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Author: Suzanne Flynn/Sunday, December 09, 2018/Categories: Industry News
Richard Park started his career as an emergency-room doctor.
But in 2005, he started working somewhere else: an urgent-care clinic in New Hyde Park, New York.
"It looked really unimpressive, a hole in the wall," Park told Business Insider. "They probably thought I was a doctor who couldn't hack it in a hospital because I was young."
Park would give out his cellphone number to patients. He recalled that, years later, he'd still get calls from them, asking for recommendations for cancer doctors, for instance, after a family member got a diagnosis.
Park went on to found CityMD, an urgent-care company that now has more than 100 locations in New York, New Jersey, and Washington state. That initial location in 2005 didn't end up becoming a CityMD, but Park said he still wants that same kind of patient connection to develop at his clinics today.
"We want you to call us for the UTI, the sore throat, the chest pain, but also for the abdominal pain, the cancers, or the really big things," Park said.
Urgent care is catching on as Americans increasingly seek convenient ways to get healthcare. According to the Urgent Care Association, the industry's trade group, there were 8,154 urgent care centers in the US in 2017, up 25% from 2014. Urgent care visits have climbed rapidly, too, according to one study.
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