New Boynton clinic speeds up care for U

The Gopher Quick Clinic is meant to provide fast service for common ailments.

Devin Henry

When a cup of chicken noodle soup is just not enough to cure that cold, Boynton Health Service’s new care option, the Gopher Quick Clinic, might be just what the doctor ordered.

Boynton launched the clinic this school year to provide students, faculty and staff with fast, reasonably priced care for common ailments such as a sinus infection or strep throat.

where to go

Gopher Quick Clinic
What: 15 minute visits
Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Where: 410 Church St S.E.
For more information, go to http://www.bhs.umn.edu/ quickclinic/index.htm
*Free with health insurance from an outside provider and payment of the Student Services Fee.

The clinic’s services also include flu and tetanus vaccines and pregnancy tests.

The walk-in visits ideally last 15 minutes and are free for students who have health insurance from any provider and have paid the mandatory student services fee.

David Golden, director for public health and communication at Boynton, said the new program has had good business since it opened Sept. 4.

“It started fast and is going so strong,” Golden said. “It’s so palatable for so many people.”

He said the clinic had nearly 500 people visit in September and filled almost all of the 28 appointment slots each day.

Clinic officials are working on expanding the number of appointment times available to meet the high demand, he said.

“There seems to be a lot about this clinic that seems to make sense to a lot of people,” Golden said.

Appointments are made on a walk-in basis. Prospective patients are asked their symptoms and then wait to meet with a trained physician assistant who conducts an exam and any necessary tests.

Golden said the appointments have been timely and are staying within their time limit.

Animal science sophomore Laura Leonard said she hasn’t used the clinic yet, but would use it over Boynton’s other services in some situations.

Her trips to Boynton last year took around 45 minutes each, and she was tossed around between a doctor, a nurse and a lab attendant each time, she said.

Leonard said she would consider using the clinic in the future.

“It depends on what I thought I was sick with,” she said.

Heather Reinert, one of the clinic’s physician assistants, said the reception staff can direct patients to the care they need based on their symptoms.

Because the clinic deals only with basic problems, Boynton’s other services, such as urgent care, might better suit some people, she said.

“People don’t always know how sick they are,” Reinert said. “If you need a higher level of care, they can help you get into that pathway.”

However, some students have not experienced the ease in the care the clinic is supposed to offer.

Spanish junior Alissa Levoir said her visit to the clinic wasn’t the fast, simple experience it’s billed as. She said she waited for more than two hours to see one of the physician assistants and was rushed through the appointment, leaving some of her questions unanswered.

In the future, Levoir said she would rather go home and see her regular doctor.

Golden said patients need to wait for earlier appointments to end before they get to go in.

He said mornings are less busy, and patients can make an appointment, leave and come back to the clinic later.

“The flow is going smoothly,” he said. “The staff working it has given very positive feedback, and it has helped relieve stress in other areas of the clinic.”