Ethel called yesterday. The night before she had sudden onset of a harsh cough and chills. I happened to answer the phone (people are often surprised when the doctor answers the office phone), I asked some questions, and we came up with a plan. She said she would send her boyfriend to come pick up some medicine at the office. Well, before I had even finished documenting our conversation, her boyfriend had shown up. A few minutes later he was on his way with written instructions, as well as suggestions on how to keep himself healthy after having been exposed to the illness. I talked with Ethel again this morning. She’s doing well, but we have plans to talk again tomorrow to make sure she’s doing ok through this illness.
In my previous traditional medicine practice, I would have been so busy that Ethel’s calls would have gone through the secretaries, to the nurse, then to me or another provider, then back through the nurse to the patient. Each doctor might have different ways to treat illnesses, so the advice could vary. And finding time to check with her the next day could be challenging in among a full schedule of patients and phone calls.
I love the prompt personalized care that I can provide for my patients through this Direct Primary Care model of medicine. Working for my patients instead of for the insurance companies.