Several years ago, I was inspired by an article written by another family practice physician, Dr. Gordon Moore, who had decided to blaze a new trail in family medicine. Dr. Moore was frustrated with the status quo of his medical practice including: 1) having to see high volumes of patients, which meant not being able to give patients the time they required (and deserved!) to discuss their medical issues; 2) constantly running behind schedule and keeping his patients waiting; 3) working long hours into the evening to complete paperwork, leading to stress and dissatisfaction with "the system." In short, Dr. Moore wasn't happy and neither were his patients. So, he set out to create a new style of medical care that centered his practice around his personal relationship with patients. No more hurried appointments. No more asking his patients to sit in a waiting room. And no more requiring patients to deal with nurses, receptionists or billing personnel in lieu of their doctor.
My clinic model, based around Dr. Moore's concept, strives to maximize the doctor-patient relationship and minimize doctor and patient frustrations. My practice has no staff -- no receptionist, no nurse, no medical records technician, no billing personnel. I will be the only person my patients deal with. This includes appointment scheduling, billing questions, test results, everything. I allow 25 minutes for most routine appointments (rather than 10-15 minutes as is common in most practices) and 50 minutes for annual physicals.
If you'd like to read Dr. Moore's story for yourself, click on the following links:
Going Solo: Making the Leap
Going Solo: One Doc, One Room, One Year Later