Originally written on April 27, 2010

Just last night I was watching my local news and heard about how some local Wal-Marts are now offering in-store medical clinics for shoppers. These clinics–or convenient care clinics–are supposed to be a quick alternative to having to make an appointment with your Doctor and then waiting, who knows how long, to see your Doctor. I did a little research and found that this is not unique to Central Pennsylvania. Wal-Mart has already opened several of these clinics around the country, with 400 total, scheduled to be opened this year.

This phenomenon of quick health care in a large retail store is not unique to just Wal-Mart. Many large grocery store chains are doing the same thing. What is interesting about these clinics is that when one drops in to perhaps get a sore throat looked at, they are not seeing an M.D., but rather a CNP; Certified Nurse Practitioner. I have no problem with CNPs, in fact, the CNP I see on regular basis is more competent and knowledgeable in general medicine than just about any M.D. I’ve ever seen.  The problem is, a CNP is not bound by Hippocratic Oath, therefore they can refuse treatment to any patient that comes in. continue reading…