Harvard Men's Health Watch

Where to get health care in a hurry


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The best place to get the services you need on short notice depends on the problem you have.

Not long ago, your only alternative to visiting a doctor's office was an urgent care clinic or hospital emergency room. But there are some new options. These include walk-in clinics at drugstores and big-box retailers like Walmart and Target, and online "e-visits" that some health care providers now offer.

What can these relatively new services do for you? It depends on the problem. "If you have a chronic medical condition, it probably makes more sense to go to a doctor's office rather than a retail clinic or e-visit," says Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, associate professor of Health Care Policy and Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "You are going to have a lot more complex issues."

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