How many of you can relate to this situation? You need to see your primary care physician but he or she is busy and it takes a while to get an appointment. Then, when you finally do get in to see your doctor, you start to go through your list of concerns and then the appointment is over. Maybe you got to ask everything you wanted, maybe you didn’t – and even if you did get to say what you wanted to say, the responses you received were brief and perhaps the next steps seemed unclear.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) refers to this as the 15-minute appointment (and some of you are probably thinking you’d be thrilled to get 15 minutes). WSJ goes on to say that this phenomenon is bad for medicine, and we agree. More specifically, they say that, because of the time pressures that physicians are under, “patients and doctors may be deprived of the opportunity for more meaningful discussions about the underlying causes of their problems and plans to improve them.”
The example they share is of a woman in her 50s with high blood pressure and obesity. The doctor visit may result in prescription medicine but the underlying issues – perhaps the women’s stress from providing care to her father with Alzheimer’s – aren’t discussed. And, sometimes, the right diagnoses aren’t even reached because there just isn’t time. Then, when a problem is diagnosed – whether that’s heart disease, diabetes or something else entirely – it is much further along and harder to treat.
Direct Primary Care
According to WSJ, “Because direct primary care usually does not bill insurance, it results in less checking boxes and more conversation.” And, that’s exactly what we provide at Rock Hill Primary Care.
Some of you, when you think back to when you were young, will have memories of a primary care physician who was able to take the time to genuinely converse and diagnose issues, and that’s definitely what I remember. My doctor wasn’t distracted by the need to fit my situation into a narrowly-defined insurance category. Instead, he looked at me, he talked to me and we had authentic conversations, which were the building blocks of an authentic patient-doctor relationship. That relationship, by the way, was what made me want to become a doctor.
Here’s a quote I used in a previous blog post but it’s worth repeating: “When you think of Andy Griffith-style medicine, the doctor had a clinic in the local town. It’d be strange for him to say, ‘What kind of insurance does Opie have?’” (Michael Tetreault, quoted in DirectPrimaryCare.com)
Hard to disagree, right?
Rock Hill Primary Care
I’ve been practicing medicine for 20 years and am thrilled to now be offering direct primary care where I can focus on listening, on building relationships and on disease prevention. Although we are not anti-insurance, we use a different model, one that gives us – patient and doctor – time to discuss all that needs discussed.
Patients pay a monthly fee that covers the cost of all visits, including the annual physical, plus in-office procedures. If you need medication or lab work, you are charged wholesale prices.
To schedule a consultation with Rock Hill Primary Care, call 803-329-SICK (7425) or drop by our office 724 Arden Lane, Suite 235, Rock Hill SC 29732 (behind McAlister's Deli)