Get a Checkup In Aisle 3

Miniclinics are popping up in retail stores, offering cheap but limited service--and competition to M.D.s

Why do I feel so lousy? That's what Margaret Hillesheim, a grandmother of three, wondered when she woke up in her suburban Minneapolis, Minn., home a few weeks ago. She had an ugly cough and a stifling case of sniffles. What Hillesheim, 56, didn't have was an inclination to spend half the morning in a doctor's waiting room. Instead, she went to Cub Foods, her local supermarket. Specifically, she dropped by a tiny clinic nestled beside the store's pharmacy, just across from the cigarette counter. There, behind a frosted-glass partition, a nurse practitioner examined Hillesheim, typing her vital signs and symptoms...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!