When I contact some medical practices by phone that is exactly what seems to be the situation.
Case in point- When recently I developed a rapid heart rate that seemed to be atrial flutter I called the medical practice where my EP cardiologist practices and the telephone prompts gave me the choice of "in an emergency call 911" or when directed to the cardiologist's nurse," leave a message " which I did and then waited and then waited.
Finally we decided to drive to his office and insist to be seen. It was about 2 hours after the initial call , as I was sitting in his waiting room,his nurse returned my call which we had forwarded to my cellphone . Even then I had to insist to be seen which I finally was, by which time I was back in sinus rhythm.
Medical care as is provided by physicians' offices seemed to have been simplified and reduced to go to the emergency room or leave a message. I wonder if this might be one of the factors leading to the increase in the number of urgent care centers as it offers a third way.