Type 'immediate care' into your web browser and see what comes up.  You search for immediate care and almost instantly (see what I did there) you will have a map with listings for acute care clinics.  You will also see websites linking you to corporations or healthcare systems that operate these clinics; all of this information is literally at your fingertips.

Immediate care clinics are VERY BENEFICIAL, especially with the shortage of primary care physicians in this country.  There is a downfall: the topic of this week's post.

In today's U.S. culture we live by instantaneous everything...Think about text messages instead of voicemails, emails being forwarded to cell phones, enrollment for automatic payments of bills, complete dinners that can be cooked in minutes with the push of a button, drive thru restaurants and coffee shops, syncing of multiple devices, self-service check out lines at the grocery store, automatic routine emails (like this blog) and I am sure you can think of more.

Unfortunately, we (including myself) are living at a time that this mentality is THE way of life.  I cannot call it "A way of life" because if you live in the general U.S. population, urgency is THE way of life.  For those of us with packed schedules, we don't have time to wait for someone with 2 carts full of groceries to check out before us, while we stand there with just a carton of eggs.  WE NEED IT NOW.

When it comes to healthcare, there are numerous occasions that immediate/urgent care is required and necessary.  Take a look at your local ER.  I am very glad that ERs exist to care for those involved in MVAs (motor vehicle accidents in doctor-speak) and those experiencing acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks).  WE NEED THAT CARE NOW.

When the time comes for you to seek care from your family physician for something that has progressively worsened over the past few months, immediate/urgent care is not always required or necessary.  What I mean is that someone experiencing wrist pain for the past 12 months that is progressively worsening probably would NOT benefit from immediate care and immediate results.

This is not to diminish or down-play someone's pain.  This wrist pain may very well be 8/10 on the classic 1-10 scale.  BUT, since that person has been experiencing pain for the last 12 months, an immediate cure should NOT be expected.  This, of course, depends on the true cause of the pain; an immediate cure could very easily be plausible.  MOST likely, a condition that is now chronic will usually take just as long to resolve.

The instant gratification world we live in FEEDS this mentality.  We all want to go into a doctor's office, receive care, and walk out feeling instantly better.  We want to be able to say "Thanks, I'm 100% better now!"  Please, try to fend off this mentality of instant gratification.

REALITY CHECK...especially for the conditions I see on a daily basis.  Quickly reducing pain is an obvious goal but eliminating pain after 1 treatment session is not a realistic goal.  However, this DOES happen in my office.  Many factors contribute to patient outcomes including:  age, nutritional status, activity levels, hydration, medications and genetics.  


Please feel free to share this post, comment, and continue to follow me.

Be Blessed!
-Anatomy Geek


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    Erik Korzen DC is a chiropractic physician and educator.  He is passionate about re-defining the chiropractic profession and is somewhat of an "Anatomy Geek".


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