You’re not getting any younger and it’s about that time. You remember having a pediatrician, but then you went to college and probably moved away from your hometown. For the last few years, you’ve been using urgent care centers paying your $50 co-pay and then getting those $250 bills in the mail because you didn’t spend all $3,000 of your deductible. You’ve always seen different young-ish doctors who cycle in and out of jobs at urgent care centers. You’ve probably even gone to a few specialists when you thought you needed to.
But now it’s about time to find a good, dependable doctor.
You need one you can trust and depend on for the next few decades. The problem is you’re getting busier and busier and your time is scarce. You’ll probably move cities or neighborhoods a few times, maybe get married, have a few kids, travel all over for work. And that doctor you want to depend on will probably switch jobs or their practice will be acquired, or they’ll stop taking your insurance, or they’ll start employing nurse practitioners and you’ll get stuck seeing them, or they’ll get so busy you’ll have to wait weeks to see them.
I’m a doctor. I apologize. But I think there’s a better way.
Of course, get the basics right. They should be experienced, well-trained at exceptional academic institutions, board-certified, have compassion, be expert diagnosticians, and clearly communicate complex issues into something you can easily understand.
Your primary care doctor shouldn’t be tied to a neighborhood. That’s pretty simple. You move apartments or buy new homes or move cities. So do they.
Your primary care doctor shouldn’t be tied to your employer. You change jobs every few years.
Your primary care doctor shouldn’t be tied to your insurance company. You switch insurances. And doctors stop taking insurances too.
Your primary care doctor should be tech savvy and communicate and get things done like we all do nowadays. They should talk with you via messaging, phone, and video and welcome photos and data you share with them.
Your primary care doctor should view an office visit as something that happens only when absolutely necessary. Most health issues can be solved online without office visits.
Your primary care doctor should use an elegantly-designed tech platform. That way you can access everything from anywhere, at any time, to see all of your data in one easy to use interface.
Your primary care doctor should be affordable and shouldn’t charge you more for doing more for you. Care should be a fixed, dependable cost and it shouldn’t bankrupt you.
All of this makes logical sense, but it’s new and different.
So was that first time you used your iPhone to call up a cab. A new kind of primary care is that game-changing, it makes logical sense, and it’s far less expensive than an urgent care center.
People who have taken the plunge say things like “it feels like a concierge doctor, without the price tag.” Exactly! When you rethink primary care and actually design it to meet today’s potential, even your primary care doctor can feel like magic.
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