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The evolution of urgent care could be likened to a crusade. In the early days there were few believers, and those physicians who did dare to open up an urgent care center were derided as a “doc in a box.” Now, of course, venture capitalists and healthcare systems have verified the viability of the industry as a profit center. But some of the early skeptics have become some of the most vocal advocates of the industry. As evidenced by publication of his opinion piece in MedPage Today, Oliver Kharraz, MD is one. Kharraz stopped practicing more than 20 years ago, in the infancy of the urgent care boom. He confesses that at the time he “viewed urgent care as a threat and was among its biggest skeptics.” In fact, he writes that he “told anyone who would listen that patients didn’t really want to go to an urgent care facility.” He’s changed his tune, big time, having recognized that UCCs are not only not a threat, but can also be good for primary care practices. “They free up primary care physicians’ scarce time. This enables PCPs to practice at the top of their license and dedicate their time and talent to helping their patients manage chronic or complex issues,” he notes in the piece. (It should be noted that Kharraz is the founder of Zocdoc, an online platform that facilitates patient visits to an array of medical offices.)

Skeptics Might Make the Most Ardent Converts—Even When It Comes to Urgent Care