My experiences at doctor’s offices and hospitals in the city have been very unimpressive. I have an assigned primary care physician (PCP) somewhere in Arlington whom I have never seen, because he always sends in his assistants to do my checkup. I see a neurologist at Georgetown Hospital and have experienced some of the worst customer service and sense of personal care from my doctor. I went to Sibley’s ER after a minor accident and waited for hours – in the middle of the afternoon.
Last week, I passed the office for DC Immediate and Primary Care (DCIPC) in Cleveland Park, on the corner of Porter and Connecticut. I decided to pop my head in and see what they were all about and was pleasantly surprised. The outside of the building looks unimpressive but inside is gorgeous. Modern décor, electronic systems for checking in and scheduling, and lots of friendly faces. While they do same-day urgent visits, they also do regular checkups and can assign you to a doctor. My husband and I both booked appointments there and were thrilled with the ease of scheduling as well as the care and concern of their nurses, physician’s assistants (PAs) and doctors. They were able to assign Dr. Roscoe Adams as my PCP, and Dr. Adams even emailed me a personalized list of neurologists so I can make a change from Georgetown.
Last year, I had a great experience at the CVS Minute Clinic in Tenleytown (Wisconsin and Brandywine) where I was seen quickly and got a prescription for what I needed within the hour.In Forest Hills, we have another urgent care center in our Walgreens at Connecticut and Veazey. This Walgreens has a Take Care Clinic inside this new store. The Take Care Clinic offers some of the same services as a Minute Clinic or the DCIPC including immunizations and illness treatment. The clinic has experienced physician’s assistants who work on everything from allergies to ear wax removal, from Lyme disease to motion sickness. The hours are flexible, including after work (M-F until 7:30) and weekends until 5pm. Like DCIPC, the facilities are new and it has the feel of a real medical office. I decided to try it out when I needed a quick prescription last month. I made an appointment through its online scheduling system and had an email confirmation, but it never ended up in their computer system. I even tried to call to speak to someone to confirm before I went but was re-routed through phone menus to a national customer service line. I was never able to speak to a real human. When I was finally seen, an hour later than my scheduled appointment, I was treated like a nuisance by a nurse who didn’t listen when I explained symptoms and didn’t clearly explain the tests she wanted to do.
I’m not an expert on health care, but I do know that that I feel fortunate to have these services available in our neighborhood. It’s possible that my experience at Walgreens was just a hiccup, and that they were just getting through some growing pains. Regardless, I find that I can get easy-to-schedule care from a doctor or PA who I know will remember me and get me what I need, and fast. I also know that health care is a personal choice, and you need to do what feels right to you. As someone who loves our neighborhood and plans to stay here for awhile, I’d like to encourage you to check out our available urgent care centers and see if any are right for you.
The CVS in Forest Hills (by the Van Ness metro) does not have a Minute Clinic, and the Walgreens in Cleveland Park (on Connecticut between Porter and Ordway) does not have a Take Care Clinic. However, both can provide flu shots and pharmacy services.