Olin EMBA leads innovation as convenience store chain expands into healthcare

  • January 11, 2021
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 2 minute read

The QuikTrip Corporation, a convenience store company with more than 50 locations in the St. Louis area and 850 stores in 11 states, has begun to expand into the healthcare market with the help of Dr. Patrick Aguilar, EMBA’20.

Aguilar is spearheading a new class of customer service-minded urgent care clinics as the chief medical officer for MedWise Urgent Care, the burgeoning healthcare company launched in September by QuikTrip.

Dr. Aguilar has been a celebrated member of the Washington University community for years; he was formerly an assistant professor of medicine and the director of medical critical care at the Washington University School of Medicine and worked to develop an MD-MBA program there. Aguilar, a pulmonologist and medical intensivist, has also held positions at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin and Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Aguilar’s addition to the MedWise team is driven by his interest in the application of organizational psychology principles to the world of healthcare, as well as his experience in medical education and organizational leadership. In his position as chief medical officer at MedWise clinics, Dr. Aguilar will be managing clinical strategy, supporting a team of medical professionals to provide a top-notch customer experience.

MedWise’s first urgent care clinic opened in September in Oklahoma, and the company plans to open 15 additional locations in the Tulsa area during the next two years. The goal of these clinics is to apply the same principles used in successful convenience stores—quality service, cleanliness, and friendliness—to the world of healthcare.

“We think healthcare needs to re-conceptualize the experience from the eyes of the patient," Aguilar said in a story by KMOX radio in St. Louis. “Our goal is to take the retail principles that made QuikTrip a success in the convenience store market and apply those to healthcare."

MedWise hopes that these tenets will set their clinics apart from the often-frustrating experience of going to urgent care. Along with general physical exams, treatments of illnesses and injuries, and vaccinations, the clinics will offer COVID-19 testing, a service that becomes increasingly important as the global pandemic rages on.

MedWise will certainly shake up the healthcare market, and perhaps the Washington University community will be seeing their clinics crop up here in St. Louis in the coming months.

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Washington University in Saint Louis

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