CLINTON — The term hipster is one that has grown in both popularity and usage lately. It has different meanings to different people, but mainly a hipster is one who follows the latest trends and fashions, while maintaining a counter culture outlook.
A hipster is typically somewhere between their 20s and 30s, and usually exists on the forefront of everything new and unconventional. Some people are turned off by hipster types and label them pretentious.
While this hipster outlook and lifstyle has been traditionally centered on fashion, music, and films that exist outside of the mainstream market, it has now included of all things ... healthcare.
Younger consumers who seek alternative ways to spend their dollars are choosing boutique or concierge medical practices, which have historically only been for the affluent.
What exactly is concierge medicine?
It's basically a form of care where the patient pays a yearly retainer for an unlimited amount of medical visits. Doctors who practice concierge medicine take on far fewer patients than traditional physicians, so in theory they're able to provide more personalized care.
News outlets have reported doctors cutting their patient list in half just to provide a better and more focused amount of service.
Patients who visit these kinds of practices are usually able to have direct contact with their physician, receiving perks like getting the doctor's personal cell phone number and email address. Some concierge doctors are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Also, medical examinations are longer, more extensive and include other components like mental, hearing and detailed vision tests.
Concierge practices usually charge a yearly fee between $1,000 and $5,000, but companies like One Medical who offer a retainer fee of $199, have taken the concept of concierge medicine and introduced it to a younger, less affluent demographic.
This is where the hipster comes in, or that consumer who looks for alternative services that are seemingly not attached just to dollars and profit.