An Introduction to Urgent Care
Urgent care is the medicine practised in community urgent care clinics. These clinics are open 7 days a week, from at least 8am until 8pm, and have x-ray on-site. Patients don't make appointments and usually present with acute injuries or illness. Measured by Fellow numbers, urgent care is the 13th largest of 35 branches of medicine recognised by the Medical Council of New Zealand; by face-to-face patient consultations, it is the second largest, with over two million consultations per annum.
The Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care:
- Runs the four-year urgent care fellowship training programme
- Runs the recertification programme required for fellows to maintain vocational registration
- Accredits urgent care clinics to the Urgent Care Standard.
A Career in Urgent Care?
The urgent care training programme is a four year process, less credit for prior learning and experience.
The advantages of a career in urgent care include:
- Good career prospects, with a shortage of urgent care Fellows.
- Ability to work and earn well while training (including year one).
- Flexible work hours
- Ability to train part-time and take a break, for example, to raise a family.
- Options to own or run a clinic, for salaried or contracted employment, and to become a medical director.