A Tired ER Doctor…

…in night-time Vancouver, Washington was finally able to enter the treatment room where a crying child and her anxious mother had been waiting since 5PM.  Both the patient and the parent were clearly upset.  The pain in the child’s ear had worsened.  And the worried mother’s eyes showed fatigue from failed attempts to comfort her daughter.  The doctor gently examined the child, and then assured the mother there was no danger.  They would attend to the child’s pain.

There had been a steady stream of serious injuries and illnesses arriving at the Hospital ER that night: a heart attack, car accident victims, and a seizure.  Life and death situations always take priority over non-life threatening situations.  This didn’t make the child’s pain any less real and nor did it make the mother’s concern any less urgent.  Patients had little choice after hours and on weekends for their urgent medical needs.  So the mother and her daughter anxiously waited and watched the more serious cases being ushered into treatment rooms ahead of them.

There Had To

Be A Better


This was a common occurrence in the Vancouver ER during 1979, and other ERs across the country.  But that night, the child and her mother made a lasting impression on the doctor who treated them.  And it motivated him to seek a change.  He and a handful of other like-minded doctors recognized that there had to be a better way.

It was a fact that emergency rooms were staffed and equipped to handle emergencies, yet more and more patients arrived needing immediate care but not life-threatening problems.  This forward-thinking groups of ER doctors opened their first urgent care clinic in the country.  Patients were able to walk-in and receive immediate quality urgent care at a fraction of the cost.  And urgent care needs were met in a non life-threatening environment.

MED7® Is Born

In 1980, Dr. Merl O’Brien, a member of this ER group, moved to Northern California.  He then took the first steps to duplicate this new vision for rrgent care facilities for the Sacramento area, and started what eventually became the MED7 Urgent Care centers.  With little support and no funding, a dedicated staff worked six days a week for little and sometimes no pay. The seventh day the clinic was closed so Dr O’Brien could work a 24 hour shift in the ER to help pay the bills.

It was little surprise, but also a great relief, that Sacramento patients liked the concept.  And the clinic became a success.  In fact, it grew so much that Dr. O’Brien’s brother, [name?], joined the MED7 team.  And by 1982, they were already searching for a second location.

After more than 30 years, MED7 has since grown to four locations serving Sacramento, Roseville, Carmichael, and Folsom.   It’s grown large enough to service the communities of the Sacramento area while remaining small enough to assure the quality of care initially established by Dr. O’Brien’s vision.

MED7® Is Here To Help!

Find a location and visit a MED7® today!

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