Someone once told me, to practice medicine well, you have to practice what you know. This is what I know...
I grew up in the Sandhills of Nebraska where my earliest childhood memories were of our “small town” doctor. A staple in the community, he treated all of his patients like family. He cast my broken arm in high school, meticulously stitched my father’s lacerated finger on that cold Sunday afternoon, and held Grandma’s hand as we said our last goodbye.
As it turns out, this doctor gave me the greatest gift I have never been able to fully let go. Gandhi said it best, the only way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Yes, it may be a bit overly sentimental but it is part of the art that paints the canvas of medicine I am inspired to do. Because where I am from and what I felt and experienced, without sharing some history, the rest would be hard to explain.
I became a private concierge physician to care for patients in a manner reminiscent of that doctor from a simpler time long ago. In a profession whose priorities have shifted, concierge medicine has given me the opportunity to form closer relationships than I have ever before. Longer visits, better access, and unnecessary emergency room visits seem to only be the beginning.
Over the last several months, the world has heard the roar of a viral pandemic along with the hum of our own anxieties. For patients, it has been tremendously comforting to connect easily and frequently. I have the time to help navigate their fears that, at times, has required a steady reassurance.
I believe the benefits of being in a smaller, more intimate practice will have an even stronger meaning in a post pandemic world. Patients should have faster access to their provider; scheduling appointments without hassle and being welcomed by your first name in a clinic that prides themselves in hospitality is key. Avoiding crowded waiting rooms often filled with sickness and sadness to having unhurried visits with a doctor eager to begin a lasting relationship. This is what it means to be a concierge doctor. This is what patients are wanting for their healthcare.
Providing personalized care, at a time when fear is so contagious, is truly the best medicine. For in the end, we all want the same simple truths. Someone to take the time. Someone to listen. Someone to remind us all, “it will be okay.” As a doctor in this profession there is no greater pleasure then being there for my patients.