Maggie Brown’s excellent piece on the new walk-in day clinic is shocking, if only because of the odd characterization of walk-in medical clinics as “fast food medicine” by the head of the PEI Medical Society.
Dr. Kathy Bigsby is quoted in the piece as saying:
What we’re seeing is that this is taking business, if you will, away from the regular family doctors, and the folks who are out there practising family medicine recognize that what makes the quality of their care especially good is continuity of care and I think they find it really alarming to think that folks are going to be choosing what some consider the equivalent of fast food medicine over their regular family doctor.
The day clinic at the Boardwalk Medical Center is a dramatic improvement over not only the night clinics, but also over the sub-par service available from many family doctors.
Catherine and Oliver have been to the Boardwalk clinic several times over the last couple of months, either because our family doctor has been on vacation, or because the wait to see her has been too long. In all cases they’ve been served quickly and professionally.
Continuity of care is great, and I agree that a personal, long-term relationship with a family physician is probably the best scenario. But this assumes that doctors have a reasonable patient load and thus lots of time to spend with patients, and enough free time in their schedule to allow them to see people without appointments. This is seldom the case.