One of my favorite sentiments to hear from patients is "Dr. X was my doctor for years." While it is a simple phrase, I think it does hint at some of the most important aspects of the doctor-patient relationship.
I went to medical school to be a family doctor. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with a family doctor in my hometown before going to medical school. The aspect of his practice that stood out the most to me--even more than the medicine--was the relationship he had with his patients. He had some families in the practice that were represented by three generations. There was a trust and a mutual respect. Like Cheers, sometimes you just want to go where everybody knows your name. He was their doctor.
Today, I find people are still trying to find their doctor. Many physicians that have practiced in the same community for decades are retiring. While many young physicians would love to fill their shoes, it is becoming harder to put themselves in a position to plant roots and thrive due to the corporatization of medicine. Too many patients, too little time, too much paperwork. Even still, most of us think it would be worth it if patients were winning. Every doctor I know wants to do the best for their patients--to be their doctor--but that is proving to be a difficult proposition in today's healthcare landscape.
For patients, I hear that they want to be listened to. They want to feel heard. Often times, when patients need care the most they cannot get into their doctor's office for 2-3 weeks. If they are fortunate enough to get an appointment, it may be with a different provider at that office. Unfortunately their doctor does not work at the urgent care because this is where they often end up.
One of the reasons I opened this practice was to give patients a place where they could find their doctor. To give patients time and space to heal and be healthy over the course of many years in a comfortable and relaxed environment. A family practice for your family.
I don't work for corporation. I don't work for the insurance companies. I just want to be your doctor.
Jarrod Couch, DO