My goal for developing Your MD is to develop a primary care clinic where both the patient and the doctor are able to develop long-term, trusting relationships and as a result, deliver excellent care.
I graduated residency in 1997 and took a position with a physician-owned clinic to develop a Family Practice Department at a newly opened satellite in Hartford, Wisconsin. From outset, my practice flourished. Building a practice, providing quality patient care, and developing my skills as a Family Physician were all personally enriching. I learned more about taking care of people during the first 5 years of practice than my entire 4 years in medical school and 3 years of residency. In addition, I have earned Board Certifications in both Urgent Care and Family Practice.
There are a few extremely important aspects of caring for people that I consider non-negotiable. 1. A doctor needs to be easily accessible to the patient. 2. A doctor must be able to see the patient when they are both healthy and sick. 3. A doctor must be able to take his/her time when caring for another human being. Take away any of these, and I could no longer care for a person as their primary care physician.
Each of these elements is based upon fostering an authentic provider/patient relationship – one in which the physician has the time to appreciate the patient as a unique human person – and is aware of the complexities of each individual’s situation. Take away any of these non-negotiable elements, and I could no longer care for a person as their primary care physician. Over the years, as both my own practice style has matured and the business of medicine has evolved, I have found that my commitment to providing high-quality patient-care, within the context of a genuine provider/patient relationship, is a standard that I cannot compromise.
Medicine is more of an art than a science. Each person has a unique personality with inimitable strengths, weaknesses and problems. There is no "cookie-cutter" approach that works for all members of society.
I have learned that patients are best-served when they have a doctor who knows them - a doctor who understands their needs - and if not, tries to gain a better appreciation of their situation.
As a primary care physician, I feel that it is my job to educate my patients about their unique strengths and set of problems. It is my job to work with each patient to explain my perception of their problems and offer them options based on my knowledge. In healthcare we call this concept “informed consent.” My role as physician is to foster a provider relationship with my patients and ensure that they are empowered to make strong health care choices from truly informed consent.
It is not my job to order the standard battery of tests to evaluate a symptom, but rather develop an understanding of that unique patient over time. When problems arise, it is my job to be available to the patient, listen to their concerns and then explain my impression and possible plan. In today’s healthcare market, ordering tests can be extremely costly. Thus, part of the job of fostering informed consent, is to help educate my patients to make choices between what tests and treatments are simply available and which ones are truly necessary for their given conditions. With experience, I have developed confidence in my abilities to diagnose most conditions with minimal to no outside testing. Basically, I see my job as a health adviser. I will attempt to give each patient the knowledge that I have developed so that they understand their condition, the possibilities of diagnosis, the potential "work-up", the financial implications of the "work-up", and the possible risks and benefits of any potential decision. The benefit of having Your MD is that as your situation changes, we will have the ability and time to reconvene to make any necessary changes.