of treatments offered at retail clinics."

Patients visit retail clinics for reasons beyond the common cold, the study finds. Patients surveyed say they also seek retail clinic treatment for conditions such as migraines, high cholesterol, and hypertension.