At the Arlington Pharmacy, people can see a trained medical professional and get a prescription filled in less time than it takes to schedule an appointment with their doctor's...
At the Arlington Pharmacy, people can see a trained medical professional and get a prescription filled in less time than it takes to schedule an appointment with their doctor’s office.
Since Nov. 1, residents and out-of-towners alike have enjoyed the 10 Minute Clinic, a quick-stop, walk-in medical center inside the pharmacy. Led by family nurse practitioner Ron Young, the two-person team sees, treats and prescribes without the standard doctor’s-office wait.
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About 350 people have been diagnosed with common ailments at the clinic since it opened. Many then have filled prescriptions at the pharmacy.
All visits, regardless of time or need, are a standard $30. The only catch — though some see it as a benefit — is that to keep down costs, the clinic doesn’t accept or process insurance. Insurance cards are welcome, however, at the pharmacy.
“I was getting ready to retire, but this was a great concept I just couldn’t pass up,” Young said. “Here, you got an eye infection, it costs the patient less, and we do well because we have less staff.”
The combination of medical center and pharmacy isn’t new, but usually it’s a pharmacy inside a doctor’s office. This variation on a theme was the dream child of Arlington Pharmacy owner and pharmacist Dale Duskin.
“I was sitting in the emergency room one day, and the wait was so long, I actually saw people waiting for treatment get up and leave,” Duskin said. “It seemed like the staff there was happy to see them leave.”
Young and Duskin worked together when Young operated the Quilceda Clinic, now closed, next to the Duskin’s Quilceda Pharmacy, which is still open. When Duskin approached Young about space in the back of his Arlington Pharmacy, the two knew they could make the 10 Minute Clinic there work.
Family nurse practitioner Chelsea Johnson, who also had been working at the Quilceda Clinic, came along with the understanding that the plan was to see patients and not let billing, insurance or other red tape stand in the way.
“I’m still working within the scope of my practice,” Johnson said. “But we’re making health care more accessible here with a pioneering approach to traditional medicine.”
There are some things Young and Johnson can’t do, including X-rays, casting or suturing, but for standard ailments such as infections, sprains or the flu, Young says, the clinic is no different than an urgent-care center or the emergency room on a weekend.
“At either of those places, the typical co-pay is $50 to $100,” Young said. “Here, it’s cheaper, and you won’t have the wait.”
Young also says the clinic is not set up to be a primary medical provider, so follow-ups are referred to the patients’ normal doctors, with Young or Johnson making contact with that office.
“The convenience for many people here is that they can drop by before or after work or during lunch,” Duskin said. “They don’t have to take the day off work to go see a doctor.”
Christopher Schwarzen: 425-783-0577 or firstname.lastname@example.org