Concierge Medicine: The Old, New Frontier of Care
Discussions of concierge medicine inevitably lead to comparisons of “then and now,” or “the way medicine used to be practiced.” In this week’s Ragan’s Health Care Communication News, we learn about Clark Fork Valley Hospital in Plains, Mont., with 16 beds. The hospital’s general surgeon, Dr. Donald Damschen does double duty at the Plains Family Medical Facility, next to the hospital.
“It’s a 24/7 job,” Damschen says. “I’m always on call.” His assessment of his current job situation is not too far from what many currently physicians describe as overload on overdrive: too many patients and not enough time for them—or for the physician to “have a life” away from the office.
Not Just a Name
What a frontier doctor and a physician practicing personalized medicine do share in common is their ability to really know their patients. Plains’ population is just over 1,000, and you can bet Dr. Damschen knows more about his patients than just their current blood pressure or weight.
“The great thing about working in a small community like this is that everyone knows your business,” says the hospital administrator. “The tough thing about working in a small community like this is that everyone knows your business.”
SignatureMD’s concierge physicians know their patients’ business—the business of wellness and prevention. Our doctors aren’t struggling with so many patients and so little time that a patient appointment becomes a rush job. The way medicine used to be practiced—with care and concern—is the way it is practiced at Signature MD.
With offices in Los Angeles, California and Richmond, Virginia, SignatureMD (signaturemd.com) is one of the nation’s largest firms providing initial conversion and ongoing support services to concierge medicine physicians. SignatureMD currently partners with more than 160 affiliated primary care physicians and specialists across 31 states, and its network is rapidly expanding.