Business is booming for Taos' Urgent Care clinic.
Dr. Debi Sánchez, clinic medical director, told The Taos News this week that the clinic saw an all-time high of 650 people in December for everything from lacerations to skin ailments to cold and flu symptoms.
"This is the most successful start-up clinic we've ever had," said Sánchez, who also runs Española's Valleyfirst Care clinic. "We're providing a needed service for Taos and we're proud to do that."
The urgent clinic is designed to be used for smaller concerns and injuries that some people might take to the emergency room when they can't get an appointment at a primary care clinic.The clinic is also open weekends, Sánchez says, which is something many of her patients don't expect.
Sánchez says that the clinic fills a major need in Taos. "We feel wildly successful. We've had so much positive feedback from people who are just glad we're here," Sánchez said. "In Española, we could sit for a day in the beginning and only see three patients."
Taos Family Practice also added an urgent care physician rotation during business hours in June. Family Practice's administrator Tim Clauss said Tuesday (Jan. 4) that he's pleased with the clinic's progress.
"We stay very busy," Clauss said. "In November, we averaged in the ballpark of 350 people."
When asked about Taos Urgent Care, Family Practice's only local competition, Clauss declined to comment. "It's best if we let that one be," Clauss said.
Sánchez says the high numbers for both the clinics proves that there's plenty of business to go around in Taos.
"Like all communities, we don't have enough doctors. The shortage of primary care doctors isn't something that's just in Taos, it's throughout New Mexico and, really, we don't have enough doctors in America," Sánchez said. "We also see a ton of tourists here because they don't really have many other choices."