PISMO BEACH, Calif. - As Doctor Eric Sorensen shows me around the brand new Urgent Care of Pismo Beach, he points out the custom art. Each exam room is named after one of the Five Cities, and he hopes the clinic can help bridge a medical gap.
"We just want to take care of the after flow (from emergency rooms)," says Sorensen, who has practiced medicine in California for more than 30 years. "The urgent things when you can't see your doctor for two days we're happy to help you."
The Central California-born doctor opened several successful urgent care facilities in cities like Morro Bay and Atascadero. He says many of his patients were looking for even more medical care options in Pismo Beach, with expanded hours.
"Its like Burger King or McDonalds, it's just always nice to another option for patients."
Not everyone he meets is comfortable going to a nearby hospital, or having to make expensive trips to the ER when they might not need to.
"Our prices are sometimes a tenth of what you would pay to go to the emergency room," says Sorensen. "It's tough to go to the ER anymore without spending $1500."
A nearby hospital tells us they welcome even more healthcare alternatives.
While it creates more options (and therefore more competition for patients), representatives with Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center say more urgent care facilities puts less pressure on emergency rooms.
Meaning everyone gets treated better, and faster.
Sorensen says while they can treat most patients, anyone in a serious condition would be taken straight to the hospital.
"Overall I think we have great practitioners. They love the patients, they love the work."
Urgent Care of Pismo Beach is open 7-7 Monday-Saturday, and 8-4 on Sundays.