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At the outset let me admit that English is my third acquired language. The question may sound trivial to the native speakers but it's not the same for me. Also, I have tried to search extensively not just SE but other forums also. Didn't find an authoritative answer from an expert.

I have to come up with a punchline / tagline for my business to convey the idea that patients meet doctors for free.
Attempt #1: Where Patients Walk-in Free
Attempt #2: Where Patients Catch-On Free
Attempt #3: The Doctor Patient Junction

Q1: Are all three of these grammatically correct? Do they convey the meaning properly?

Q2: Is there another English phrase that expresses the idea more succintly? I am ready to do the research/diggning if you can give pointers.

TIA

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  • The basic idea here is that appointment is free, the clinic charges apply. We don't charge anything for online appointments. But appointments have to be made. Once the appointment is made the patient won't encounter a Q at the hospital. Would walk-in be appropriate in such a scenario?
    – Tota
    Nov 1, 2019 at 6:55
  • Something like "Skip the hassle of the waiting room and book online"? As Java said, I don't think we fully understand how your service works.
    – Luck
    Nov 1, 2019 at 18:31
  • I'm still in the dark. Where is it normal to pay separate fees to make an appointment and to keep it? May 2, 2020 at 6:04

2 Answers 2

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I think that your first suggestion is the only one that means what you want it to mean.

Catch on means to begin to understand something, and so it is completely inappropriate.

Doctor-patient junction gives only a vague idea what it's about.

A very widely used expression for medical care where you don't need to make an appointment in advance is walk-in clinic: here is an example of its use. If you want to indicate that the clinic is free of charge, you can say free walk-in clinic.

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  • Thanks a ton JavaLatte for pruning the incorrect paths in my research. The basic idea here is that appointment is free, the clinic charges apply. We don't charge anything for online appointments. But appointments have to be made. Once the appointment is made the patient won't encounter a Q at the hospital. Would walk-in be appropriate in such a scenario? Thanks again, really appreciate taking the time to answer.
    – Tota
    Nov 1, 2019 at 6:52
  • 1
    @Tota, no: the point of a walk-in clinic is that you don't have to make an appointment. When you say 'clinic charges apply', does that mean that the patient must pay for the consultation, or that the consultation is free but the patient must pay for any subsequent treatment? i suggest that you update your question to describe in detail the service that you want to provide, than ask for suggestions for how to describe it.
    – JavaLatte
    Nov 1, 2019 at 7:02
  • Doing it now JavaLatte. Seems like comments such as +1 are not encouraged. So, here's a +1K for you.
    – Tota
    Nov 1, 2019 at 7:09
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Concept

Let's make sure that I have understood your concept:

  • You want to offer ambulatory/outpatient care but on an appointment basis rather than there being a queue made up of whoever comes that day.
  • Appointments can be made for same/next day as well as for the future
  • This means that the patients do not have to queue and wait for care.
  • As such you are can't be offering emergency care but could
    offer urgent care as well as routine care.

Terminology

There is an ambiguity in "walk-in" in healthcare: it could relate either to:

  1. Seeking care without an appointment ("just walked in off the street") or
  2. Seeking outpatient rather than inpatient care, also known as "ambulatory care" because you are walking in rather than being carried in!

As you are using appointments you shouldn't use "walk-in" unless it is qualified in some way, though if qualified for clarity this might make a good way to highlight your difference. To make this work you need to combine this with something that shows that you get appointments so don't have to queue/wait. Not having to pay to make the appointment seems like a secondary benefit.

Your examples

Your examples are gramatically correct with the caveats that:

  • Capitalisation is always a challenge with tag-lines etc
  • "Catch-on" doesn't really mean what you want it to in this context
  • "Doctor-patient" should be hypenated (and anyway doesn't mean much to patients)

Suggestions/Alternatives

You might want to focus on contrasting "walk-in" with appointments/no waiting as your key benefits with the apparent paradox attracting people's attention.

  • "Walk-in. By Appointment"
  • "Urgent care. Same-day appointments"

Hope that helps.

(I spent quite a long time working in the business of healthcare in various countries, so hopefully bring some wider insight too!)

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