Just the other day, I was asked an interesting question by a patient while I sewed up her arm. “What would you do about the healthcare mess in this country?”
Not exactly a question that lends itself to a short answer but here is the essence of what I told her…
“I would do exactly what I am doing now! When I “retired” from my hospital surgical practice, I had a choice to make. Either leave the medical field altogether or do something that could possibly be a way to contribute to the solutions rather than the problems of healthcare. To my way of thinking, healthcare has 2 major problems: 1) the patient is no longer the focus of our attention and 2) there are people making decisions about your healthcare who have no business making those decisions, their concern is NOT for the patient. So my challenge was to design a system/clinic that would serve as a model to right those two wrongs. I opened this clinic with the purpose of caring for patients by respecting their time (seeing them within 3 minutes of their arrival if at all possible), respecting their money (we have cash prices that are posted on our website and the prices are low because the middleman has been eliminated), and respecting their dignity (we give medical care that is over and above what is expected). It won’t solve every issue but for my patients, right now, it’s simply great.”
She seemed satisfied with that answer.