With so many diverse experiences in medicine, and so many different roles that I’ve filled, I still can’t get past the idea that health care in America isn’t what it should be. The system is driven by words such as “productivity” and “market share.” And many seem to think that bigger is better. But lost in that approach is the importance of primary care, and particularly the relationship between the patient and physician.
There is a different style of practice that has developed called a “micro-practice” or “ideal medical practice.” This model of care is based upon low overhead through an efficient practice design and use of technology. Because of low overhead, there are fewer patients seen per day, more time to spend with each one, and greater continuity of care. As Dr. L. Gordon Moore, the leader of the ideal medical practice movement, puts it,
When you redesign a practice around these principles, you can step off the productivity treadmill and focus on excellent patient care.
That’s what my practice is about, because above all else there is no substitute for time spent with patients. Time spent diagnosing and treating, but so much more. Time for listening. Time for explaining. Time helping them navigate the health care system. Time getting to know them. Time to share and invest in the lives of my patients.