Pharmacies: The new “exam” room?

Perhaps one of the biggest and most notable changes that have emerged post-pandemic is how many people choose to “see” their doctor.

Indeed, the use of telehealth services has skyrocketed in popularity.

And major healthcare providers and payers—like Medicare—are giving the green light to “virtual visits,” especially during the height of cold, flu, and COVID season.

Now, the role that pharmacies play in supporting the health and well-being of individuals is growing in popularity, too.

Let’s talk about it…

False sense of security

It’s no secret that many patients choose to get vaccinated at the pharmacy. Others even monitor their blood pressure, request COVID-19 antibody testing, screen for diabetes, and more.

Pharmacies are often closer, quicker, and more convenient to work into busy schedules.

But do you ever think about what you give up for “quick service?”

For one, while vaccines are “overwhelming safe”—according to The Internal Medicine & Pediatric Clinic (IM&PC) in New Albany, Mississippi—if you happen to develop a reaction, it’s much safer to be treated by your physician… in his or her medical office.

After all, doctors undergo training that allows them to respond appropriately to such events, whereas pharmacists do not.

But perhaps the biggest drawback of all is replacing convenience for a complete wellness exam…

In fact, some may build a false sense of security about their health simply because they perform routine screenings, receive counseling, and more at their local pharmacy.

No reason to put off routine visits

Now, I’m all for prioritizing your health in the best way that works for you. And if all you can afford to do is visit the pharmacy for whatever reason, by all means, do it.

Because the fact is, we can’t put our bodies, or our health, on hold.

But I will always recommend routine appointments with primary care doctors—along with preventative services that you just can’t receive from the pharmacy.

I’m talking about dermatology exams, mammograms, ultrasounds, electrocardiograms (EKGs), and more.

So if you’ve been replacing a complete and total health checkup with convenient services offered at a local pharmacy or “minute clinic,” now is the time to rethink your approach to overall good health.

And if you just can’t get out of the house in general, I have laid out tips to ensure an effective telehealth appointment in the December 2020 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“Navigating the challenges of healthcare in the age of coronavirus”).

Subscribers can log in under the “subscribers” tab of my website,, and search through the archives. Not yet a subscriber? Scroll down to learn about how to become one.

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“Vaxxed at the drugstore: Are patients missing out on the benefits of primary care visits?” MDLinx, 08/17/2023. (