United States: Mostly, the old age people prefer “doc-in-a-box” strip mall clinics and urgent care centers as a first choice when in need of immediate medical relief. 

More about the finding 

About 60 percent of those seniors aged 50 to 80 have preferred to opt for an urgent care center or a retail health clinic in the past two years, despite the fact that those options were not present in their early lives. 

Dr. Jeffrey Kullgren, director of the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging, said, “The rapid rise in availability of these kinds of clinics, which typically offer walk-in convenience, expanded hours and self-scheduling of appointments in locations close to home, work or shopping, has transformed the American health care landscape in less than two decades,” as US News reported. 

Moreover, Urgent care centers are the most widely used choice for acquiring medical aid for seniors and the middle-aged. Among them, 47 percent visited a minimum of once there, while 23 percent of them visited more than once time during the past two-year span. 

Additionally, 28 percent of them visit a retail health clinic, which is a kind of same-day office located at a strip mall, workplace, or vehicle. 

'Doc-in-a-Box' Clinics are Preferred Choice for Older Americans
‘Doc-in-a-Box’ Clinics are Preferred Choice for Older Americans

The poll further showed that, about 75 percent of them who have opted to go to an alternative clinic, are in favour of going there again within the span of next two years. 

And 43 percent of those who didn’t receive medical care from alternative clinic options said to pay a visit within the next two years. 

The poll was held on the online platform and through telephone, held in July and August in the year 2023. Total participants were 2,657 of the adults aged from 50 to 80, as US News reported. 

Seniors like quality care at the primary doc 

Most older adults with primary care physicians still opt for the overall quality of care and personal links at their regular clinics. 

According to the survey results, almost 52 percent esteemed the quality of care offered twice as much at an alternative clinic, and 67 percent were strongly associated with their primary care providers. 

'Doc-in-a-Box' Clinics are Preferred Choice for Older Americans. Credit | Cary Norton for Forbes
‘Doc-in-a-Box’ Clinics are Preferred Choice for Older Americans. Credit | Cary Norton for Forbes

According to US News reports, around 52 percent of the patients who had gone to alternative clinics affirmed they received excellent care from their regular doctor, and 67 percent of them felt connected to their primary care doctor. 

However, contrary to this, 43 percent of them said that the alternative clinic was more convenient than their usual provider. 

Kullgren, in a Michigan press release, stated, “With the nationwide shortage of primary care providers, it’s important to understand how this age group, with generally higher medical needs, views and uses this type of care,” as US News reported. 

Susan Reinhard, senior vice president and director of AARP Public Policy Institute, said, “Access to timely and convenient care was critical for older adults during the pandemic, and our research shows alternative care options will continue to be in demand for the long-term.” 


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