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Imagine calling your doctor’s office for an appointment and being told she can see you that very same day. Then, when you arrive at her office, you are one of only a handful of patients in the waiting room--if there is even a wait at all. When the doctor comes in to see you, she is warm and smiling and asks you about your day, your health, and any symptoms you experienced that morning, and she listens to each detail you share. She sits with you for a long time, discussing treatment options, medication adjustments, or whatever topic you were hoping to review that day. By the time you leave her office, you feel reassured, respected, and enlightened.
While this scenario may seem too good to be true, it is a philosophy practiced by concierge doctors across the nation. Concierge medicine is known by several names, including boutique medicine, membership medicine, and direct care, but the concept remains the same: Patients pay an annual or monthly fee for virtually unlimited access to their health care provider.
Due to the reduced daily patient flow, concierge doctors can offer perks such as same-day appointments, minimal waiting room time, and personal phone calls. Concierge doctors form close relationships with each patient and provide a reliable source for customized care. Patients who struggle with chronic health conditions or who have been diagnosed with a life-changing disease, such as cancer, appreciate the flexibility and availability that a concierge doctor offers.
While traditional doctors seem to drop in long enough to greet the patient, make note of any new health developments, and then jot down a prescription or two, a concierge doctor has the luxury of spending more time in a productive one-on-one appointment with a single patient. This personal touch is beneficial to both parties, as it allows the doctor to better understand the needs of her patient and the patient to feel as though she can express her symptoms and concerns in a secure, relaxed environment.
Frequent access to a doctor can also boost the efficiency of your treatment plan, as it allows her to not only devise and implement a personalized remedy to your health condition, but also utilize preventive techniques to stabilize and protect your health in the long run. Concierge doctors can perform quicker diagnoses, deliver a faster return on test results, and contact you personally with an update on your health. The end result is greater peace of mind for you, the patient.