A Thorough Examination of Medical Clinics
At the Drugstore
Who's on call: A nurse practitioner.
Services offered: Treatment for minor illnesses and injuries (a sore throat, a twisted ankle) and administration of vaccines, including flu shots.
The details: Health clinics that offer first-come, first-served walk-in appointments are now open in national chains—including CVS (minuteclinic.com), Walmart (walmart.com/clinics), and Walgreens (takecarehealth.com)—as well as some mom-and-pop pharmacies. They’re particularly popular for flu shots. (For children’s vaccinations, it’s best to see your pediatrician or family physician, says Glen Stream, the president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians: “This way, you keep the child’s records complete and in one place.”) And, of course, while you’re there, you can also ask the pharmacist drug-related questions, including how and when to take a medication or how a certain pill interacts with other drugs.
Cost: Flu shots are about $30. Visits for other reasons can cost up to $150. Most pharmacy clinics accept insurance. (Advice from the pharmacist is free.)